Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) (2023)

The Federal Government retains ultimate responsibility for Australia's migration program, including the allocation of available places across program streams and making decisions on visa applications.

Under agreement with the Federal Government, state and territory governments can nominate a limited number of applicants in a limited number of skilled, business and investor visa subclasses.

About NSW nomination

NSW nomination for this visa allows skilled migrants to live, work and study indesignated regional areasof NSW for a period of 5 years.

There are two pathways to NSW nomination for this visa:

  • Pathway 1– Apply directly to a Regional Development Australia (RDA) office
  • Pathway 2– Be invited to apply by Investment NSW

There are two nomination streams under Pathway 1, these are:

  • Stream A– Established work history with a regional NSW-based employer
  • Stream B– My skills are required in regional NSW

See ourCommon questions about skilled visaspage for answers to a full list of our most commonly received questions.

Nomination criteria

To be eligible for NSW nomination, you must meetalleligibility requirements outlined byHome Affairsfor this visa. This includes being skilled in an eligible occupation.

Additionally, you must also meet all eligibility for the nomination pathway and/or stream you are seeking nomination. These are outlined below.

Note: You are not eligible for NSW nomination for this visa if you have previously been nominated by NSW for any visa.

Pathway 1 – Apply directly to a Regional Development Australia (RDA) office

The nomination criteria for each nomination stream include:

Stream A – Established work history with a regional NSW-based employer

To apply under this stream, you must be currently living and working in a designated regional area of NSW, and have continuously done so for the past 12 months.

Your qualifying skilled employment in the twelve months immediately before applying must be:

  • In your nominated (or closely related) occupation; and

  • With the same regional NSW-based employer; and

  • Deemed skilled by NSW; and

  • Paid a minimum of the TSMIT salary level of $53,900 (prorated if under 38 hours per week) from your qualifying employer in your nominated (or closely related) occupation

Your nominated occupation must be eligible for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491).

See ourCommon questions about skilled visaspage for further information about eligibility under this stream.

Stream B – My skilled are required in regional NSW

To be eligible to apply under this stream, you must:

  • Be skilled in an occupation that is:

    • within an ANZSCO unit group identified on theStream Bskills list, and

    • is eligible for the visa

  • Meet the minimum point scoreandyears of skilled work experience for your ANZSCO unit group

  • Be currently residing in NSW,oroffshore, and have continuously done so for a minimum period ofthreemonths

Minimum point scores and years of skilled work experience are outlined for each ANSZCO unit group on theStream B skills list.

Regional NSW study exemption

You are exempt from the minimum work experience requirement under Stream B if you:

  • Completed study in regional NSW within the most recent 24 months before applying; and
  • Your study is related to your nominated (or closely related) occupation; and
  • Your study in regional NSW makes you eligible to claim points forStudy in regional Australia.

Pathway 2 – Be invited to apply by Investment NSW

To be considered for NSW nomination under Pathway 2 you must:

  • Be skilled in an occupation that is:

    • within an ANZSCO unit group identified on thePathway 2skills list, and

    • is eligible for the visa

  • Be currently residing in NSW, or offshore, and have continuously done so for a minimum period of three months

  • Have submitted an EOI in SkillSelect seeking nomination for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) onlyandNSW only

Previously published points scores and work experience guides for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) have been removed for Pathway 2 due to increased availability of the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) by the Department of Home Affairs.

Pathway 2 invitation rounds

Invitation rounds occur ongoing throughout the financial year. There are no set dates, and rounds are not announced beforehand.

We cannot advise the date of upcoming NSW invitation rounds or the likelihood your SkillSelect EOI will be invited by contacting our office.

Meeting the minimum nomination outlined above in no way guarantees you will be invited to apply for NSW nomination.

Because being invited to apply is highly competitive, we strongly encourage anyone seeking NSW nomination to explore all other migration pathways and do not wait to be invited by NSW.

Nomination process

How to apply or be considered for NSW nomination is different for each nomination pathway:

Pathway 1– Apply directly to a Regional Development Australia (RDA) office

To apply directly for NSW nomination under Pathway 1 you must:

  1. Confirm you are eligible for this visa with Home Affairs
  2. Confirm you meet all eligibility requirements for your chosen nomination stream outlined above
  3. Complete an EOI in SkillSelect ensuring that all information is accurate and that your EOI is seeking nomination for the Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491) only and NSW only
  4. Complete your application fee payment directly with theRDA office in your chosen nominating region
  5. Apply for NSW nomination using our online application form
  6. Wait up to eight weeks for your application outcome

Pathway 2– Be invited to apply by Investment NSW

To be considered for NSW nomination under Pathway 2 you must:

  1. Confirm you are eligible for this visawith Home Affairs
  2. Confirm you meet all pathway eligibility requirements outlined above
  3. Complete an EOI in SkillSelect ensuring that all information is accurateand that your EOI is seeking nomination for the Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491) only and NSW only
  4. Wait to be invited to apply – because of the high demand for NSW nomination, most migrants seeking nomination will unfortunately not be invited
  5. If invited, apply for NSW nomination directly to Investment NSW using the link provided to you by email
  6. Wait up to six weeks for your application outcome

Common reasons applications are declined

Common reasons why applications are declined include where an applicant:

Overclaimed skilled employment

For the purpose of NSW nomination, you may only claim employment that is:

  • after the date you have been deemed skilled by your skills assessor (if applicable), or
  • after the date you have completed your qualifying study

If you claim employment in your SkillSelect EOI before the date you are deemed skilled in your occupation, you are not eligible to apply for NSW nomination if invited.There are no exceptions for any reason.

Does not meet the residency requirement

You must be currently residing in NSW, or offshore, and have done so for a minimum period ofsixmonths to be eligible for NSW nomination.

Could not provide evidence for all claims in EOI

It is the responsibility of the EOI owner to ensure they can provide evidence for all the claims in their SkillSelect EOI. This includes:

  • Claiming points for skilled employment before the date you are deemed skilled in your occupation (see below)
  • Claiming credentialled community language points when your qualification has expired. Your CCL certificate must be valid on the day you are invited to apply by NSW to claim these points
  • Claiming professional year points when you are not eligible. Your professional year must:
    • be in your nominated (or closely related) occupation; and
    • havecommencedwithin 4 years of the day you were invited to apply

Important information about providing false documents

NSW nominates applicants for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) to support its regional economies and communities through the settlement of highly skilled migrants who are committed to living and working in regional NSW long term.

Providing falsified or misleading information to NSW in support of your claims against our nomination criteria is taken very seriously.

Any instances offraudulent activity will be reported to Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs and/or NSW Police and may result in any nomination being withdrawn and/or visa cancelled.

Alternative migration pathways

NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) is just one ofa number ofvisa options for prospective skilled migrants.

There are a range of visas offered byHome Affairs, including both temporary and permanent employer nominated visas.You may also wish to seek advice from a registered migration agent.

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