Work Visa Lawyers is based in Adelaide, South Australia. Our team of South Australian immigration lawyers and registered migration agents (RMA’s) can help advise you through the complex world of immigration. We pride ourselves on being able to help you immigrate anywhere in Australia, especially to our home state of South Australia. Contact us if you want to know more about your South Australian immigration opportunities.

Adelaide River Torrens and Festival CentreAbout South Australia

South Australia (SA), also referred to as the ‘The Festival State’ or ‘The Wine State’, is located in the southern central part of Australia. Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, is home to 1.3 million of the 1.7 million people living in South Australia. Along with South Australia, Adelaide is noted for its many festivals, sporting events, food and wine, its long beach fronts, and significant defence and manufacturing sectors.

Why Choose South Australia

For migrants looking to immigrate to Australia, South Australia has a great deal to offer. Whether you are a visitor, student, or migrant, South Australia has several opportunities available.

First, South Australia has a high standard of living. Not only has Adelaide been ranked as one of the top 10 most livable cities in the world by the Economist, but since 2011, Adelaide has been ranked as Australia’s most livable city three times. Finally, in 2021, with its restriction and covid-19 situation management, Adelaide has been awarded the third most livable city in the world, just below Osaka and Auckland.

Second, South Australia wants more skilled migrants and business investors. With plenty of regional occupations available and even more opportunities, the state government and businesses are calling for more skilled migrants. In fact, during November 2018, the state government and Immigration SA created the Supporting Innovation South Australia (SISA) visa. The SISA visa is aimed at foreign entrepreneurs and investors with innovative ideas and a supporting business plan to come to SA. With short processing times and a low application cost, the SISA visa is already creating many opportunities for migrants, South Australia, and local economies.

Third, the South Australian government has finalized some ground-breaking developments for the state and, in turn migrants. In 2018 alone, South Australia acquired contracts to build the largest steel plant in the developed world and was granted the headquarters for Australia’s first dedicated space agency.


South Australia is a compelling proposition to move, grow or start your business. Explore the state-nominated visa options available to business owners, investors and entrepreneurs.

Whether you would like to live in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD or regional South Australia, our team of South Australian immigration lawyers and registered migration agents can highlight all the opportunities for migrants to make a move.  

Popular Visas for South Australia

As an immigration service based in South Australia, we felt that compiling a shortlist of popular visas may be more beneficial for you. Click on the visa to find out more details and requirements.


Business & Investment Visas in South Australia

Business Talent subclass 132 Visa

The Business Talent 132 Visa encourages successful business owners and investors to settle in Australia while developing a new or existing Australian business. The subclass 132 visa encompasses 2 streams that allow for permanent residency. While the 132 visa is not specific to South Australia, SA does receive nearly half of the total amount of 132 visas issued. Contact Work Visa Lawyers to review your business visa options.

As of July 2021, the Business Talent subclass 132 visa is closed for application. The Department of Home affairs still assesses all applications before the date. 

For more information about Business Visa, please read Business Innovation and Investment Visa Subclass 188.

Business Innovation and Investment Visa 188 South Australia

There is a total of 7 types of state nominated Business Visa South Australia options available for migrants onshore and offshore who want to establish a business or investment project in South Australia.

The most popular ones amongst all are Significant Investor visa 132 and Business Innovation and Investment visa 188 in South Australia. Since visa 132 application is closed, 188 visa is now the most popular visa for the business owner who is looking to get permanent residency in Australia.

This visa is for business owners and investors who want to establish a business or invest, in South Australia.

This visa offers applicants the choice of four streams:

  1. Business Innovation stream: Business owners who want to relocate their overseas business or establish a new business in South Australia.
  2. Investor stream: Successful investors or business owners willing to invest a minimum AUD $1,500,000 in South Australia for four years. 
  3. Significant Investor stream: People willing to benefit South Australia and invest $5 million into a complying investment for four years 
  4. Entrepreneur stream: People who have support from a selected Service Provider to undertake a complying entrepreneurial activity that is proposed to lead to either the commercialisation of a product or service in South Australia or the development of a business in South Australia.

More information about this visa >


Skilled Migration Visa 491 and Visa 190 South Australia

Skilled Migration Visas such as the 491 (replace Subclass 489), 190, and 187 visas require you to complete a migration skills assessment from an assessing authority what you need to know about the Vetassess Skills Assessment.

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 Visa South Australia

The subclass 491 visa is one of South Australia’s most google searched visas for a good reason. The 491 visa is for skilled workers who want to live and work in Australia. It allows migrants to live and work in South Australia with their families. If South Australia nominates you a 491 visa, you will receive 15 points, which can make all the difference when trying to reach a minimum of 65 points. Once you have fulfilled your 491 visas, you may be able to apply for the Skilled Regional (Permanent) visa (subclass 191) for permanent residence.

