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  • Writer's pictureElan Rysher

Insights Into the 2023-24 State and Territory Skilled Migration Program Allocations

The Department of Home Affairs has released its Skilled and Business visa allocations for the 2023-24 migration program year. Significant changes were made which are expected to affect candidates' likelihood of gaining a nomination by one of the States or Territories.

These changes come as somewhat of a surprise to migrants and Migration Agents. This article explains the changes and what they mean for skilled migrants.

The Changes

Allocations for 2023-24 have been noticeably reduced compared to the previous year for all States and Territories. This means that there are fewer spots available for subclass 190 and 491 nominations.

There are currently no allocations for state nominations in the Business Innovation and Investment Program.

Source: Department of Home Affairs

Anecdotally, the reduction is due to unused State nominations in the previous year. The economic climate may have also contributed to the decision to reduce allocations. From a broader perspective, the change can be taken in context with the improved access to permanent residency in employer-sponsored visas. The Department may be looking to encourage migration of employer-sponsored visa holders over skilled, points-tested visas.

Who is affected?

People who have an Expression of Interest (EOI) for a skilled visa and are yet to be nominated, or plan to submit one in the near future, may be affected by the reduced allocations. With fewer state nominations available, the competition over nominations is likely to get tougher.

EOI with occupations on the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) need a nomination by one of the States or Territories to apply for a Skilled visa. Less allocations mean less nominations and less Subclass 190 and 491 invitations.

Candidates with a STSOL occupation who have eligible family members in regional Australia may be in luck. They can be invited directly to apply for a Subclass 491 visa, without needing a State nomination.

The impact on EOIs with occupations on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) is likely to be minor. That is because they can be invited directly for the Subclass 189 visa, without needing a State nomination.

What can you do?

As competition over state nominations becomes tougher, candidates are likely to make greater efforts to maximise their points score. This includes claiming points in categories such as the Community Credentialed Language, English skills, skilled-partner points and others.

Migrants with lower points scores might choose to pursue other visa paths. Those who are employed or have a job offer in Skilled occupations may be eligible for an employer-sponsored visa. The subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa will soon have a path to permanent residency in both STSOL and MTLSSL occupations.

Applying for an employer-sponsored visa requires the support of an employer who is willing to nominate the worker. Sponsors have a range of eligibility criteria they must satisfy themselves, including paying the SAF Levy.

Final thoughts

The reduction of state nomination allocations for skilled visas comes as a surprise to many in the migration sector. States and Territories will be more selective when nominating candidates for skilled visas in the coming year. As competition becomes tougher, candidates for subclass 190 and 491 visas will go above and beyond to maximise their points score.

Those who are eligible may choose to apply for employer-sponsored visas. Unlike Skilled visas, employer-sponsored visas and their path to PR are non-competitive. Applicants that meet the eligibility criteria are granted the visas. This can be an attractive alternative to the uncertainty that comes with submitting an Expression of Interest for a Skilled visa.

For more information please Contact Us or email

Elan Rysher is a Registered Migration Agent and Qualified Student Counsellor. He is the main Writer for ImmiUpdates and the founder of Rysher Migration. Elan has many years of experience working in immigration, finance and health. Being a former migrant himself, Elan is passionate about helping others fulfil their Australian dream.


Information (or the lack of it) contained in ImmiUpdates should not be relied on as immigration assistance or advice. ImmiUpdates expressly disclaim any liability, arising at law, in equity or otherwise, for any information published or not published in past, the present or future editions of the blog. People seeking immigration assistance should seek advice from a registered migration agent and those seeking legal advice should consult a lawyer. The copyright in the newsletter belongs to Rysher Migration Services and no part of the blog is to be reproduced by any means without the written consent of Rysher Migration Services.


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