I am an Irish qualified bricklayer in Sydney on a temporary visa looking to apply for permanent residence. I see options for the state nominated or independent visas. Is there any advantage in applying via state nomination? Which is the better option for me?
Yes, the “skill select” system’s independent or state nominated visa options are open to application from in or outside Australia.
To start, check if your occupation is on immigration’s current Skilled Occupations List (SOL). SOL occupations are eligible to
apply independently and through state/employer nominated routes.
Bricklayers are not currently on the SOL, but are on the bigger Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL). CSOL listed occupations are eligible to apply for the state or employer nominated permanent visas but not through the independent route. So as a bricklayer, the state nominated route is the next best option to employer nomination.
The Skill Select System requires you to have at least 60 points to make an “expression of interest” (EOI) application for the preferred visa. Points can be claimed for age, qualifications, work experience and English language ability.
Some positives for the state nominated option are that an extra five points are available for the nomination, and may be critical to getting to the 60 point minimum eligibility.
Getting a state nomination approval means immigration will invite you to apply for your visa right away.
One possible downside is that you must commit to living in the nominating state for the first two years of the visa. Each state has different lists of occupations they sponsor and in some cases additional requirements such as minimum years of experience. Some ask you to have access to ‘relocation funds’.
NSW is not accepting permanent nomination applications until the new migration program year starts in July. At this time, expect NSW and other state governments to release new lists of occupations they will sponsor.
If you are in Australia, it’s best to look at the state you are living in as you may have problems convincing another state government that you genuinely intend to relocate. Applicants outside Australia need to show that they have researched their preferred state in some detail.
If lodging an EOI for the independent visa (without a state nomination) you have to wait for an invitation to apply for the visa.
Every month, DIBP sweep the EOIs, picking the highest points scorers first. However, recent DIBP reports show many EOI applicants with the base 60 points getting
This independent route can mean waiting for several months for an invitation and unlike the state nominated option, there is no guarantee of receiving an invitation.
To make the free EOI application, a migration skills assessment and in some cases an English language test are needed. These steps will determine how you reach the 60
points score and eligibility. So there will be some costs to get to the point of EOI.
When you get the visa application in, DIBP processing is currentlyaround three months. Bridging
visas are granted to anyone who
has applied for the visa while in
Getting the migration skills
assessment can take from four
weeks to four months depending
on your occupation. Allow four
to six weeks to obtain the English
language test score.
Understanding how you can meet
the points is critical so consider
asking a registered migration agent
for a personal assessment
Send your immigration questions to John at firstname.lastname@example.org.