Please refer to the South Australia Skilled Occupation List for South Australia visa 491 requirements. Each occupation has different criteria and allocations to invite skilled migrants in South Australia.

However, it seems that South Australia Immigration is the most generous in inviting 491 skilled work regional visas with a lot of streams requiring and not requiring work experience.

Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 Visa South Australia

The subclass 190 visa is another popular visa that allows migrants to work in Australia permanently. The subclass 190 visa is a state nominated visa, meaning that your occupation will need to be on the South Australia Skilled Occupation List. If you are granted this visa, you will be able to sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residency. Once you have fulfilled your 190 visa requirements, you may be able to apply for citizenship if eligible. 

*Each applicant planning to apply for the South Australia skilled migration program must follow their occupation's nomination requirement via the South Australia Skilled Occupation List.

South Australia State Nomination Streams

SA graduate Pathway

Any graduates who have studied in South Australia 50% of their CRICOS registered eligible course will be counted towards the SA Graduate pathway. For more requirements, please refer to the Skilled occupation list. Applicants who satisfy all criteria of their nominated occupation can apply for state nomination via South Australia Migration Portal.

Talents and Innovator Program:

The Talent and Innovators program allows the state to nominate applicants under one of the following five streams. 

  • Employment stream: For highly skilled migrants who are working for South Australian businesses 

  • Outer Regional South Australia workforce stream: For skilled applicants working for outer regional South Australian businesses (who do not qualify to apply directly for state nomination but wish to provide a submission for consideration) 

  • Startup and small business stream: For entrepreneurial skilled migrants who have started their own business in South Australia 

  • High performing graduate stream: For high performing graduates who have completed their qualification at a South Australian higher education institution  

  • Independent talent stream: For high calibre applicants seeking state nomination 

Applicants who wish to apply through the Talent and Innovator Program must submit a Registration of Interest prior to State Nomination step.

Currently Living and Working in South Australia

If you are currently living and working in South Australia, you may qualify for this stream and additional concessions and waivers.

There are concessions and waivers available and eligibility will be primarily dependent on: 

  • How long you have been residing and working in South Australia.
  • Your nominated occupation 
  • If you are living and working in outer regional South Australia

Concession and Waiver will be applied through these streams:

  • Currently Living and Working in South Australia
  • Living and working in regional South Australia
  • Living and working in SA as a long-term resident

Unlike others, South Australia Skilled Migration program is quite complicated but facilitated to refine good applicants who can contribute value to the state.

If you can understand thoroughly about South Australia migration pathways for skilled migrants, you can get at least a 491 visa.

Contact us to talk to our Immigration Lawyers who are based in South Australia


Employer-Sponsored Visa South Australia options

RSMS Subclass 187 Visa

The subclass 187 visa allows skilled workers to be nominated by their employer in regional Australia. Once you are granted a 187 visa you will be able to live and work in Australia permanently. With lots of available occupations and opportunities, the 187 visas could be how you continue your professional career in regional South Australia.

Note that all of South Australia is considered a regional area for the RSMS. This means you are able to live outside or in the city.

Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (provisional) Subclass 494 South Australia

For an employer to be eligible to nominate a position under this visa, they must meet all criteria set by Department of Home Affairs, but is suitable for local South Australian businesses in instances where:

  • The business has a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position
  • The business has undertaken labour market testing and has been unable to fill the position locally.

For a full list of criteria, please see the Department of Home Affairs website.

This is the visa pathway for local businesses applying to Skilled & Business Migration for:

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa 482 South Australia - DAMA Labour Agreement South Australia

This is an employer-sponsored visa that enables South Australian businesses to nominate skilled migrants for employment if they meet the criteria of South Australia’s Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA). 

In order to enter into a DAMA Labour Agreement with the Australian Government, South Australian employers are required to be endorsed by the Designated Area Representative (DAR) which is Skilled & Business Migration, South Australian Department for Innovation and Skills.

This visa is for South Australian Businesses that:

  • Have identified skills or labour shortages that they cannot fill locally
  • The position occupation must be available on the Designated Area Migration Agreement Occupation List
  • The position must be full-time, and duties must align with the nominated occupation
  • The business can fulfil all South Australian DAMA endorsement requirements.

For full details on employer eligibility criteria, please see Endorsement Requirements.

While the TSS 482 visa is not a regional visa, though, TSS applications that are located in regional Australia, such as South Australia, are often given priority processing over other TSS visa applications.

Find out the Top 10 Things You Should Know About The 482 Visa.


