The health crisis has caused a number of unprecedented changes to the Australian Migration Program and this is set to persist as the Department of Home Affairs continues to closely monitor the health situation to decide how migration and visa settings are implemented moving forward.

The latest major announcement is the temporary suspension of the nomination program. The Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 and the Skilled Regional Sponsored Subclass 491 visa categories will be put on hold, pending allocations of state nomination places from the federal government.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a ripple effect in delays, such as the delivery of the budget in which the deciding factors relating to the Migration Program is largely involved in. In a statement, a spokesperson said:

“The government is closely monitoring migration and visa settings to ensure they are consistent with public health measures, are flexible and do not displace job opportunities for Australians so that Australia can deal with the immediate and post-recovery impacts of COVID-19.”

Here is how skilled nominations are looking for each state:

  • State nomination program is temporarily closed
  • Applicants can still lodge an EOI through the SkillSelect system

New South Wales

  • Applications for nominations under the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa subclass 491 are currently closed
  • The state will open to new nominations once they receive their quota for the current financial year

South Australia

  • The business and skilled migration programs are schedule to re-open from early August and will be dependent on the government’s allocation of state nomination places for the program year 2020-21


  • Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) announce that state nomination program will remain temporarily closed
  • The state will not be accepting EOIs

Western Australia

  • State nominations program will be temporarily closed
  • Applications lodged will still be assessed 
  • Nominations in SkillSelect from 1 July 2020 will be dependent on the Department of Home Affairs confirming allocations for the new program year


  • Applications will remain open but no nominations can be made until allocations for the program are received

Northern Territory

  • State nomination is temporarily closed
  • Applications can still be lodged under the GSM program
  • BIIP nominations remain open
  • Offshore GSM nomination applications are closed until further notice

No updates as yet from the Australian Capital Territory.

If you have any questions regarding your application or want more information on the temporary suspension please request a consultation with our team of expert migration agents as soon as possible.