Skilled Visa Program closed until further notice

1 July 2020 was supposed to be the start of the new migration program year and the Australian Government was due to release 189, 190 and 491 visa quotas for the 2020-21 year. Instead the Skilled Visa Program is now closed and the Department of Home Affairs has not given the state governments their new General Skilled Migration (GSM) quotas.

This means that the State & Territory nomination program will remain temporarily CLOSED until the Commonwealth Governments allocation of state nomination places for 2020-21 takes place. As a consequence, State & Territory governments have no ability to nominate applicants in visa subclass 190 & visa subclass 491.

It also uncertain when 189 Skilled Independent Visa invitations will resume. The last published invitation round was in April 2020 with only 50 subclass 189 invitations as compared to 1750 invitations in March 2020.

The GSM 2020-21 program year is scheduled to re-open from early August however, changes to the composition of the Australian Migration program might be made in October under the new budget.

Due to the Coronavirus, the date for Federal Budget 2020-2021 has been delayed by the Federal Government – it will be handed down in Parliament on 6 October. The Federal Treasurer has advised that he will provide an update on the economic and fiscal outlook on 23 July.

In addition, any changes to the occupation list are unconfirmed.

Overview of all the Australian States and Territories

Northern Territory (NT)
Currently open. We are assuming that no nominations will be issued until the grant of new quota. New eligibility criteria in place for all applicants. Closed for offshore applicants.
Read our specific NT update here

Western Australia (WA)
Currently open. No updates yet from state authority. We are assuming that no nominations will be issued until the grant of new quota.

New South Wales (NSW)
Applications are open for 190 visa, closed for 491 visa. No nominations will be made until the allocation of new quota. The NSW Government states: “NSW is currently closed to applications for nomination under the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491).

NSW will open to new nominations once the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs provides us with an allocation of positions for 2020-21. Invitation rounds for NSW nomination under the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) will also commence at this time.

At this stage we are unable to advise when this will occur. Please continue to monitor our website for updates.”

Read here

Tasmania (TAS)
Application are open, but no nomination will be made until quota is received. The Tasmanian Government states: “The Australian Government has not yet allocated nomination quotas to the states and territories for the 2020-2021 program year. While applications for state nomination by Tasmania remain open and will continue to be considered, no nominations can be made in SkillSelect until quotas are allocated. Migration Tasmania currently does not have an indication of the size of the 2020 -2021 nomination quota and cannot guarantee all eligible applicants will be nominated.” Read here

Victoria (VIC)
State nomination applications are temporarily closed. You can still lodge an EOI and then lodge the state nomination application once the new quota is allocated. The Victorian Government states: “The Victorian Government’s state nomination program will remain temporarily closed while we await the Commonwealth Government’s allocation of state nomination places for 2020-21. In the meantime, you will not be able to apply for the following state nomination visas:

  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491) visa
  • Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa
  • Business Innovation stream (subclass 188A) (Provisional) visa
  • Investor stream (subclass 188B) (Provisional) visa
  • Significant Investor stream (subclass 188C) (Provisional) visa
  • Entrepreneur stream (subclass 188E) (Provisional) visa
  • Significant Business History (subclass 132A) (Permanent) visa
  • Venture Capital Entrepreneur (subclass 132B) (Permanent) visa

The 2020-21 Victorian state nomination program will open at a date to be advised after further advice from the Commonwealth Government.

You can still lodge your Expression of Interest (EOI) through the Commonwealth’s Department of Home Affairs SkillSelect system. An EOI will be required before you can apply for a Victorian visa nomination.

Read here

South Australia (SA)
Applications closed until early August. Will re-open subject to allocation of new quota. The South Australian Government states: “Our Skilled and Business Migration programs are scheduled to re-open from early August. This will be dependent on the Commonwealth Government’s allocation of state nomination places for program year 2020-21.”
Read here

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Program to be temporarily closed until quota received from the DOHA. The ACT Government states: “The ACT Nomination Program (including the Canberra Matrix) will remain temporarily closed while we await the Commonwealth Government’s allocation of state nomination places for 2020-21.”
Read here

Queensland (QLD)
Currently closed. Will reopen upon allocation of new quota. The Business & Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) states: “BSMQ has been advised by the Department of Home Affairs (HA) that it will not be in a position to open the 2020/21 migration program on 1 July 2020.

