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WA’s New Graduate Pathway For Skilled Migration Explained

Industry News
23rd April 2020 StudyPerth
Industry News
23rd April 2020 StudyPerth

Skilled migration pathway information for international students graduating from university in Western Australia

In October 2018, the Government of Western Australia launched the State’s plan to attract thousands of more international students to Western Australia – ‘Where Bright Futures Begin: International Education in Perth, Western Australia, 2018 – 2025.’

The strategy builds on the recent introduction by the State Government of a new Graduate Pathway for skilled migration to attract the best and brightest international graduates with PhDs, Masters, Honours, Bachelors and other higher degrees to live and work in WA.

It is the expected the State’s International Education Strategy, StudyPerth’s Action Plan and the new Graduate Pathway for skilled migration will contribute significantly to increasing the number of high-quality international students to the State and help grow our share of the international education market.


Background information to WA’s new Graduate pathway for skilled migration

Western Australia welcomes international students to study, live and work in our great state!

After graduation, international students who develop skills Australia needs have the option of applying for permanent residence.

In 2018 the Government of Western Australia introduced a new Graduate stream to its State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP) which provides a pathway to skilled migration for international students who graduate from universities in Western Australia.

Through the SNMP, the Government of Western Australia nominates eligible migrants for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) and Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489).

To be eligible for State nomination, Western Australian university graduates must:

  • Have an occupation on Western Australia’s Graduate Occupation List; and
  • Be able to meet Western Australia’s State nomination criteria for the SNMP Graduate stream.


What occupations are on the Graduate Occupation List?

The Graduate Occupation List (GOL) includes occupations available to the State nomination program and which have mainly higher education occupational outcomes.

To check occupations on the GOL, please visit Western Australia’s Migration Portal.

International students graduating with a PhD or Masters can access the full list of occupations available on the GOL.

All other university graduates can access a more limited list of occupations aligned with occupations which are a priority for Western Australia.

It is important to note that occupations on the GOL change over time. To stay up to date with the changes, we encourage you to visit the Migration Portal.


What are the criteria for the SNMP Graduate Stream?

To be nominated by the Government of Western Australia, international university graduates must be able to meet the following criteria:

  • Have gained a higher education qualification in Western Australia, including a requirement to complete at least two years of full-time study at a university in Western Australia;
  • Demonstrate work experience (1 year in Australia or 3 years overseas in the occupation you nominate) (Note: PhD and Masters graduates are exempt from the work experience requirement);
  • Demonstrate an English language level of ‘proficient’ (equivalent to an IELTS score of 7.0 in each band); and
  • Have a job offer for at least 12 months for full time employment in the occupation you nominate.


How do I apply for Western Australian State nomination?

Graduates need to submit an Expression of Interest in the Australian Department of Home Affairs SkillSelect database and wait to be invited to apply for Western Australian State nomination.

Invitations are issued each month using the following selection priorities based on the information in SkillSelect:

  1. Completed a PhD or Masters qualification in Western Australia;
  2. Completed an Honours degree or other post-graduate degree in Western Australia;
  3. Completed a Bachelor degree in Western Australia;
  4. The highest amount of Australian work experience in their nominated or closely related occupation;
  5. The highest level of English language proficiency; and
  6. The highest total SkillSelect points score.

Once a graduate receives an invitation to apply for Western Australian State nomination, the application can be submitted. Successful applicants are nominated by the Government of Western Australia in SkillSelect.

The person is then invited by the Australian Department of Home Affairs to apply for a visa.


Supporting comments from WA’s Premier and Minister of Education

Comments attributed to the Premier Mark McGowan on WA’s new Graduate Skilled Migration List, as per the Government’s press release:

"Attracting the best and brightest of international university students represents a major step in our commitment to increasing Western Australia's share of the international education market.”

"We need to send a message to the world that we welcome international students, and their friends and families. Perth is an attractive, supportive destination to live, study and work.”

"A key part of our Plan for Jobs includes an investment of $2 million to develop an International Education Strategy to grow and diversify the knowledge economy, while creating jobs."


Comments attributed to the Education and Training Minister, The Hon Sue Ellery, as per the Government’s press release:

"Encouraging international students to choose Western Australia as a destination for study and work will help boost our economy and create WA jobs.

"We have excellent universities and our weather and lifestyle is second-to-none.

"We're confident that investment in international education and our International Education Strategy will see growth in the sector."


Further information

For more information, please visit the Western Australian Migration Portal website.