NSW Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) important update: NSW announced a ‘Working in Regional NSW’ stream living and working in regional NSW

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) allows skilled migrants to live, study and work in designated regional areas for a period of 5 years.

The Federal Government continues to have ultimate authority over Australia’s immigration policy, including decisions about visa applications as well as the distribution of open positions within programme streams.

State and territory governments are permitted, in accordance with an agreement with the federal government, to propose a certain number of candidates for a finite number of skilled, business, and investor visa categories.

NEW PATHWAY FOR REGIONAL NSW-BASED SKILLED MIGRANTS

With a specific pathway for Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) nomination, the NSW Government is increasing assistance for skilled migrants with regional NSW residences.

The new “Working in Regional NSW” eligibility stream shows support for companies looking to retain skilled migrants for their operations while also acknowledging applicants’ commitment to living and working in regional NSW.

Nomination Pathways

There are three pathways to NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491):

Regional NSW-based direct pathway

To apply under this pathway, you must:

  1. Ensure you are eligible for this visa subclass on the Home Affairs website
  2. Be currently living and working in their nominated (or closely related) occupation in a designated regional area of NSW, and have continuously done so for the past twelve (12) months for a minimum of 20 hours per week
  3. Have a valid skills assessment in an occupation within a unit group that appears on the NSW Regional Skills List and is eligible for the visa
  4. Are paid at least the TSMIT level or $53,900 per annum (full time basis) excluding superannuation
  5. Provide evidence for all points claims in your SkillSelect EOI, and where you currently reside, with your application. You must also provide a copy of your SkillSelect EOI

Pathway 1 – Apply directly to an RDA office

To apply under this pathway, you must:

  1. Ensure you are eligible for this visa subclass on the Home Affairs website
  2. Confirm you meet the NSW basic eligibility criteria outlined below 
  3. Complete an EOI in SkillSelect and ensure that:
    • all information is accurate
    • your EOI seeks nomination for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 491) and NSW only
  4. Apply directly to the RDA office in the region you wish to live and work in for the first three years after being granted your visa by Home Affairs
  5. Provide evidence for all points claims in your SkillSelect EOI, and where you currently reside, with your application. You must also provide a copy of your SkillSelect EOI

REGIONAL NSW STUDY IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT INVITATION ROUNDSEXEMPTION

You are exempt from the minimum work experience requirement under Pathway 1 if you have completed study in regional NSW within the most recent 24 months before applying to an RDA office; AND your study is related to your nominated (or closely related) occupation; AND your study in regional NSW makes you eligible to claim points for Study in regional Australia.

Pathway 2 – Be invited by Investment NSW

To be considered under this pathway, you must:

  1. Ensure you are eligible for this visa subclass on the Home Affairs website
  2. Confirm you meet the NSW basic eligibility criteria outlined below 
  3. Complete an EOI in SkillSelect and ensure that:
    • all information is accurate
    • your EOI seeks nomination for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 491) and NSW only. 
  4. Be invited to apply during an invitation round. NSW will not issue an invitation to apply for any reason outside the normal functioning of an invitation round. Do not contact our office requesting to be invited
  5. Apply to Investment NSW within 14 days of being invited
  6. Provide evidence for all points claims in your SkillSelect EOI and where you currently reside

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT INVITATION ROUNDS

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

NSW Govt. 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 exceptionally competitive, NSW Govt. strongly encourage anyone seeking NSW nomination to explore all other migration pathways and do not wait to be invited by NSW.  

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