Are you thinking of moving to Western Australia (WA), can’t find your occupation on the General Skilled Migration (GSM) list for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) or are looking for a way to earn more points on the GSM points test? The nominated visas are a fantastic option to consider.

  • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)

For the above two visas, WA has two streams being the General stream and the Graduate stream.

The Skilled Work Regional 491 visa replaced the Skilled Regional 489 visa effective 16 November. The Skilled Work Regional 491 visa allows its holder to stay in Australia for 5 years. A holder has a pathway to permanent residency once completing 3 years in a regional area via the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) given that other requirements are also satisfied. The Permanent Resident 191 visa will come into effect from 16 November 2022.

Read: Major Changes from November Affecting the Skilled Migration Visas

These state sponsored visas are subject to requirements by the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) as well as requirements by the sponsoring State/Territory. An individual who is sponsored by a state or regional area is expected to work and reside in that area for a specified period of time.

What you get in return is access to a list of occupations that you may not find on the Skilled Independent 189 visa list as well as extra points on the GSM points test (5 or 15 points). You will also receive expedited processing by the DOHA.

Western Australia’s occupation list

Interestingly, the Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List (WASMOL) has only 18 occupations and is rather small in comparison to the one offered to those on the graduate stream which has 136 occupations.

The link below will send you to WA’s official migration site, where you will find the list which shows which visas are available to which occupations. Certain occupations are listed as ‘Regional WA only’ which can be misleading. Remember all of WA is actually a Designated Regional Area (including Perth) but WA has their own regional lists which relate to specific occupations.  This affects the job offer requirement which we expand upon below.


Graduate Stream
A Western Australian qualification

You will need to have gained one of the following qualifications or a combination of studies from accredited educational institutions in Western Australia.

  • a university or higher education qualification (registered by TEQSA). This includes a PhD, Masters, Bachelor or higher degree (Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma); and/or
  • a vocational education and training (VET) qualification at a Certificate III level or above (registered by ASQA).
At least two years study in Western Australia

You must have studied at an accredited Western Australian educational institution, full-time and face-to-face, for at least two years. You can use study from different qualifications to make up the two years. This can include university/higher education; VET (Certicate III level); and/or English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS). This is two years living and studying in Western Australia.

Accredited Western Australian university or higher education providers

The university or higher education provider must be:

You must include the address and postcode for the university or campus where you completed your study in your Expression of Interest.

Current approved universities with a Western Australian campus are:

  • Central Queensland University;
  • Curtin University;
  • Edith Cowan University;
  • Murdoch University;
  • Southern Cross University;
  • University of Notre Dame Australia; and
  • University of Western Australia.

Contact to check current approved Higher Education  providers.

Accredited Vocational Education and Training (VET) institutions

The VET institution must be:

  • registered with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). You can check if your institution is registered on the websiteand
  • have a campus in Western Australia, where students study full time, through face to face delivery.

You must include the address and postcode for the institution/s or campus where you completed your study in your Expression of Interest.

Contact to check current approved VET providers.

Accredited English language program – English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS).

The English language program must be:

Contact to check current approved ELICOS providers.

General Stream Western Australia state sponsorship requirements 

Applying for the Skilled Nominated 190 visa and the Skilled Work Regional 491 visas are very similar which the major difference being the occupations available to the different visas as well as the requirement to be in WA or be in a regional part of WA.

  • Meet English language proficiency requirement
  • Meet work experience requirement
  • Must have an accepted job offer in WA for at least 12 months from the date of application
  • Have sufficient settlement funds

English language requirement

Whilst the minimum is to have competent English, WA does ask that those who are nominating an occupation is one that falls under the ANZSCO Major Occupation Group 1 (Managers) or ANZSCO Major Occupation Group 2 (Professionals) to have Proficient English.

Work experience requirement

WA requires that are you able to claim at least 5 points for your work experience on the GSM points test. This requirement gives you points on the points test!

To earn these 5 points, you must:

  • Have at least 1 year of Australian work experience in your nominated occupation or one that is closely related in the last 10 years before applying, or
  • Have at least 3 years of overseas work experience in your nominated occupation or one that is closely related in the last 10 years before applying

Work experience must be:

  • Post qualification, that is, after you have completed your studies
  • Paid employment (volunteer work or internships are not counted)
  • Must have required you to complete at least 20 hours of work per week
  • One that had the roles and responsibilities similar to and at the skill level required for the ANZSCO description of the occupation you are nominating

Professional Year Programmes (PYPs) or work placement do not count under work experience under completed post qualification.

Accepted job offer

You will also need to have been offered a full time job in WA and have accepted that job. The evidence you show should be a signed contract of employment. The job should be for at least 12 months from the date of your application for state nomination. In this case, full time is taken to be for at least 35 hours of work per week. You may provide two employment contracts which equal at least 35 hours of work per week.

Certain occupations on the occupation lists (those marked as Regional WA only) require that your job be located in Category 2 Regional Areas, these postcodes are even more specific that those provided above. If nominating an occupation that is thus marked, you will need an occupation in postcodes:

  • 6041 to 6044
  • 6084
  • 6207
  • 6213
  • 6215 to 6537
  • 6560 to 6770

Sufficient settlement funds

This is required if you live outside of WA (this includes you being in another state). The amounts are what WA has determined as sufficient to cover your settlement into WA and living costs for 3 months. The required funds are:

  • $20,000 for a single
  • $30,000 for a couple
  • A further $5,000 for every additional dependent

You will of course be asked to demonstrate that you possess the minimum settlement funds and must be able to provide evidence through bank statements or asset valuations.

  • Bank statements;
  • Share ownership documents;
  • Statements of pensions, leave payments or other entitlements that are cashable when you leave or exit your home country;
  • Property – proof of ownership, including title deeds, current mortgage statement or rates notice; formal asset valuation from a licensed valuer or real estate agent;
  • Jewellery – formal valuation from a jeweller; and
  • Motor vehicles – registration papers; any outstanding loan statements; formal valuation such as from an insurance company or licensed car salesperson.

Application for either stream

  1. Submit your EOI visa SkillSelect and select WA as your preferred state
  2. If you are lucky WA will contact you directly to receive an invitation to apply for state nomination
  3. Apply for state nomination within 28 days
  4. If successful, receive an invitation by the DOHA to lodge your visa application
  5. If successful, receive your visa grant

The application fee is $200. WA cites that decision ready applications are processed largely within 28 days, this subject of course to the volume of applications that are needed to be processed and your application being in tip top condition.

Would you like some help getting your application decision ready? Are you interested in finding out more about WA or other state nomination criteria? Australia Immigration Law Services at your service! Contact us for a tailored consultation. We are often able to provide you with unexpected solutions or more visa options. Helping our client achieve their dreams are our number 1 priority. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.