Australian Visa Update: Northern Territory State Migration Plan announced

The Northern Territory has announced its state
migration plan and sponsorship occupation list.

Today, the Northern Territory (NT) has released its approved State Migration Plan and the list of occupations that the NT Government is offering to sponsor along with the eligibility requirements.

The Northern Territory is the third State/Territory to reveal their approved State Migration Plan following the announcements made by both Victorian and ACT earlier this month. 

What are State Migration Plans?

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.

The Northern Territory State Migration Plan is intended to improve the targeting of skills that are relevant and in demand in the region. Migrants who qualify under the plan can be sponsored for an Australian Visa by the Northern Territory.

How many sponsorship places will be available under the NT State Migration Plan?

There are a limited number of visa places available for sponsorship, and therefore some occupations are likely to be oversubscribed.  It is expected there will be periodic changes to the Northern Territory State Migration Plan Skilled Occupations List to reflect the number of nominations that have been made in a specific occupation.  The changes will also indicate if the Northern Territory Government is accepting nominations in specific occupations, or if there are limited places available.

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. Applicants who appear on the NT new 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.

When can applications for sponsorship under the NT State Migration Plan be made?

Applications for sponsorship with the NT will be accepted immediately, except for occupations where the NT has indicated it will not be taking nominations at the present time.

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