FAQs About Skilled State Nomination and Visas

General skilled nomination questions

How much does it cost to apply for state nomination?

There is no charge to apply for state nomination. There is a fee to lodge your visa application with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) though.  For more information regarding DIBP visa charges, visit the DIBP website.

What is a State Migration Plan?

The Victorian Government has a formal agreement with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), concerning the state nomination of skilled migrants to Victoria under the Skilled Nominated (190) visa and Skilled Regional (489) visa. This agreement is called the State Migration Plan.

What are the conditions of Victorian Government state nomination?

Applicants nominated by the Victorian Government agree to live and work in the state of Victoria for a period of two years and must advise the Skilled and Business Migration Program of their contact details prior to arriving in Victoria as well as after arriving for the period of two years.  Applicants are required to complete an email survey upon arrival and at six monthly intervals for the two years after arrival. 

When does the two year commitment to Victoria for nomination begin?

The commitment commences on the date that you arrive in Victoria to live permanently on your permanent residence (PR) visa.  For skilled onshore applicants the commitment begins at the time of visa grant.

Where in Victoria does a state nominated visa allow me to live?

The Skilled Nominated (190) visa is a permanent visa allowing you to live and work anywhere in the state of Victoria, including Melbourne. 

The Skilled Regional (489) visa is a provisional three year visa during which you must live and work in regional Victoria (this does not include Melbourne) to meet the criteria for the second stage permanent residency visa.

What are your processing times?

The current processing time is approximately 12 weeks upon receipt of a completed application.  Periods where applicant information is outstanding is not included in this estimation. Processing times vary between occupations, dependent upon assessment procedures. 

How long is state nomination valid for?

If your nomination application is successful you will have four months to confirm you wish to accept state nomination, and lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect.

If you have registered your EOI on SkillSelect and you are nominated by the Victorian Government, you will automatically receive an invitation to apply for your visa from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), subject to occupation ceilings. You should inform the Victorian Government when you make your visa application to DIBP.  Visit the SkillSelect website to find out the latest information.

How much money do I need to migrate to Victoria?

The amount of money you will need to bring with you to migrate to Victoria will depend on your individual circumstances and the type of visa you apply for. As part of the application for Victorian Government nomination you will be required to provide a real estimate of the total funds you have available for migration purposes. 

We do not require evidence of the resources at the time of application however this may be requested from you at any time during the nomination commitment.  We expect that applicants will answer the question completely and accurately and failure to do so may result in an unsuccessful application.  Failure to completely and accurately answer this question is a common reason for refusal of state nomination applications.  Applications completed incorrectly will not be given consideration.

We strongly encourage you to research the cost of living in Victoria to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your settlement. Find out more about the cost of living in Victoria.

What is the English language requirement?

To be eligible for Victorian Government state nomination, applicants are required to have at least 'competent' English, which means a score of at least six in each band level for an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) assessment or a score of at least ‘C’ in an Occupational English Test (OET) assessment. Eligibility requirements for some occupations may include a higher standard of English.  This is indicated on the State Nomination Occupation Lists for Victoria.  The Victorian Government does not participate in the English language concession.  

Refer to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection's website for information regarding the English language levels.

Is an English language assessment required as part of my nomination application?

All applicants must provide a copy of their English language assessment at the time of application unless they are passport holders and citizens of the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, United States of America, or the Republic of Ireland.    

A General or Academic IELTS result will be accepted however the score requirement for nomination is the same for each. 

Note that certain occupations require a higher standard of English for the purpose of state nomination; check the State Nomination Occupation Lists for Victoria for details.  The Victorian Government does not participate in the English language concession.

Does the Victorian Government accept English language tests other than IELTS?

Yes, the Victorian Government will accept all English language assessments that may be used for a Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) visa application.  These include IELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic. If providing an alternative test, the IELTS equivalent must be met. Visit the DIBP website for a translation of test scores.

