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Australian PR Pathway for Onshore PhD Graduates - Global Talent Visa or Skilled Visa 190/491

Australian PR Pathway for Onshore PhD Graduates - Global Talent Visa or Skilled Visa 190/491

The Australian Government announced that it will close the Global Talent Visa in late 2024 and replace it with the new National Innovation Visa. Follow this link for more details about the National Innovation Visa.

All that you need to know about Global Talent Visa is on this page: CLICK HERE

Getting a PhD degree from an Australian university is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice and expense to successfully complete a PhD degree. So, congratulations to all PhD graduates.

However, PhD graduates still have big decisions to make after finishing their degree.

While some PhD graduates decide to go back to their home countries or move to other countries, some choose to stay in Australia for the various opportunities on offer.

This includes job opportunities and perhaps because of the options for permanent residency in Australia.

Many PhD graduates found it complicated to secure an Australian Permanent Residency until the born of Global Talent Visa program.

However, with the current news and budget allocations this financial year, focus has been distributed to other skilled visa 491/190 streams.

States and territories have announced new state nomination criteria to attract those research students and planning to migrate in Australia.

In this article, we will discuss 2 options for permanent residency for PhD graduates – the Global Talent Visa and the state-nominated visas 491 or 190

Global Talent Visa Australia

One good option for PhD graduates is the Global Talent Visa.

Since opening, Global talent visa is designed for PhD students not just in Australia but around the world to get Australian PR.

Many PhD graduates have been nominated for Global Talent visa 858.

Global Talent Visa program Australia high income high skilled talented worker

It became increasingly popular in Australia during covid-19 being the only stream for highly skilled talented people to get into Australia while travel restriction is still around.

During that time, applicants could get Global Talent Visa within months and moved to Australia with the whole family.

Recent PhD graduates who can attract or is earning a very high salary will be considered favourably for this visa.

High salary means that you are currently earning or has the ability to earn a salary equivalent to or higher than Australia’s Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT) which is currently set at AUD$162,000/per annum.

More information about the Global Talent Visa requirements here >>

Applicants relying on their PhD degree need to show that they have internationally recognised achievements, are prominent in their field and must have their PhD degree conferred in the last 3 years.

Applicants with a PhD still must show that they meet the other criteria for the grant of the Global Talent Visa.  More information about this visa and the eligibility requirements can be found on our website.

These are the 4 core requirements for Global Talent Visa Australia:

  1. Skills in the 10 targeted sectors
  2. Internationally recognized for outstanding achievement in your field -career history, publications, journals, awards throughout your career
  3. High salary income threshold at 162,000 AUD per annum
  4. Nomination from Australian organizations or Australian Permanent residents who must be prominent in the same field as you.

Please check out our Global Talent visa recent news here >>

State nominated visa 491/190

If you are a PhD graduate but will not be able to meet the criteria for the Global Talent Visa, like for example you do not meet the high-income threshold, there are still other options for you such as the state nominated visas.

South Australia state nomination for PhD students

One state nominated visa option for international graduates is South Australia’s nomination under its Highly Skilled and Talented stream.

This is a new stream recently announced by South Australia.

The stream is slightly similar to Global Talent Visa but much easier with lower income requirement.

Most PhD graduates have been struggling with income threshold requirements for Global Talent Visa.

This is the chance for you because this SA Nomination Stream is open for interstate applicants.

The requirements say you must::

  1. Under 45 years of age
  2. Positive Skill Assessment
  3. at least Proficient English (IELTS 7.0 or equivalent)
  4. EOI 65 points including State nomination points
  5. Be earning a high base salary threshold commensurate with the expectations of the Highly Skilled and Talented stream (at least $80,000 per annum) and working full time (at least 30 hours per week or 60 hours per fortnight)
  6. Onshore applicants are also required to show that they:
    1. Have extensive experience, working in highly skilled jobs, in senior or executive level roles; and
    2. already commenced employment in South Australia


have an employment contract for a position you plan to relocate to in South Australia. If you are currently working for a company in another state, and intend to relocate to the South Australian office of your current company,


Have demonstrated specialised experience or niche skills that are highly desired in one of South Australia’s critical priority sectors.

If you meet the above requirements, South Australia may potentially nominate you for the sc-491 or sc-190 visa.

For some South Australia PhD graduates, you will be encouraged to apply for state nominated visa in Australia.

You can go for SA Graduate stream with high-performing graduate pathway.

If you have positive skill assessment of your nominated occupation, you might be eligible for a visa 491 or 190.


 Another state which has a great visa option or pathway for high-performing PhD graduates is Queensland.

Migration Queensland allows PhD graduates of the state to seek 491 visa or 190 visa nominations.

To be eligible you must:

  1. Be living in Queensland
  2. have a points test result, including the state nomination points, of at least 80 points (for the sc-190 visa) or 65 points (for the sc-491 visa). However, having higher points is always better
  3. at least proficient English
  4. have completed all of your PhD or Doctorate at a Queensland based institution
  5. have had a decision of their thesis and graduated in the last 2 years
  6. have an occupation listed on LIN 19/051 or the Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities Instrument 2019. LIN 19/051 is the Legislative instrument that lists the occupations in the Medium and Long‑term Strategic Skills List (or the MLTSSL.)

One advantage of this pathway is that if you are a PhD graduate you do not have to provide evidence of employment unlike for Master’s Degree or Bachelor Degree graduates who need to show that they have a job offer or employment in their nominated or closely nominated occupation.


Tasmania is also another state that is currently providing a good pathway for its PhD graduates.

Tasmania has introduced a colour-coded system to rank the applicants’ Registration of Interest (ROI).  These are the Gold, Green and Orange pass or attributes.

Those who have the Gold attribute are likely to be invited immediately to apply for the Tasmanian state nomination. These are the candidates who have their skills assessment and related employment for at least the past 3 months in Tasmania’s critical roles list. This list can be found on the Migration Tasmanian website.

Candidates who can claim one or more Green attributes are likely to be invited within 2 weeks of their ROI submission.

And those who have Orange attributes may still be invited depending on the ROIs received by the state and number of priority attributes recorded. This means that those who can only claim Orange attributes have less chances of getting invited. However the more Orange attribute you can claim, the better your chances are of getting invited to apply for the Tasmanian state nomination.

PhD graduates or candidates who cannot claim to have the Gold Attribute still has a good chance of getting invited to apply for the Tasmanian state nomination and claim a Green attribute if they have completed at least 2 years of their PhD in Tasmania.

They also have to meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. have completed a course of study and obtained a letter of completion from a tertiary institution in Tasmania registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)
  2. have lived in Tasmania for at least two calendar years from the commencement of their course and for the duration of their studies
  3. their course must have been completed full-time and on-site in Tasmania and
  4. currently be living in Tasmania and intend to continue living in Tasmania.

If you are an onshore PhD graduate or candidate and wants to know more about your Australian visa options or who wants to know how we can assist you with your permanent visa options please contact us on (+61) 08 8351 9956 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your Australian visa or appeal.

You can also book an appointment online.


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Wednesday, 19 June 2024

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