South Australian Visas

Supporting Innovation In South Australia (SISA) Visa

(Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa)

The (SISA) Visa, also referred to as ‘The South Australian Entrepreneur Visa’ was opened on 21 November 2018 and will run until 30 November 2021. The visas are aimed at foreign entrepreneurs and investors with innovative ideas and a supporting business plans. With short processing times, and a low application cost SISA is creating several opportunities for migrants, South Australia, and local economies.


Student Visas

Student Subclass 500 Visa

The student visa (subclass 500) allows students to visit Australia on a course of study for up to 5 years. The subclass 500 will allow students to participate in an eligible course of study and bring family members with them to Australia. Students must pass a the GTE requirements as well as an English language test such as the IELTS.

South Australia is home to a number of outstanding universities, such as the University of Adelaide, that offer a number of incredible opportunities to international students.


Partner Visas (Spousal)

Partner Visa (Permanent) Subclass 801 Visa

The Partner subclass 801 visa is one of the most popular of family visa’s because it allows the de facto partner or spouse of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen living in Australia permanently.

Recently, we have witnessed changes to the partner visa that has affected processing times. Check out our 7 tips to get better processing times and an approved application.

*Please note that the list above is not your only option when immigrating to South Australia. If you would like to find out more about South Australian visas or the other options you may have, please contact us for up to date trustworthy information.


The South Australia State Nomination process

The state nomination process in South Australia requires skilled and business migrants to ensure they meet all visa and state nomination criteria, prepare the required documentation and make their application online via the Skilled & Business Migration portal.

South Australia state nomination process is quite simple with 3 key stages

  • Prepare documents for your application 
  • Submit application: depending on which stream you are planning to apply for, all Talent and Innovators must lodge a Registration of Interest before applying for State Nomination. Others can skip that step and apply for state nomination.
  • Waiting for assessment and outcomes: a pre-invitation letter or an official invitation letter will be sent through the nominated email address.

Our South Australian Immigration Lawyers & Migration Agents

Chris Johnston

Our founder, and the principal immigration lawyer at Work Visa Lawyers, Chris Johnston, has focused his practice on immigration for over 10 years. Between 2006 and 2011 Chris worked for both of the largest migration advice businesses in South Australia.

In 2011 Chris established Work Visa Lawyers and has since been elected by his peers to serve as the South Australian State President for the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) and a Director on the National Board of the MIA. (The MIA is the peak professional body for registered migration agents in Australia).

Through growing up in Adelaide, South Australia and having lived throughout Australia, Chris is able to use his professional knowledge and life experiences to help you navigate the complex world of visa applications and settle in South Australia.  

Find out more about Chris Johnston’s practice areas.

Wendy Guan

Wendy is a registered migration agent who has experience in a range of visas. She is also able to leverage her industry gained knowledge in business to help you through the immigration process.  

Wendy holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Bachelor of International Trade. She completed a Graduate Certificate of Migration Law and Practice, obtaining the status of Registered Migration Agent in 2016.

Before joining Work Visa Lawyers Wendy spent 8 years working in an international student hostel dedicated to assisting thousands of international students to settle into student life in Australia. She then spent 2 years working as a consultant, providing migration advice and services for a number of skilled migrants.

Having also studied and migrated to Australia, Wendy understands the migration process from personal experience. She looks forward to assisting you with your Australian visa and citizenship needs.

Find out more about Wendy Guan’s practice areas.

Luke Edwards

Luke holds a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Science, and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. In 2018 he was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia.

While completing his degree, Luke pursued an interest in migration through undertaking courses in Migration Law and Policy, as well as Refugee Law and Policy. Luke has been immersed within Australian immigration since doing his university work experience with Work Visa Lawyers in 2016.

Having lived in Adelaide his whole life, Luke is able to answer almost any South Australian question you may have. Moreover, Luke has gained invaluable experience and knowledge from working directly under Chris Johnston. Through his own South Australian experiences and professional expertise, Luke can assist you with any Australian migration concerns you may have.

Find out more about Luke Edwards practice areas.

South Australian Immigration Services

Our team of South Australian immigration lawyers and registered migration agents have helped thousands of migrants work towards their dreams of living in Australia. Work Visa Lawyers is devoted to providing professional and excellent immigration services to all of our clients around Australia and the world. Being a South Australian based immigration service, we are in tune with the SA communities and immigration climate. It’s becoming more and more difficult to overlook South Australia when immigrating to Australia.

Whether you are a student, skilled worker, or an international business professional, Work Visa Lawyers is committed to ensuring that every applicant knows what options they have. If you are concerned about your Australian immigration application, dealing with the Department of Home Affairs, or have questions about what opportunities you may be, please contact Work Visa Lawyers.

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications, including Student Visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Student Visas, Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer-Sponsored Work Visas, Partner, and other Family Migration visas, as well as Migration Review Tribunal, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.


If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

Phone: +61 8 8351 9956

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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