As a consequence, BSMQ’s business and skilled migration program will remain closed on 1 July 2020 until further notice. Please note:  BSMQ will not be accepting any Expressions of Interests (EOIs) submitted on Skillselect from 1 July 2020.  We will post an advice on this website, should the situation change.

BSMQ appreciates your patience in these challenging COVID-19 times. We thank you for your commitment to Queensland and look forward to opening the business and skilled migration program as soon as is possible.”

Read here

“Currently open” status

Currently open status implies that applicants meeting current criteria can apply for EOI and Nomination application if invited by state authority. However, nominations will only be issued once the quota is allocated to the respective state and territory for this financial year.

Who Will Be Affected?

There are no effects on those who already hold 189, 190 and 491 visas. Applicants who have previously received invitations will not be affected.

Applicants who have lodged EOIs and have not been invited may be affected.

We are still encouraging potential applicants to consider making the necessary preparations for when the program does re-open, which could include:

  • Skills assessments
  • English test
  • Gaining skilled employment
  • Gaining work experience in the relevant State or Territory

How we can help

We understand what impact this may have on thousands of applicants who have been preparing for a skilled visa application. If this affects you, please contact us and book an appointment for a consultation. We are Registered Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers and can assist you finding a solution for your immigration problems by putting a strategy in place that leads you to Permanent Residency and Citizenship in the fastest and most affordable way.

At Northern Immigration Australia, we are committed to staying informed with the changes in Australian immigration law and we will provide further updates as they arise.

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  1. Denis Ngeno on August 2, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Hello Northern Immigration Australia!
    Does it affect visa subclass 482?

    • Northern Immigration Australia on August 3, 2020 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Denis,
      The changes apply to the General Skills Migration (GSM) program which includes Subclasses 189, 190 and 491.
      Subclass 482 Visa is not affected yet. However, we are expecting changes to the Skills Occupation Lists which will impact migrants applying for the 482 Visa.
      You can subscribe to our newsletter here for regular updates, or book a consultation for advice and assistance here

  2. amandeep singh on August 24, 2020 at 6:27 am

    Dear Northern Immigration Australia,
    I was invited for 189 visa in Feb 2019 round, lodged my application in Apr 2019, still I don’t know when or if I will be granted 189 visa. Unfortunately, they have also impacted those whom they gave invitations more than 1 year back, but kept their applications on hold for so long when nothing happened, no contact. Can you help?

    • Northern Immigration Australia on August 24, 2020 at 8:05 am

      Dear Amandeep,
      Yes there are many people who are waiting to hear about their application. We are happy to look into your case and provide you with advice about what steps you can take. Please book a consultation with one of our Registered Migration Agents here
      We can speak with you via Skype, WhatsApp or Zoom.

  3. Nikhil Tom on September 21, 2020 at 6:17 am

    Hello Northern Immigration Australia!
    Any new updates on the release of quota to States and Territories, I’m looking for 190 and 491 Visa in Northern Territory and require assistance by a Registered Migration Agent. Are you able to help me with the application process?

    • Northern Immigration Australia on September 21, 2020 at 11:54 am

      Hi Nikhil,
      Thanks for your enquiry. We are expecting the Skilled Migration Program to reopen on 6 October 2020 – that’s only 2 weeks from now!
      Now is the time to start your application process, e.g. organise your documentation, apply for a skills assessment, take your English test, and start drafting the applications for EOI and Nomination.
      The 1st step is to book a consultation with one of our MARA Agents to assess your eligibility and make sure you are meeting all the requirements. Please book your appointment here
      We look forward to assisting you!

      • Nikhil Tom on September 21, 2020 at 9:40 pm

        Hello Northern Immigration Australia.

        Thanks for the reply.

        Do you also offer Skill assessment assistance? I completed my masters in Business Information Systems and looking forward to assess my skills from ACS.


