South Australia rolls out changes to migration programme

Onshore applicants now need to undergo Registration of Interest process

South Australia rolls out changes to migration programme

The South Australian government is introducing a Registration of Interest (ROI) process to onshore skilled workers following a massive reduction in its visa nomination allocations.

According to the Skilled & Business Migration portal, the ROI process is introduced under the General Skilled Migration Programme (GSM) to manage strong demand from potential applicants living and working in the state amid limited allocation of nomination places.

"This means potential applicants must submit a ROI and be invited to apply for state nomination by South Australia. Potential applicants cannot apply for state nomination directly," the portal said.

This change brings South Australia in line with all other jurisdictions, except the Northern Territory, a government spokesperson told SBS.

According to the government portal, retention of South Australia's international graduates and temporary visa holders will be prioritised.

"Experienced overseas workers with skills in high demand in South Australia, such as Trades and Construction, Defence, Health, Education, Natural and Physical Science and Social and Welfare Professionals will be targeted through invitations to apply for South Australian nomination," the portal said.

No changes for offshore applicants

On the other hand, the process for offshore applicants remains the same, with the state to invite candidates to apply for nomination via Expressions of Interest that is submitted in SkillSelect.

There are over 290 applications open to offshore skilled workers.

The government said it is in search of highly skilled overseas workers who can contribute to the state's fast-growing industries and projects of national priority. They should have:

  • experience working in the defence industry, and/or
  • highly specialised skills in the digital and critical technologies sectors.

Reduced allocations

The changes to the government's GSM programme follow the "substantial reduction" in the visa nomination allocations for 2023-2024.

This year, only 2,300 nomination places have been provided, including 1,100 spots for Subclass 190 visas and 1,200 spots for Subclass 491 visas.

This total is much lower than the 8,800 places allocated in 2022-23, which the government met after nominating thousands of skilled migrants across 357 different occupations last year.

The state's GSM programme wants to help South Australia build a diverse, skilled workforce, and assist businesses with their workforce needs.

"This supports the development of the State's priority sectors and powers the economic growth of regional communities," the government said.

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