South Australia’s Skilled Migration Program for 2021-2022



The new changes in South Australia’s Skills Migration program came into effect from 20 July 2021. Therefore, applications for 190 and 491 state nominations are now open for the financial year of 2021-2022. This is a brief guide on who can apply for this, the streams under which the applications are taken into account, and finally an outline of the application process.

In this financial year, South Australia has been allocated a total of 2,600 places for 190 and 491 nominations. In addition to that South Australia is accepting applications from anyone residing in South Australia, outside of South Australia and also from individuals living overseas. Therefore, with a higher number of places and residency flexibility, there are much higher chances of a nomination from the South Australian Government.

Regardless of the flexibility, you skill need to meet the silks requirements, along with various other requirements, to be eligible for applying into 190 and 491 nominations. Some of the fundamental requirements are outlined in the following table:

Category Details
Residency As discussed previously, the residency is very flexible, but this outlines the streams applicable for each residency status

  • Reside in SA: You can apply through almost any one of the streams that are discussed below.
  • Reside in Australia but not in SA: You can apply only through Talent and Innovator Employment Stream.
  • Live Overseas: You need to go through SA’s Skilled List to identify if your occupation is eligible for the state nomination.
Age At the time of applying you should be below 45 years old.
Occupation Your occupation has to be listed on South Australia’s Skilled Occupation List. Also you must meet all the requirements that are specific to your occupation before you are eligible to apply.
Skills Assessment You are required to have a positive skills assessment for the occupation you are nominating.
Work Experience The requirement on work experience varies depending on the occupation. However, for most cases it’s quite common to have a minimum of 20 hours per week work experience after the completion of the course. You should always look into work experience specific to your occupation as it might be significantly different and/or there might be waivers that you could qualify for.
English Similar to work experience, the English language competency also varies depending on the occupation. But in general you should at least qualify for a minimum of Competent English skill to be eligible to apply.
Points The minimum points required by the Department of Home Affairs is 65, which is inclusive of the state nomination points. But you should keep in mind that for certain occupation nominations, the minimum point requirement might be higher.

One can apply for 190 and 491 nominations, under one of the following streams.

  • Stream 1: Talent and Innovators Program
  • Stream 2: Currently living and working in South Australia
  • Stream 3: International Graduates

These are priority streams in the South Australia’s Skills Migration program, designed to attract the right talent and skills. To understand which stream is the most suitable for you you can have a look into the brief specifications of each stream discussed below.

Stream 1: Talent and Innovators Program

If you are currently residing in South Australia, outer regional areas of South Australia or outside of South Australia, it is worthwhile considering this program for your pathway to achieving residency in Australia. The state will nominate an applicant under one of the following five streams.

  • Employment Stream: This stream is applicable for individuals who are already working in a south Australian Business, and can prove they are highly skilled.
  • Outer Regional South Australia workforce Stream: If you are currently working for an outer regional South Australian, and believe that you may not be eligible for a state nomination, then this stream is the perfect opportunity for you to apply. This allows your application to at least be considered for a state nomination.
  • Startup and Small Business Stream: This is targeted for the migrants with entrepreneurial skills. Therefore, if you have already established a business in South Australia, this stream would allow you to be considered for state nomination.
  • High Performing Graduate Stream: If you have completed your studies in South Australia with high performance then this is a stream you might want to consider.
  • Independent Talent Stream:  If you are an individual who possesses high calibre then this stream allows you the opportunity to be considered for state nomination.

Apart from taking into account the above five streams you must also be aware that you should be fulfilling all the requirements set by the state for the state nomination and the requirements set by the Department of Home Affairs for subclass 190 and 491 visas.

Although the Talent and innovators Program is not accessible for individuals living overseas, it is always recommended to keep an eye out for any future changes.

Finally it is important to note that the Talent and Innovators Employment Stream is the only stream that is applicable for individuals living in Australia, which is not necessarily limited to the geographical bounds of South Australia. However, all other Talent and Innovators streams are open to people living in South Australia.

Stream 2: Currently living and working in South Australia

Under this stream, there are a variety of concessions and waivers that you may be eligible for depending on the factors listed below.

  • The first thing to consider is the total duration of your stay in South Australia, which includes both residing and working here.
  • The occupation that you have nominated.
  • Whether or not you are residing and working in outer regional South Australia.

