WA Skilled Visa Allocation: What’s going on?

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The Federal Government of Australia has reduced the skilled visa allocation in WA by 70 per cent.

WA’s skilled migration allocation for the 2022-23 year was just over 8,000 places; this number is now just 2,350 places in 2023-24.

In order to receive a state nominated visa, such as the subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa or the subclass 190 Skilled Nominated visa, applicants must be invited by the state or territory they wish to live and work in.

Both visas cost A$4,640 to apply. Applicants must have an occupation on the relevant state or territory’s skilled occupation list and satisfy the requirements of a skills assessment.

The subclass 491 visa allows successful applicants to stay in the country for 5 years and work in a designated regional area with no restrictions on the number of hours worked. The subclass 190 visa allows migrants to apply for Australian citizenship and as such, stay in the country permanently.

WA Premier, Roger Cook met with the Federal Government on August 22 and lobbied for more skilled visa places to help support the state’s burgeoning economy. 

Australia is suffering from a housing crisis and Cook also made the case that an increase in skilled migrants would help the state’s housing industry to increase the supply of new homes built.

“The state-nominated migration program has to have a bigger quota for WA because we need those workers to make sure that we can supercharge our home construction industry,” Cook said.

“I put it to the prime minister that if we are to meet our targets in relation to the national targets around home construction, we need the workers to do that construction.”

It is unclear whether the allocation of 2,350 places is a preliminary allocation, or if more places should be expected later in the year.