Off-list nomination explained: What the states and territories are saying

We looked at off-list state nomination as part of yesterday's blog, and covered the approach that Western Australia are taken to this relatively new initiative. Unfortunately, not every Australian state and territory has been as receptive to the process, but most have at least provided an official statement on their approach to off-list nomination.

See below for the official statements on off list nomination from each Australian state and territory:

Official statement:

"Skilled migrants seeking State Sponsorship for an off-list occupation must meet the general Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) skilled visa criteria and the Western Australian State Sponsorship requirements. Greater consideration will be given to applicants who:

  • Have a job or offer of employment in Western Australia in a Skilled Occupation List (SOL) occupation (must be related to the nominated occupation);
  • Have established links to the State - living, studied or have support in Western Australia;
  • Demonstrate that their occupation is in demand in Western Australia; OR
  • Are prepared to live and work in a regional area of the State.

Off-list nominations will be assessed by the SMC on a case-by-case basis and the ability of the applicant to meet Western Australia's workforce skill shortages."

Note from Visa Bureau: Even though Western Australia have a set criteria for applicants who will be given 'greater consideration', they will still accept and consider other well-presented applications.


Official statement:

"Victoria’s off-list nominations have been incorporated into our Eligibility Lists.

Please note that there is no separate process for off-list nominations and all applicants for Skilled – Sponsored visa nomination by the Victorian Government must nominate occupations from Victoria's Skilled – Sponsored Eligibility Lists.

For the Skilled – Regional Sponsored visa, you must have either:

  • An occupation on the Skilled – Regional Sponsored (475 or 487) Eligibility List or
  • An offer of employment from a regional Victorian employer in any occupation on the DIAC Skilled Occupations List."


Official statement:

"Off-List Sponsorships – Policies for this option are currently being finalised.  When the Policies and Procedures have been completed they will be published on our website.  No information is available and applications are not being accepted at the moment."


Official statement:

"The Queensland Government is now able to nominate applicants for some occupations that do not appear on the Queensland Eligible Skills List.

The Off-List Nomination Program has been developed to target skills needed for:

  • Queensland priority industries;
  • Research priorities; OR
  • Other specialised areas of priority for Government.

Nominations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must meet the general Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship skilled visa criteria as well as Queensland state nomination requirements.

The application must be accompanied by a firm, long-term job offer by an employer in one of the targeted areas.

The application must also include:

  • The employer's description of the proposed or current employment; AND
  • A written declaration by the employer that the skill is likely to be in demand over the long-term.

Please note: Queensland off-list nominations will only be considered for occupations in high demand that meet the above criteria."


Official statement:

"The decision has been taken to assess applications for sponsorship based on the occupations listed on our website and any additional sponsorship (from the 500 places) will still be based on those occupations.  A number of factors including the current economic situation in NSW were taken into account in making this decision, in fact a number of occupations have recently been removed from both the skilled and regional migration lists as employment opportunities have been reduced."


Official statement:

"Such ‘Off-List’ nominations will be considered if:

  • Your skilled occupation is listed on the Northern Territory’s Occupation Shortage List (, or you are otherwise able to demonstrate your employability in the Northern Territory; 
  • You have successfully completed a migration eligible two year course at any Charles Darwin University campus in the Northern Territory; OR
  • You have strong demonstrable family, friendship or other connections in the Northern Territory."


Official statement:

"Tasmania’s policy on using these 500 ‘off-list’ places allows applicants to apply only if their occupation appears on the Supplementary Eligible Occupations List." 

Note from Visa Bureau: Currently, the Tasmania Supplementary Eligible Occupations List is very limited, with only two occupations on it at the time of writing.


There have been no official statements or announcements made by the Australian Capital Territory pertaining to off-list nominations.

However, should they make an official decision on how off-list nomination will be used, it will most likely be made available on the ACT skilled migration website.

What changes to off list nomination can be expected?

Until all states and territories take a transparent approach to off list nomination, it will always be difficult gauging exactly what their individual position is. Even though all of this information is current as of today, more changes are always possible, especially given how relatively new off list nomination is to the process.

Therefore, we advise that all applicants unsure of which state sponsored Australian visas they are eligible for to check each state and territory's migration site on a regular basis for more information. The casework department is always monitoring the situation, and as a result, we are poised to offer our clients alternative migration pathways as and when they become open to us.

- Tom Blackett is Online Editor for the Australian Visa Bureau