The underlying requirements depending on the residency status are discussed below:

  • Currently living and Working in South Australia: If you meet the following requirements then you are eligible to apply for state nomination. The requirements include:
  • A minimum of 20 hours per week work experience or 40 hours per fortnight work experience is required for the occupation you are seeking nominations for. The total duration of the work experience depends on the occupation itself.
  • Generally, for subclass 491 nominations a minimum of 6 months  work experience in South Australia is required, but do keep in mind that this requirement may vary for your specific occupation.
  • In case of subclass 190 nominations, the minimum work experience is 12 months in South Australia, again for your specific occupation that may vary.
  • Currently living and working in regional South Australia: You might be eligible for a few concessions  to the work experience.
      • Regardless of an occupation listed on the Skilled Occupation List or not, if you have been living and working in outer regional South Australia for at least 12 months then you are eligible to apply for subclass 491 visa nomination.
      • Similarly, if you have been living and working in the regional South Australia for at least 24 months then you are eligible to apply for subclass 190 visa nomination.
  • Currently living and working in South Australia as a long term resident: A resident is classified as long term if they have been living for 3-5 years depending on the visa category. If you are a long term resident then you can apply for subclass 491 nomination, except for when your salary is a minimum of AUD 80,000.

The best aspect about this stream is the work flexibility awarded to you, because you don’t necessarily have to work under the occupation that you have nominated. But you must keep in mind that your work experience must at least qualify for skill level 1,2 or 3. Occupations with a lower skill level are unfortunately not eligible for this stream.

Stream 3: International Graduates

In order to apply under the International Graduate of South Australia (SA Graduate), one needs to satisfy the following conditions.

  • The course needs to be CRICOS registered and the minimum duration of the course is 46 weeks.
  • At least 50% of the course qualification needs to be finished in South Australia.
  • During the period of your study, you need to stay in South Australia for at least a year.
  • After you have completed the course you have continued to stay in South Australia.
  •  As a South Australian graduate, you have to meet the work experience requirements for your nominated occupation.
  • Additionally, you need to be working a minimum of 20 hours per week or a minimum of 40 hours per fortnight, in the occupation that you have nominated or in the field closely related to the nominated occupation. In case you have been working part time (i.e. less than 35 hours per week) then you may be eligible to apply for subclass 491 nomination.
  • It is important to keep in mind that any research work undertaken as a part of a Doctorate program will not be considered as skilled work experience.

If you are applying through the Talent and Innovators program-high performing graduate stream, then as a South Australian graduate you may apply for waivers for work experience. If you are working as a care worker or a support worker, then you may be eligible for waivers for skilled work experience.

Offshore Applicants

If you are currently living outside of Australia, then you may check if your nominated occupation falls under the critical skills sets. Due to the recent changes, particular trade and health occupations are on the list that are open to applications from offshore applicants.

Application Process

  • The first step is to submit an Expression of interest (EOI) in Skillselect. Over there it is very important to select the correct state, which is South Australia for the above discussed streams.
  • Once you have provided the EOI, you then need to apply for the nomination directly through the South Australian Government website.
  • Finally, if your nomination has been approved, you need to apply for the visa with the Department of Home Affairs, with 60 days of nominations approval date.

This application process although appears pretty straightforward, however, understanding what papers to include and which category or streams gives your application the best chance of success can be a very complex and overwhelming process In addition to that these processes are very time sensitive, therefore, you must always be vigilant regarding anything that might be asked of you and provide those documents on a timely basis.

At Path Migration, we have dealt with any applications for South Australia state nominations and have always had a successful application. We take the time to carefully go through our clients’ documents and personal circumstances so that we are able to put forward an application that gives you the best chance of success.

Not only have we helped with applications for current students and recent graduates, but we have also assisted set up businesses in Australia for offshore applicants. We have also had a good many experiences with skilled individuals seeking permanent residency by highlighting how their work experiences are so well related to their current occupation and the occupation nominated.

If you are someone who is actively looking for permanent residency in Australia and would like professional consultation regarding your personal situation then do not hesitate to contact us. At Path Migration, we have a wonderful team of immigration lawyers who are highly experienced and specializes in migration law. To book your personalised consultation please contact us or email directly to

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