The Opera house and harbour bridge marks an unforgettable skyline amid vibrant city lights, contrasted by and in full harmony with the gorgeous beaches cradling the harbour, Sydney is the stuff of dreams.

The basic rules apply with applying for any state sponsored 190 visa . You must be on the NSW occupation list and have a suitable skills assessment, satisfy both NSW’s eligibility criteria and meet the minimum Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) score of 60 on the points test (inclusive of the 5 extra points you get for state sponsorship) and other base requirements, and be able to commit to living and working in the NSW for at least the first two years upon your move to Australia should your visa be granted.

It is without a doubt that the NSW state sponsored 190 visa  is hotly contested, and unlike other states, you must wait for an invitation from NSW to apply for state sponsorship. This new selection process  started in February 2015; an application for NSW state nomination starts with a submission of Expression of Interest (EOI) after which you must wait for the state’s invitation before you can apply for state nomination. NSW scoops from the cream of the crop, so you’ll be wanting to submit a strong (high point score) entry. This means that although you may have that extra 5 points from being state nominated, you’re on the same level as anyone else also vying for a NSW sponsorship.


state sponsorship nsw

So what does NSW want?

NSW has two streams for its 190 visa programme:

Stream 1: Occupations on the NSW 190 Priority Skilled Occupation List
Stream 2: High scorers on the points test for CSOL occupations

NSW only takes the best of the best. While other states are focused on their individual occupation lists, NSW has created the opportunity for those who are not on the NSW occupation list but are highly skilled, to give NSW state nomination a go, with the exception of the following CSOL occupations: [241213] Primary School Teachers, [251513] Retail Pharmacists, [312111] Architectural Draftpersons, [251512] Industrial Pharmacists, [251511] Hospital Pharmacists and [232111] Architects. Those on stream 1 however will be given precedence.An application will be ranked according to:

  1.   Occupation
  2.   Points scored on the points test
  3.   English language ability
  4.   Skilled employment

Unlike the ACT state sponsorships, NSW does not look at how ‘connected’ you are to the state. There are no benefits to those who have studied in Sydney or have job offers in Sydney. The best way to increase the probability of your being invited would be to look at ways you might raise your points score. Can you:

  • Get more points with a better English result? This is one aspect that NSW would actually judge your application on. A superior English test result gives you a massive 20 points and would surely put you ahead of the pack.
  • Do you have the evidence needed to claim skilled employment? Whilst NSW does not make it mandatory to have a skilled employment assessment from the assessing authority presiding over your nominated occupation, it is preferred, and what do we always say? When it comes to the provision of evidence, excess is better! Do note that if you are an IT professional, your skills assessment must show ‘Skill Level Requirement Met Date’. Skilled employment can only be claimed after this date, should you wish to.
  • If you are currently on a substantive visa, you could consider taking a professional year . This is for those in nominated occupations in the field of IT, accounting and engineering only.

Your EOI absolutely must be accurate. You cannot claim for points that you do not have or do not have/cannot evidence as yet. Applications that fall short of the EOI submission will be rejected.



Your EOI is submitted via SkillSelect and is valid for 2 years. It is important to keep your EOI well updated and to regularly check on any changes that might have been made to NSW’s occupation list(s) and other eligibility criteria. If you do receive an invitation, truly well done. You must submit your application for state nomination within 14 days of receiving the invitation. This is a fair bit less time that other states tend to offer, but why waste time anyway? Monitor that email! Check your junk folder.

Look at that! You are waiting for an email that you cannot afford to miss.

The NSW migration site provides an average processing time of state applications at 12 weeks. Application fees are non-refundable.

Not that any visa application should be embarked on without an all-serious attitude, but the demand for NSW state sponsorships demands that your EOI and applications all be done to perfection. If you are unsure, we highly recommend that you engage a professional and experienced migration agent. Messing up an application could set your plans for your future in Australia back more than you expect.