Virginia, US
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| Kian Bone

Skilled Migration after the WA Election

On Saturday, 11 March 2017 the people of Western Australia elected Mark McGowan’s Labor Party into power.

One of the Labor Party's primary platforms in the election was its "WA Jobs First" policy. As a result, there have been some significant developments in relation to the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187), the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) and the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489).

Effect on WA Migration Programme

The Department of Training and Workforce Development (which oversees Skilled Migration in Western Australia) has temporarily suspended the certification of positions for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS). Whilst this suspension is in place, new applications to certify positions for nomination under the RSMS Direct Entry pathway will not be accepted. This suspension is not impacting regional certification through Regional Development Australia in the Goldfields Esperance region.

The McGowan Labor Government, with the support of their Federal counterparts, has indicated that it may lobby to remove Perth from the RSMS altogether.

The Western Australian skilled migration occupation list (WASMOL) is now also under review. Foreign nationals will not be invited to apply for Western Australian State Nomination for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489).

At this stage, there is no indication as to when the RSMS certifications or State nominations will recommence.

What Does This mean for You?

The Subclass 187 RSMS visa programme has essentially been suspended in WA (outside of Esperance and the Goldfields).

This means that if you were intending to lodge an application for certification through Skilled Migration WA to access the RSMS Subclass 187 visa programme your application will not be accepted. There is no time frame as to when Skilled Migration WA will commence accepting applications again.

If you currently have an application awaiting regional certification with Skilled Migration WA, your application will be suspended until further notice.

Therefore, we recommend that you do not lodge a Subclass 187 visa application until your State Migration WA certification has been processed, especially if your position is based in the Perth metropolitan area.

You cannot seek Western Australian state nomination in support of a potential subclass 190 or subclass 489 visa application. If you have elected Western Australia as your state of intended residence under either of these pathways, you will not be nominated by Western Australia until further notice.

Fragomen will continue to monitor the situation and will provide an update as soon as it is available.

Please contact your local Fragomen professional or our Perth office if you have any queries.