Dozens of new occupations added to Western Australia's State Migration Plan

Western Australia has added dozens of occupations
to its State Migration Plan (SMP).

Since the beginning of July, which marks the start of the Australian immigration program year, we have been waiting for the various States and Territories in Australia to release updated lists of occupations they are willing to sponsor as part of their State Migration Plans (SMPs). Visa applicants who work in an occupation listed by a state in Australia can apply to become nominated by that State, prior to the lodgement of their visa application.

The government of Western Australia (WA) has today released an updated version of its SMP. Dozens of new occupations have been added, giving sponsorship opportunities for anybody with eligible work experience in these fields. Would-be applicants with suitable experience in occupations listed on WA’s new SMP, as well as existing applicants for permanent residency that were lodged prior to 1st July 2010, now have the option of applying to WA for sponsorship.

You can find the full list of occupations on the WA State Migration Plan by clicking here.

What are the benefits 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 visa processing timeframes. Applicants whose occupations appear on this list will be assigned, or re-assigned, into Priority Group 3, according to the current processing directive. This means that these applicants should see their applications finalised in approx. 12 months after lodgement, or as soon as possible if their existing application has already be lodged longer than that.

In addition to WA, both South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have both released updated SMPs. We continue to wait for the remaining areas of Australia to make amendments to their existing lists and Migration Plans. 

There are a limited number of visa places available for sponsorship and lists are amended when occupation places become limited or full, in line with economic needs of the State. We therefore suggest that anyone with an interest in decreasing the processing time of their application, and with an option for sponsorship, acts quickly to avoid disappointment.

Visa Bureau clients will be contacted by their case worker where a new option for sponsorship has become available, and should contact their caseworker if in any doubt as to sponsorship availability or procedure.

- Matt Parker is a caseworker for the Australian Visa Bureau.