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Residency application made easier for international students in South Australia and ACT

April Dudgeon

Mon Mar 07 2016


NEW changes to state nomination requirements in South Australia and a revised skilled migration list in the ACT make applying for residency easier for international students and graduates. April Dudgeon has the story. 

Photo: Diana Parkhouse via Flickr

Recent changes to visa and immigration requirements in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory look to benefit international students applying for residency in these states and territories. | Photo: Diana Parkhouse via Flickr

Navigating the Australian visa system is rocky at the best of times, particularly for international students who have to prove themselves through long application processes and standardised tests, all in the hope of studying, working and staying in Australia.

Each state and territory also has its own process for nominating internationals for visas, and generally, nomination eligibility is related to what the particular government needs; using your studies, work and area of expertise (and how well you perform in that field) to determine if you have it.

Recently, two state and territory governments, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, announced changes to their visa nomination systems, which are important for international students (especially soon-to-be graduates) to know about.

South Australia has now made it easier for talented international students who have studied in the past two years to qualify for state nomination through the new ‘high-performing graduate’ category.

The SA government will offer state nomination to high-performing international graduates from the state’s public universities — Flinders University, University of Adelaide and University of South Australia — allowing them to claim exemptions from some English language and work experience requirements.

Under the new system, foreign students who currently live in South Australia and are applying for permanent residency will receive state nomination to assist in their applications provided they complete one of the following qualifications:

  • PhD. or Masters by Research.
  • GPA of 6.0 or above in a Masters by Coursework degree (following completion of a Bachelor degree in South Australia).
  • First Class Honours in a dedicated Honours year (following completion of a Bachelor degree in South Australia).
  • GPA of 6.0 or above in a Bachelor degree

From there, Immigration SA will offer state nomination to international graduates in South Australia who also meet the state and federal requirements for a 190 or 489 General Skilled Migration visa.

This news closely follows the announcement of the ACT government’s changes to their Skilled Migration program; releasing an updated list of in-demand occupations within the territory.

Canberra has opened its doors to migrants in several specialised fields, many of them previously closed, including:

  • Engineers
  • Journalists and PR professionals
  • Sales and marketing professionals
  • Psychologists & Nurses
  • Cafe/restaurant managers and Chefs

For a full list of occupations now open for application see the website.

These are only recent changes to criteria by two particular state and territory governments, but there is also existing framework within Victoria, which might help international P.H.D. graduates to fast-track their state nomination, as well as similar options in Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.