What is the change? Western Australia’s Department of Training and Workforce Development has announced that it (1) has temporarily suspended new applications to certify positions for Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 visas and (2) is conducting a review of the Western Australian skilled migration occupation list (WASMOL).

What does the change mean? For the duration of the suspension, new applications to certify positions through the Direct Entry stream of the RSMS for a position in those regions of Western Australia, for which Skilled Migration Western Australia (SMWA) has been gazetted as the Regional Certifying Body (RCB), will not be accepted. Western Australia state government nominations for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) and the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) will also be suspended until the review of the WASMOL is finished.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 visas, Skilled Nominated visas (subclass 190), Skilled Regional (Provisional) visas (subclass 489).
  • Who is affected: Employers intending to nominate foreign nationals for permanent positions for an RSMS Subclass 187 visa and foreign nationals seeking to obtain a nomination through the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa programmes.
  • Business impact: The changes will limit the ability of foreign nationals to apply for the above-listed visa subclasses. It should be noted, however, that the suspension will not impact certification for the RSMS through Regional Development Australia in the Goldfields-Esperance region.

Background: The changes follow Western Australia’s 11 March election, won by Mark McGowan’s Labor Party. The McGowan Labor Government is now working to implement its ‘WA Jobs First’ programme, which not only includes the changes above, but also seeks to remove Perth from being considered a ‘regional area’ of Australia for the purpose of the RSMS.

BAL Analysis: There is no indication at this point of how long the temporary suspension will last or how long the review of the WASMOL will take. BAL will continue to follow developments on this matter, however, and will update clients on any significant developments.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 0850984

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