Since announcing a pathway to a permanent visa for certain overseas student graduates, the Western Australia State government released their Graduate Occupation List (GOL) yesterday. It includes a number of occupations where bachelor and higher degree graduates will be accepted. This list, along with the much smaller Western Australia Skilled Migration Occupation List (WASMOL) for medical professionals who did not study in WA, have been consolidated into one webpage.
Both lists are for those wishing to be sponsored for either a Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated visa or a Subclass 489 – Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa, with each list specifying which occupations and which visa an applicant may be eligible for.
What the original announcement did not state, and for some may be a deal-breaker, is that a contract of employment in their nominated occupation (or a closely related one) is required. Furthermore, it must be for a full-time position and for at least 12 months, although two contracts that combine to make up full-time employment will be accepted.
Another concern for potential students is that as with other states, the WA government has instituted an invitation model similar to the Expression of Interest (EOI) model for Subclass 189 – Skilled – Independent visas, meaning that an applicant may not be nominated should they meet all criteria listed, but may if they have sufficiently high points in comparison to other applications at the time.
Additional requirements for graduates include:
Studying full-time for at least two academic years (92 weeks) resulting in being awarded a higher education qualification at a WA university;
Meeting the Department of Home Affairs’ requirements for the intended visa subclass;
Scoring a higher, proficient, level of English unless holding a passport from either the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, Canada and New Zealand;
Demonstrating at least one year of work experience in Australia, or at least three years of work experience overseas in the nominated occupation or a closely related one unless they graduated with a masters or PhD degree; and
Demonstrating sufficient funds to settle depending on how many family members are intending to migrate, with a minimum of AUD 20,000 for a single person.
Given the extensive requirements and invitation system, it is hard to discern how the WA government will “attract the best global talent” if its proposition is similar to other states and territories. Additionally, as nominations are reliant on the local labour market and invitations are subject to competition, how much of an incentive for overseas students can it possibly be for highly competitive and low employment sized occupations, such as Television Journalists (ANZSCO: 212416) as an example, remains to be seen.