The Tasmanian State Government offers arguably the most convenient pathways to permanent residency among all the states and territories of Australia. In early July, the Tasmanian State government announced reforms to its Tasmania State Nomination Policy. The reforms are intended to ensure that skilled migrants moving to Tasmania have a commitment to remain in the state and that they are filling genuine skills shortages for the relevant industry.
What is changing?
Tasmania State Nominations from 1 July 2017:
- New category for overseas applicants (489 visa only): A new category for the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) has been introduced for Tasmanian Government state nomination. Overseas (offshore) applicants will be eligible to apply under this new category.
- Changes to eligibility for ‘Category 3 – Family in Tasmania’: Applicants with eligible family members residing in Tasmania will only be eligible for Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) nomination.
Applicants applying through TSOL sub-category will need to meet a set of requirements on their occupations, English proficiency, financial situation and other criteria. They will also need to show evidence that there are sufficient employment opportunities in their occupation in Tasmania.
The ‘Job Offer’ sub-category requires applicants to have a formal job offer from an eligible employer for a job that is based in Tasmania and is in-line with the nominated occupation.
From 1 August 2017:
- Labour market testing for ‘Category 2 – Job Offer’ (489 visa only): For Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) nomination, employers offering employment for a position at ANZSCO skill level 4 or below will need to provide evidence of genuine attempts to recruit workers from the domestic labour market.
From 1 October 2017:
- Three months prior employment requirement for ‘Category 2 – Job Offer’ (BOTH 190 and 489 visa): On-shore applicants with employment in Tasmania will only be eligible for nomination if they have been working in Tasmania for three months prior to lodging their application for state nomination.
On-shore applications through the Job Offer category, will require employers to show evidence of their efforts to recruit from the local job market. From 1 October, the Job Offer category will also require on-shore applicants to demonstrate they have completed three months prior employment in the position. This new requirement will make the ‘Job Offer’ category for both 489 and 190 applications more difficult for on-shore applicants from 1 October 2017.
From 1 January 2018:
- Two-year study requirement (190 visa only): Applicants will need to have completed two years of study at a CRICOS-registered Tasmanian tertiary institution instead of one year.
- Please refer to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Australian study requirement as to what constitutes two years of study. If the applicant is claiming regional study points with DIBP, they would meet the two-year study requirement.
- One-year study requirement remains in place for provisional visa nomination (489 visa).
Many international students who moved to Tasmania to take advantage of the one-year study requirement were shocked by the increase in the requirement from 1 January 2018 to a minimum of two-years full time study. However, after announcing these changes, the Tasmania State Government amended the reforms and added the following clarification:
Current international students who have commenced an eligible course in a CRICOS registered Tasmanian tertiary institution before 31 July 2017 will NOT be affected by the changes to the Tasmanian Graduate Category (190 visa). If enrolled prior to 31 July 2017, requirements introduced on 1 January 2018 will not be applicable and the following requirements need to be met in order to be eligible for 190 visa nomination:
- completed and graduated from a CRICOS registered tertiary institution in Tasmania. The course undertaken:
- must be either a degree (a bachelor or any higher degree), a diploma, an advanced diploma, or a trade qualification (minimum Cert III level for a skilled occupation in Major Group 3 in ANZSCO)
- must have a minimum duration of one academic year (40 weeks)
- must be full time and on site in Tasmania.
- currently in Tasmania and lived in the state for at least 12 months during your period of study (evidence needs to be provided);
All other applications will be assessed in accordance with Tasmania’s nomination requirements at the time of lodgement. Applicants who have lodged their applications for state nomination before the listed dates for changes will not be affected.
It is important that applicants ensure their applications take into account these dates and contain the correct and appropriate information.
For students who will be affected, they will still be able to apply for the Subclass 489 visa after 1 January 2018. The Subclass 489 visa allows you and your family to temporarily reside in Australia with a pathway to Permanent Residency (PR) upon satisfying further requirements.
Subclass 489 visa – Temporary Provisional Residency
The Subclass 489 – Skilled visa is a 4-year provisional visa. The visa requires you to commit to residing in the sponsoring State for 2 years from visa approval. The visa also includes a condition requiring you to reside in a ‘regional area’, which is broadly defined as anywhere other than Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Central Coast, Wollongong and some areas surrounding the major cities.
In order to obtain Nomination by a State or Territory, you must make a number of commitments for a period of 2 years following visa approval. These are:
- Live and work in the State or Territory that nominated you for at least two years. Your visa may be cancelled if you do not comply with this condition.
- Keep the State or Territory informed of any changes to your address.
- Complete surveys and provide information when asked by the State or Territory.
Subclass 887 visa – Permanent Residency
After relevant conditions have been met, you will be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Skilled Regional (Residence) visa (Subclass 887) after the following conditions have been met.
Contact us if you wish to know more about Tasmania State Nomination and pathways to permanent residency.
For detailed information on the Tasmanian reforms, please refer to the Department of State Growth Fact Sheet.
For detailed current requirements on state nomination, please visit the Migration Tasmania website.
This post is for information purposes only and does not constitute immigration advice. Hammond Taylor recommend that you seek tailored immigration advice prior to taking any action.