Immigration South Australia (SA) has announced changes to its nomination requirements that apply to the Skilled Regional (Provisional) subclass 489 visa programme. These new requirements, which come into effect from today, will be of particular benefit to graduates of South Australian educational institutions.

There are three main changes announced, which will open the subclass 489 SA nomination programme to more potential applicants by firstly, recognising the contribution made by international students who have remained in South Australia for an extended period. Secondly, they lower the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) required to qualify as a high-performing graduate of South Australia, which will enable more potential applicants to access a work experience waiver. And thirdly, the minimum qualification requirements that apply to the chain migration pathway for the Family Sponsored subclass 489 visa have been removed. We provide more detail about each of these changes below.

What are the changes?

International students who have resided in South Australia for an extended period can now qualify for state nomination

Current and former international students who have lived continuously in South Australia since March 2012 or earlier and who continue to currently reside in South Australia are now eligible for subclass 489 SA nomination if the applicant:

  • Has been working in South Australia in any occupation for at least the last 3 months and continues to do so currently (at least 40 hours per fortnight); or
  • Is studying a course in South Australia with a minimum duration of one academic year.

Applicants will need to provide evidence of continuous residence in South Australia since March 2012 and earlier as part of their nomination application, including confirmation of enrolment in relevant courses of study, visas held and evidence of residence in South Australia for the relevant period. Applicants who have studied, worked or resided in another State or Territory in Australia for any period since March 2012 will not be eligible (this does not include short holidays, etc. provided evidence is supplied to show a continued connection to South Australia is maintained during these absences).

For both current and former international students, the course of study must be registered for a minimum duration of at least 46 weeks.

The applicant must also meet all other nomination requirements as applicable, including skills assessment and English language criteria, to be eligible for subclass 489 SA nomination.

Lowering of GPA for high-performing graduates of South Australia

South Australian graduates who have completed a Bachelor or Master by coursework degree (following a Bachelor degree) are now able to qualify as a high-performing graduate, and therefore have access a work experience waiver, if they have achieved a minimum GPA of between 5.20 and 5.99 (this was previously set at 6.0).

To qualify, applicants must also have completed their South Australia degree in the last two years, have continued to live in South Australia since that time, and have a positive skills assessment in their nominated occupation and field of study.

Chain migration minimum qualification requirements removed

The chain migration pathway, which is available to applicants who have an eligible family member residing in South Australia, provides access to an expanded list of nominated occupations (Supplementary Skilled List) to qualify for subclass 489 SA nomination.

To qualify under the chain migration programme, applicants were previously required to have completed a minimum bachelor’s degree or higher qualification. This requirement has now been removed, meaning specified trade occupations may now qualify for SA State nomination.

For up to date advice on your eligibility for a skilled visa, book your confidential consultation with a migration agent in Adelaide. PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration advice service based in Adelaide, and we aren’t expensive! Just ask us!