State Sponsored 190 and 491 visa programs to reopen in October 2020

The State Sponsored 190 and 491 visa programs are set to reopen after the Federal Budget is handed down on 6 October 2020.  At that time, the State and Territory Governments  will have received their nomination allocations for the remainder of the 2020 – 2021 financial year.

The number of nominations offered will limited and only given to applicants who possess the critical skills required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services in Australia and to support the delivery of services in sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery.

Due to the border closures a priority will be given to onshore applicants.  Applicants offered 190 or 491 State Sponsorship will need to be working in the following industries:

  • Medical
  • Building – critical infrastructure
  • Telecommunications
  • Engineering and Mining
  • Supply chain logistics
  • Agricultural technology
  • Food production
  • Maritime industry
  • Financial technology
  • Large scale manufacturing
  • Film and television production
  • Emerging technology

Each State and Territory Government will be releasing their own occupation lists and eligibility criteria in the coming months.   

Invitations for State Sponsored 190 and 491 visas will only be offered to a very limited number of applicants.    Onshore applicants are encouraged to explore all other visa options including employer sponsorship, student, family or tourist visas to extend their stay in Australia.     At this stage, relying on state sponsorship is not a strong migration plan.

How do I extend my tourist visa?

 Under Australian migration law, it is not possible to extend a Visitor visa or ETA.  You must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.   In most cases, if you can support yourself, you can apply to remain in Australia as a Visitor (tourist stream).

If your tourist visa is expiring, you are unable to return home because of entry restrictions and you can’t meet the requirements for another visa, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa. You’ll need to demonstrate why you can’t meet the requirements for another visa, including a Visitor visa. This could include a statement and evidence that you do not have access to sufficient funds to be able to pay another visa application charge (VAC).

What is the Covid-19 Pandemic Event 408 Visa?

The Covid-19 Pandemic Event visa is a temporary visa allowing a maximum stay of 12 months.  There is no application fee and it is only available to onshore applicants.

You must have no other visa options and are unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and you wish to continue your current employer in critical sectors including agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care and child care and no Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident can be found to fill the position.

Medical Professionals who are making employment arrangements in the health care sector can also apply for this visa.

You may also qualify for this visa is you cannot return to your home country and you have no other visa options.  Applicants under this category will not receive work rights.