Monthly Review: Australia Immigration & New Opportunities

Travel restrictions for foreigners in Australia are still in place. However, the updated Border Force Commissioner’s Guidelines have been updated to allow certain exemptions for temporary visa holders, business visa, immediate family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents. 

Australia immigration

Further, almost all of Australia’s State and Territory Migration programs have restarted or will recommence shortly. This complements the desire of the federal government to continue the immigration of eligible candidates to rebuild its economy post-pandemic. 

Here we look at the latest news from January 2021.

You might be further interested in reading >> How Will Australia Immigration Be Like in 2021? 

State Migration Program Updates For January 2021

Except for South Australia State Nominations, every other state program has been reopened for inviting eligible foreigners to work & settle in Australia.

Priority For Business Migration 

Queensland State Nomination: Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) has reopened their 491 and 190 program from 1 February 2021. However, there is no occupation list information. 

The ‘491 Small Business Owner’ program and Business Migration program are already open. BSMQ will prioritise businesses which are located in regional areas. Contact our business overseas advisors to get started. 

New South Wales State Nomination: The NSW Government has already begun accepting applications for:

  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) streams, and
  • the Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132) Significant Business History stream

Additionally, the Skilled Migration program is open, with invitation rounds focusing on applicants who are already in NSW who have nominated selected health, ICT, and engineering occupations.

Skilled Worker Nominations

Tasmania State Nomination: The Tasmanian program opened at 1pm on 29 January 2021. About 40% of skilled visa nomination places have been used. Read the full story here

Western Australia State Nomination: The WA Government issued their first round of invitations on 15 January 2021, with a total of 349 places as follows:

  • 178 invitations for a 190 visa
  • 171 invitations for a 491 visa

The vast majority of applications went to EOIs in the ‘Graduate Stream – Higher Education Graduates’ (PhD, Masters, Bachelor degree graduates).

Victoria State Nomination

The Victorian State Government has a set timetable for submission windows and when invitations will be issued. According to their website, the next window will be open from 9 am on 2 February to 5 pm on 8 February (Eastern Daylight Savings Time).

Dates for the following rounds in March, April, and May have also been published.

COVID Testing for Travel

All travellers to Australia are required to undertake a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure. Negative test results must be presented to the flight crew before boarding.

Nominations Only Open For On-Shore Candidates

On-shore candidates are those already present in Australia and awaiting permanent visa options. 

  • Northern Territory State Nomination: Currently open to onshore applicants currently living in the NT.
  • Australian Capital Territory State Nomination: The ACT program is focused on those already living and working in the territory, in occupations on their ‘Critical Skills List’. The next matrix selection round will be on or around 9 February 2021.


Immigration policies and travel requirements are highly dynamic and subjected to change without notice. Hence, we strongly recommend obtaining advice on your individual situation from a Registered Migration Agent. 

CanApprove is a regional leader in immigration, legal & overseas education consultancy. Talk to one of our consultants today or take this free assessment and get to know your chances of study, work & settle in Australia.

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