I am a health practitioner with an Occupational English Test (OET) assessment. Can this be used instead of an IELTS assessment?

If you are a health practitioner, an OET assessment can be used in the place of an IELTS assessment.

Ensure that you attach your OET assessment certificate when completing the application form. 

Are there any situations in which a higher English language requirement may be waived?

All applicants must obtain at least an IELTS six in each band (or equivalent for alternative English language tests), however applicants who meet the following criteria are not required to meet a higher English language requirement as indicated on the Occupation Lists:

  • applicants who are currently working in their nominated occupation in Victoria and have done so for more than six months 
  • applicants applying under the 457 streamlined pathway  
  • applicants applying with a PhD.

Does Victoria have any ‘off-list nominations’ available?

The Victorian Government has already incorporated any extra nominations allocated from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) into the occupation lists.  Therefore to be eligible for state nomination you must have an occupation on the State Nomination Occupation Lists.  Note that applicants with a PhD from a Victorian University may nominate any occupation on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL).

My occupation is not on the Occupation Lists, will it be added?

Unfortunately, we are unable to advise you if and when your occupation may be added to the Occupation Lists.  Refer to the Occupation Lists page for any updates.

What documents are required as part of my nomination application?

As part of your online application you must attach a/an:

  • detailed resume/CV
  • nomination declaration – available to download in the initial stages of the application
  • offer of employment and confirmation of employment form – if applicable.  Note, this is mandatory if you are applying for Skilled Regional nomination
  • skill(s) assessment – a matching skills assessment in your occupation is a required document at the time of lodging your state nomination application
  • IELTS or OET assessment (unless you are exempt)
  • electronic copy of the PhD completion letter (if applicable)
  • electronic copy of your 457 visa documents (if applicable).

The following documents are not required at the initial time of application, however they may be requested during the assessment process:

  • trade qualification/certificates.

What skill assessment do I need to provide?

Information about the skill assessment required for each occupation is available on the Occupations page or visit the Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI) on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Am I required to provide a full skills assessment?

Yes, all applicants must provide a full skills assessment.  A skills assessment relevant for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) will not be sufficient.

Can I lodge my nomination application without my skill assessment?

A matching skills assessment in your occupation is a required document at the time of lodging your application for state nomination under the Skilled Nominated (190) visa and the Skilled Regional (489) visa.

If I have my skill assessment does that mean I will be granted state nomination?

No, this is only one stage in the nomination application process.

Must I provide a job offer?

Having a job offer is not always a mandatory requirement of Victorian nomination – it depends on your occupation, the visa and type of nomination you are applying for and your personal circumstances. To find out if you need a job offer, check the minimum eligibility requirements of your nomination type and the relevant Occupation List.

What must I provide as an offer of employment?

If you are required to provide an offer of employment, it must be for a minimum of six months and can be part time or full time work in your nominated occupation. Casual work is not accepted. You should provide a copy of your offer letter or contract and this must display the company details, including the Australian Business Number (ABN).  You must also provide a Confirmation of Employment Form (this is available to download in the initial stages of the online application).

Should I get a migration agent?

It is not necessary to use a migration agent but if you choose to we would advise you to use only a registered agent.  You can find further information about using an agent on the Using a Migration Agent page.

I wish to find an employer to sponsor me, can you help?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a recruitment service and cannot assist you in finding employment.  If you have an employer who is willing to sponsor you under an employer sponsored visa, you should contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) about the most appropriate pathway.

I wish to apply for a de-facto visa, can you help?

We are unable to assist in this matter please refer to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for information on relevant visa pathways.

How do I sponsor a family member to come and live in Australia?

We are unable to assist in this matter, please refer to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for information on relevant visa pathways.

How can I visit Australia on a working holiday visa?

We are unable to assist in this matter, please refer to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for information on relevant visa pathways.

I am currently living in another state/territory of Australia outside of Victoria - am I eligible to apply?

