Australia Visa Update: Western Australia State Migration Plan released

The Western Australian State
Migration Plan has been announced.

The Western Australian Government has released their State Migration Plan, which focuses largely on trade skill occupations, resource sector workers and health professionals.

Applicants who have a skill listed on the Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List may be eligible to apply for Western Australian State Sponsorship. Applications from prospective migrants will be accepted from 20 December 2010.

Occupations on the list include a range of resource and mining sector professions such as engineers, surveyors, geologists, as well as health professionals like nurses and dentists, and tradespeople such as electricians, mechanics and plumbers.

The full list of occupations that the Western Australian Government is willing to sponsor can be viewed here.

Western Australia has become the fifth state / territory to announce their approved State Migration Plan, following the announcements made by Victoria, the ACT, Northern Territory and Queensland. 

State Migration Plans (or SMPs) are set to play a critical part in the future of the Australian General Skilled Migration (GSM) program, as they have been developed by State/Territory governments to determine the occupations in which applicants will be eligible for state sponsored visas.

What will the benefits be to being sponsored under a State Migration Plan?

One of the main benefits of being sponsored under a State Migration Plan is how it will affect Australian visa processing timeframes, as visa applicants who appear on the Western Australia list of occupations will be moved to Priority Group 2, according to the current processing directive. This means that these applicants should see their applications finalised within 12 months.

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau.