491 Visa & 190 visa state nomination and sponsorship are Australia’s preferred pathways to permanent residency for skilled workers. The Department of Home Affairs controls who receives invitations to apply for these visas through the SkillSelect mechanism. In most cases, only occupations that are highly demanded in the Australian economy get invited each fiscal year. As a result, the 190 and 491 visas are more competitive processes than the other points-tested visas such as the 189 Visa.
To be eligible to apply for a 190 or 491, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect and have a positive Skills Assessment from a designated assessing authority. You can also have a State or Territory government nominate you for the visa by applying through their respective visa nomination programs.
Comparing 491 and 190 Visas: Which State Nomination Route is Right for You?
State nomination can provide a number of advantages for skilled migrants, including priority processing and additional points on their points-tested visa application. However, it is important to remember that state sponsorship does not guarantee a visa. Before deciding to pursue a state nomination, it is important to check the Department of Home Affairs requirements, the State’s Occupation List, and each State’s nomination stream to ensure you meet all of the criteria. If you do, then the benefits of state nomination can be significant. Moreover, once you have been nominated for a 190 visa and granted the visa, you will be required to commit to living in your nominating State for 2 years.