Moving states on 190 visa


When talking about state-sponsored (also termed state-nominated) visa, two subclasses of it come to mind – subclass 190 and subclass 489. In this article, we’ll discuss what to do if you are considering moving states on 190 visa or 489 visa.

As you may have already known, these two subclasses of state-sponsored visa serve one and the same purpose: to give the states in Australia a leeway to match skilled workers with the demand in their area of jurisdiction. One of the main conditions on the granting of such a visa is for you to live and work within the sponsoring state for the first two years after your visa would be granted.

In this article, we won’t go into the details about how to obtain 190 or 489 visa – which one is more beneficial than the other, which one you should apply for, etc.  Our focus here is to discuss the ramifications involved when you decide to move from the state that supposedly welcomes you with its open arms to another state that you find more attractive and suitable for you and your family before prescribed 2 years period of time.

 Is it possible to move states on 190 visa?

Obtaining a state-sponsored visa for work and stay in Australia can amount to a manna from heaven for you, do you agree?  On the other hand, you are the country’s answered prayer for its demand for skilled workers.

In other words, it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement – you get to live and work in the nominating state in the country and the state benefits from the skills and expertise that you can bring to the table.  Conversely, a safe, secure and welcoming Australia provides most, if not all, of the benefits, amenities and conveniences ideal for earning your keep and, more importantly, for raising your family.  The country (or state, for that matter), on the other hand, is only too happy to enjoy your contributions to its growth and development.

The problem, however, is that we are not living in a perfect world.  There are occasions when differences, misunderstanding, failed expectations and other issues mar an otherwise promising cooperation and collaboration.  Yes, plans and prospects don’t always pan out well.

This scenario, for instance, can happen: Demand for workers exists in one place, but you have a hard time looking for a job.  Impossible?  No, it’s possible — ironic the situation may seem.  So, here you are — armed with an impressive set of skills, coupled with the right qualifications and experiences, and feeling supremely confident that you breeze through with job hunting, only to find out later that opportunities are hard to come by.

Or a relative, family member or close friend wants you to come over to their place for your assistance and support.

Another possibility is this: The place you just stepped on seems alien to you and you cannot wait to board the next available flight out of it.

If you are caught in one of such scenarios, there seems no other logical choice but to leave your sponsoring state into the arms of another state or territory.

The question is, can you do it?  The answer is, yes, you can do it.  But, of course, you cannot just leave.  There are rules to follow, requirements to attend to and helpful recommendations to bear in mind so you will not land in hot water.

This is where differences between visa subclass 190 and subclass 489 lie. Let’s tackle subclass 190 first.

What should you do when moving states on 190 visa

First of all, subclass 190 visa is a permanent visa.  The moment you obtain it, you have the right to remain in the country as long as you want.  Even if you choose to leave the sponsoring state, the agreement to live in such a state is not going to affect the status of your visa.  In other words, even if you have signed the agreement to remain in the concerned state, you are not obliged to abide by it.

But hold your horses just yet.  There’s a caveat here: Your decision to renege on that promise could have an impact on your future stay in the country, most especially when you apply for a citizenship.  You may be made to explain to the approving authority why you do it.

The same holds true when you apply for another visa with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), such as Resident Return Visa.  Again, reneging on your previous commitment does not technically affect the processing of your application.  But looking at your records, a DIBP officer might question your integrity and trustworthiness to honor the succeeding commitment.

There lies the rub.  So don’t just pack up your things and say goodbye to the state that has invested time, effort and resources just so you could land in the land of opportunities and promise.

The best course of action here is to discuss your situation with your sponsoring state’s government agency.  If you cannot do it yourself, you may seek the services of an agent. If, for instance, your problem is finding suitable work and you have demonstrated to them that you exerted time and effort to find one and yet failed, and also you have proven to them that the opportunities fit for you are in another state, they may release you from the agreement and allow you to pursue your goals elsewhere.

Also, discussing your problems with the concerned agency may prompt the government to help you resolve your problems without you resorting to leaving.  The state has much at stake as you have in making the partnership work.  Like you, it has invested so much in you as to just let you go without lifting a finger.

What should you do when moving states on 489 visa

Concerning visa subclass 489 — another type of state-sponsored visa that allows you and your family to live and work in the “designated areas” of Australia. This is provisional visa, which means you must abide by conditions to be allowed to apply for permanent residency. You just need to meet the requirements of the visa itself.  And the most obvious requirement is for you to live for two years and work full-time for 12 months in a designated area to be eligible for Australian permanent residency.

Again, the agreement does not prevent you from moving to another state or territory.  But in cases where you have not complied with the minimum requirement of the deal, you may need to move to a postcode that meets the definition of a designated area. There is a list of postcodes which are specified as designated.

Be honest and communicate

As in any relationship, communication plays a crucial role in resolving issues, much more when it involves states and nations.  In allowing you to enter their country, the Australian government has done an enormous effort at making it happen.  True, they can’t hold you captive just because of the agreement, but you can’t let them hold the shorter end of the stick either.  It goes without saying that if you have problems regarding your stint here, talk to the concerned agency or authority.

