NSW State Migration

The article discusses the eligibility requirements and process of applying for NSW State Migration. It will discuss recent trends, why is it so popular, the eligibility requirements and the selection process.


What is State Migration

You apply for NSW State Nomination when you are applying for the Skilled (or State) Nominated – Subclass 190 visa. This is a permanent visa that allows you to live and work permanently in Australia. There is a separate process to apply for Regional Nomination for the Skilled Work Regional Visa – Subclass 491

Each state or territory has its own specific list of occupations. This is separate from the Immigration national lists (STSOL or MLTSSL). The NSW Occupation List are occupations that have been identified by the NSW as in need in that state.



You will be applying for the general skilled migration visa – Subclass 190. You need to meet these standards visa requirements:

  • Under the age of 45
  • Have a positive skills assessment
  • English test requirement


You will also need to meet the specific NSW Nomination Requirements:

  • Your occupation must be on the NSW Occupation List
  • Generally speaking, for most occupations, NSW does not need you to have a job offer or be currently based in NSW
  • You must have received at least 65 points on the points test
  • Certain other occupations may also have individual requirements (you can check on the Occupation List website.)
  • From Jan 2020  NSW will generally not invite applicants for nomination by NSW for a Skilled Nominated Visa (190) if they are currently residing in another Australian state or territory.



  1. Pass a Full Skill Assessment in your nominated occupation
  2. Lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through immigration Skill Select website. On the EOI you will need to select NSW as the state that you will be willing to work in.
  3. You must then wait to receive an invitation from NSW Migration to apply for State Migration. (There is no set timeframe to expect an invitation after submitting an EOI. NSW Migration states, “there is no waiting list or queue of candidates to be invited. Invitations are not guaranteed and the number of candidates who have submitted EOIs far outweighs the number of places available in our program.”
  4. Once you receive an invitation via email, you will have 14 days to provide NSW Migration the requested documentation. The documentation required would include evidence of skills assessment, work experience, qualifications, English ability, commitment statements
  5. If nominated, you will receive an invitation to apply for the 190 visa from Immigration. This invitation is valid for 60 days


How does NSW Migration select the Applicants:

If your occupation is on the NSW list and you meet the requirements, it doesn’t guarantee you will receive an invitation.  This is a competitive process and there is no set waiting list to apply for NSW nomination, but rather a pool of candidates which is constantly changing.

NSW generally selects the highest-ranking candidates who meet the NSW nomination criteria in each specific occupation. They don’t necessarily select the highest points.

NSW Migration will consider such factors as:

  • Points Score
  • English language ability
  • Skilled employment

However, NSW Migration will also give weight to factors such as:

  • Is the occupation on NSW Priority Skilled Occupation List?
  • What is the demand for the specific occupation in NSW?
  • What other applicants have applied for NSW Migration and what points do they have?
  • Do you have a genuine commitment to living and working in the state?


For the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) immigration generally, select the highest points (regardless of occupation). So 80% or more of the applicants who receive an invitation for the skilled independent visa are engineers, accountants or computing professionals (as these are often the professions with the highest points)

However, NSW Migration focuses specifically on what the demand for the state is. NSW would like a variety of different occupations, so quite often applicants with lower scores will receive an invitation. For example: a tiler might receive an invitation with 65 points. Where as, an engineer might not receive an invitation with 80 points.


Recent Trends

Recently we have noticed that NSW migration nomination is becoming increasingly more difficult to obtain. As immigration is trying to encourage applicants to migrate to regional areas, fewer places are made available for migration in major cities. Many applicants who would have previously received invitations, even 6 months ago, are not being invited.

Obviously that is a lot of information to take in. NSW Migration is quite complex and constantly changing. PTA has processed applications where we receive an invitation in a few weeks and other times where it takes months or we don’t receive an invitation.

If you have any questions about migrating to the NSW State Migration, feel free to contact Pathway to Aus:

Book into a consultation with a Registered Migration Agent


P: +61 7 55 265 900

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