        • Northern Immigration Australia on September 22, 2020 at 11:02 am

          Hello Nikhil,

          Yes, we can assist with anything to do with visas and immigration in Australia, including skills assessment.
          Speak soon!

  4. Sandhya on October 1, 2020 at 12:16 am

    Hello Northern Immigration Australia,

    When will state nomination visa be opened for offshore applicants? I am focusing mainly for Victoria. Also is there any realistic chances for getting invited for 65 points under ICT project manager category?? Awaiting your reply.
    Thanks and Regards.

    • Northern Immigration Australia on October 1, 2020 at 11:20 am

      Hi Sandhya,
      Thanks for your enquiry. There have been no official announcements yet from the Australian Government or Department of Home Affairs with regards to the reopening of the Skilled Migration program. We are expecting news next week though. So best you follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter. We are posting updates!
      With regards to your occupation: we are happy to provide you with advice and assistance regarding points and the application process. Please book your consultation here
      We look forward to helping you!

  5. Nikhil Tom on October 6, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Hi Northern Immigration Australia.
    Any updates with today’s budget? Is it going to be easier for people onshore with temporary visas? Any changes in quota?
    Your expert advice is much appreciated, thank you!

  6. Ayman Ragheb on November 9, 2020 at 2:10 am

    Dear Northern Immigration Australia,

    Thanks for keeping us informed and updated. Really appreciate your efforts as Migration Agents.

    Do you know, if 190 visas applications have resumed for nomination or is it still closed?

    If still closed, any expected date

    • Northern Immigration Australia on November 9, 2020 at 8:27 am

      Dear Ayman,

      You are very welcome! We are glad to hear you are finding it valuable.
      With regards to the 190 Visa and the General Skilled Migration program: it depends where you are (onshore or offshore?), and what state/territory you want to apply for.
      We are more than happy to provide you with detailed information, and assist you with your application. The 1st step is to book a consultation with one of our Registered Migration Agents!
      Speak soon.

  7. Jeena Susan on December 13, 2020 at 2:40 am

    Hi Northern Immigration Australia,
    Would like to know when will invitations start for offshore applicants? I am expecting 80 points for 190 visa which will get reduced to 70 by 2021 October. Any chances for me?

  8. Amelia Mayhew on March 19, 2021 at 2:02 am

    Hi Northern Immigration Australia!
    Do you know when the 190 visa will be open for offshore applicants again for NSW?

  9. Ray on April 3, 2021 at 3:17 am

    Hi Northern Immigration Australia!
    I’m turning 45 in November. I have a major in HR with more then 10 years work experience. Is there any chance for me to apply for Permanent Residency? I am offshore. Thank you!

    • Northern Immigration Australia on April 4, 2021 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Ray,
      Thanks for your enquiry. 45 is the age limit for most permanent visas. However, there are still some options such as for example the DAMA Visa which leads to PR over 45. Contact us to get the free e-book and to book your appointment for a consultation!

  10. Phillip Muir on July 25, 2021 at 4:32 am

    Hi Northern Immigration,

    Do you know when offshore applications will be accepted again?

    I would like to move to Australia as soon as possible.

    Thank you.

    • Northern Immigration Australia on November 3, 2021 at 7:39 pm

      Hi Phillip,

      Thanks for your query.

      Offshore applications will resume very soon! Now is the time to start preparing your visa application.
      The 1st step is to book in for a strategy & advice session so we can determine what the best visa option is for you and establish eligibility. Book your appointment here

  11. Stephanie Burns on October 27, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Hi Northern Immigration,

    Do you also assist with Skilled Visas in Queensland?


    • Northern Immigration Australia on November 3, 2021 at 7:25 pm

      Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks for your enquriy. Yes of course! We can assist with visas and immigration all around Australia, including Queensland!
      In fact, we have 2 offices in Queensland: Brisbane and Gold Coast. Contact us here for more advice – speak soon!

  12. Ranjani Alwis on October 27, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Hi Northern Immigration Australia,

    I want to know whether they have issued 189 invitations for October round. I applied with 90 points from software engineer WA.

    Thank you.

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