Australian State Migration Plans: What the states and territories are saying

State Migration Plans are set to be a key part of the Australian General Skilled Migration (GSM) program, but there remains little information as to exactly what they will be and how they will work.

When the Australian immigration changes were announced on 8 February, 2010, it was said that 'state migration plans are developed by State/Territory governments and include occupations that are in demand in each individual state and territory. Each state migration plan is approved by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.'

However, there wasn't any information on the State Migration Plans, beyond the indication that they would be launched in 'mid-2010'. To try and get a better understanding of what to expect, Matt Parker of the Australian Visa Bureau Casework Department approached each individual Australian State and Territory via email.

See below for the responses Matt received regarding the State Migration Plans from each Australian State and Territory:


"The State Migration Plan is being negotiated with DIAC. Please keep yourself up to date with information on our website which is"



"The Victorian State Government is still in the process of putting together a state migration plan. We are not privy to what is going to be included in this plan, therefore I unable to provide further information on who it will effect.

It is believed that the plan will be announced in the middle of the year, however it could be longer than this."



"State Migration Plans (SMPs)

  • At this stage the State Government has only received preliminary communication from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Australian Government) regarding the concept of SMPs.  Therefore, at this stage we can provide very little information of use to prospective migrants or to migration agents acting on their behalf.
  • DIAC have made the decision that each State/Territory is to have a State Migration Plan which will be a formal signed agreement between the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and each State and Territory Government. 
  • It is expected that the SMPs will identify occupations in which migration is required to supplement supply available from the local labour market.
  • The number of occupations to be included under the SMP is not yet known.
  • It is expected that an SMP will be introduced around the middle of 2010, however no date has been set by or agreed to by South Australia and DIAC.
  • None of the states or territories currently has a State Migration Plan.

Please monitor the Immigration SA ( website for any changes."



"To the best of my knowledge, no jurisdiction has yet developed a State Migration Plan. Queensland has commenced discussions with DIAC to clarify plan requirements, timeframes and other matters."



"DIAC is still in the process of consulting with State and Territory governments as what will comprise the individual States/Territory's migration plan."


There has been no response to our enquiry regarding State Migration Plans from the Northern Territory as of today, 17 February, 2010.

However, any announcement made on State Migration Plans will most likely be made available on the Northern Territory skilled migration website here.



"Tasmania’s state migration plan will be complete by the end of June 2010 but it needs to be approved by DIAC before it takes effect."



"At this stage I don’t have a time frame for the new State Migration Plan – soon we hope (as in the next fortnight). The ACT Government will honour any sponsorship applications that have already been approved.  The State Migration Plan will encompass the current sponsorship program."

As you can see from the responses Matt received, the message seems to be that the individual States and Territories are still unable to provide any further information on the State Migration Plans for now.

However, it's interesting that all States and Territories reiterate that any plans are subject to the approval of DIAC, giving the impression that the Department will be taking a far more 'hands-on' approach to state sponsorship and migration, rather than let the States and Territories work autonomously.

When can further information on the State Migration Plans be expected?

Until DIAC finish consulting with the individual State and Territories on the approach to take to the State Migration Plans, it seems unlikely that further information will be provided. Therefore, we're assuming that it will still be at least a couple of months until they are revealed to the public.

With the State Migration Plans set to be a vital part of the new GSM process, we will keep monitoring the situation and provide more information as and when it becomes available.

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