Yes, although applicants who have been living in, or demonstrate strong ties with, another state other than Victoria are required to provide a current offer of employment in their nomination occupation in Victoria.

I am a PhD graduate, can I apply for state nomination?

In order to be eligible for state nomination with a PhD, applicants will need to either:

  • have completed a PhD at a Victorian University in an occupation on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL) in the past five years, or
  • have completed a PhD of a recognised standard (as determined by the relevant skill assessing authority) from an overseas university, in a field relating to an occupation on the State Nomination Occupation List for Victoria in the past five years.

Is there a work experience requirement for applicants applying with a PhD?

No, applicants applying under the PhD cohort are not required to have any previous work experience for the purpose of Victorian Government nomination.  However, some skill assessing authorities require at least twelve months of experience in order to obtain the full skills assessment.

I have a PhD from an Australian university outside of Victoria - am I eligible to apply?

Yes, although applicants with a PhD outside of Victoria must nominate an occupation on the State Nomination Occupation List for Victoria.  Additionally, applicants who have been living in, or demonstrate strong ties with, another state other than Victoria are required to provide of a current offer of employment in their nomination occupation in Victoria.

Can I apply for nomination before I have completed my PhD?

Applicants applying under the PhD cohort may only apply once they have completed their PhD.  Applicants must be able to provide an electronic copy of their completion letter or transcript.  A notice of submission will not be sufficient for nomination purposes.

Skilled Nominated (190) visa questions

Am I eligible to apply for nomination for the Skilled Nominated (190) visa?

To be eligible for state nomination you must have an occupation on the Victorian Government Nomination Occupation Lists and meet the occupation specific requirements stated on the list.  You must also have a minimum of two years work experience (unless otherwise specified) and an IELTS score of a six in each band (unless otherwise specified).

Which occupation list should I refer to?

International Graduates who have recently graduated (within the past two years) from an Australian Education institution should refer to the State Nomination Occupation List for Graduates. All other applicants should refer to the State Nomination Occupation List for Victoria. See the Occupation Lists page. In addition to the general minimum eligibility requirements, applicants must meet any specific requirements indicated for their nominated occupation.

What are the work requirements?

To be eligible for state nomination you must have a minimum of two years paid work experience in your nominated occupation, after obtaining your qualifications, unless otherwise stated. 

Does the work experience I gained prior to qualification count?

We only count paid work experience 'post-qualification' toward the minimum work experience requirement. You should still include any 'pre-qualification' work experience on your resume for industry assessment purposes.

I live in Australia at the moment; can I apply for the Skilled Nominated (190) visa?

Yes. Intending migrants who are invited to apply for this visa, through SkillSelect, may be either in or outside of Australia, when they apply or at the time the visa is decided.

Can I live in Melbourne on this visa?

The Skilled Nominated (190) visa allows you to live and work anywhere in Victoria including Melbourne.    

Skilled Regional (489) visa questions

Am I eligible for state nomination for a Skilled Regional (489) visa to live in regional Victoria?

To be eligible for Victorian Government state nomination under the Skilled Regional (489) visa you must have an offer of employment in a regional area and in an occupation on the Victorian Government Nomination Occupation List, and meet any other criteria relevant to your nominated occupation.

What areas are considered regional?

These are areas in Victoria outside of metropolitan Melbourne. You may check by viewing the eligible postcodes on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website.

Can I live/work in Melbourne (a metropolitan area) for the Skilled Regional (489) visa? 

No, you must live and work in regional Victoria, which does not include Melbourne.

Can I live in New South Wales (NSW) if it borders on Victoria for the Skilled Regional (489) visa?

A location such as Albury Wodonga is accepted as it is on both sides of the border.  For all other queries contact the Skilled and Business Migration Program.

Can my spouse live/work in Melbourne?

No, if they have a dependent regional visa they must also live and work in regional Victoria. 

Can my children go to school in Melbourne?

No, if they have a dependent regional visa they must go to school in regional Victoria.