Obviously, you cannot just pack up and leave.  Doing so would put you in a tight spot.  That’s not only certain to happen to you, that’s guaranteed to happen.  Your possession of the visa obliges you to provide the state and federal governments with your address.  Failing to do that constitutes a breach of contract.  And we need not remind you that might be seen by some as a serious offense.

Besides, you run the risk of losing track of any vital information regarding your stay here, which puts you in an even tighter spot.

So, communicate.

16 thoughts on “Moving states on 190 visa

  • 05/12/2017 at 2:48 pm

    I need more information about 489 Visa

  • 10/12/2017 at 4:34 pm

    Hey Guys,
    I got 190 Visa (ACT state) when I was single;
    now I am married and my husband has his own PR (independant);
    He is getting the job in Sydney; hence I am living and working in Sydney with him.
    Do i need to notify the ACT government about anything? Would it affect my OR future renewal or citizenship application?

    • 11/12/2017 at 11:25 am

      Well – you should have advised relevant institution of your intentions before moving. Following your partner would be an understandable reason.

      • 11/12/2017 at 11:32 am

        Thank you so much for the response: just a last quick question: Who could be “relevant institution” for me for this particular instance? Is there any web-site/web link in particular where I should drop the message with the relevant details?
        Thank you once again for your response.))

        • 13/12/2017 at 7:57 am

          It would be the same people who gave you the nomination.

  • 12/02/2018 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Guys,

    I am Neha. I have one query. I am thinking to apply state sponsorship under 190 but I want to know that moving to a state is before applying PR? People those do offshore 190 visa how they are allowed to apply it without even moving there? Do I need to do study and job both there for 1 year before applying PR? I still have 70 point but its not sufficient to apply PR in Sydney. Please confirm me.


    • 13/02/2018 at 6:16 am

      It’s up to the state if they’ll give you a nomination. You need to convince them, your intentions are genuine and you’ll live in the state which will nominate you.

    • 15/02/2018 at 2:20 pm

      Neha – you can apply for PR with 190 visa even outside Australia. I just received mine yesterday for NSW. And i had 75 points.

  • 20/02/2018 at 6:21 am


    I have VISA 190 from NSW granted in September 2017.
    I had made my first entry to NSW on 11th November 2017. I came back out of Australia on 19th November 2017 to resume my office in offshore.
    I dont have a registered address with centralink because i am currently away from the country. I have a valid TFN issued in 2012 from Sydney ATO.

    Since last few months I am on a lookout for a job so that I can come back to Australia. As the living expenses in Australia are very high and unaffordable for me, I am trying to get a job first before moving. In this process, I am trying to apply for as many jobs as possible. I have appeared many interviews till date. Finally I was able to get an offer which came from Melbourne.

    What should be done to get a letter of release from NSW in this situation?



    • 21/02/2018 at 11:37 am

      Talk to the people who gave you a nomination.

  • 22/02/2018 at 10:42 am

    Hi i have done masters in business administration and now I want to diploma of nursing to be eligible for 190 or 489 visa. I am in Sydney please advise me where should I complete my study here in Sydney or somewhere in regional area. Which states are offering 190 and 489 visas. I am also thinking to move to Adelaide . Thankyou:)

  • 13/03/2018 at 11:52 pm

    Hi ,
    I have 190 PR visa and i’m the dependant of my wife’s PR visa.I tried finding a job as a QA Engineer in Sydney and seems like it is not working.So i’m planning to move to another state where i have my relations live.Do i need to inform anyone before moving ?
    Thank You

    • 14/03/2018 at 9:50 am

      Letting your wife know that you are leaving her, could be a good idea 😉

  • 18/03/2018 at 8:12 pm

    Hello guys,
    The information you are providing is really useful. Would you mind asking some questions?
    I was granted my permanent residency subclass NSW – 190 the 14th of March and I haven’t been back to my country for 4 years so I am planning to visit it on July, and then move to NSW. Do you think I might get in trouble if I do this?
    Thank you very much.

    • 21/03/2018 at 10:09 pm

      I’m not sure if I understand what’s the issue here? You’ve been nominated by NSW and you will be back to NSW – so what’s the problem?

  • 30/03/2018 at 12:57 am

    Hello, I first came on my PR 190 to South Australia on 10th of November, 2017. Though I was already applying for jobs offshore since September, 2017. I left South Australia and went back home on 24th of November, 2017 and continued applying for jobs. I am married and have a kid so I was in a hurry to find a job. I contacted Immigration SA at the end of December (being offshore) that kindly release me from my commitment as I couldnt find a job but got a response in January, 2018 saying move not endorsed and I have a commitment with the state to fulfil and I should continue my job search in SA. Therafter, I moved back with family again to SA on 23 Jan, 18 and have been since living in SA and trying to find a relevant job on daily basis but havent been successful. Now my financial condition has gone worst as maintaining family here without earning is very hard. Now I want to get the permission to apply elsewhere in Australia so that I can move and start earning for my family. What should I do ? Considering my stay in SA started in November, and I have been once declined the waiver of commitment by Immigration SA and also considering my financial condition is going steep now. Thanks.

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