The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) allows skilled migrants to live, study and work in designated regional for a period of 5 years.
Regional Development Australia (RDA) offices across NSW assist the NSW government in assessing nomination applications for the 491 visa.
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.
Please be advised that all RDAs will suspend processing of the 491 Visa over the Christmas period. The closure period for RDA Northern Rivers is from 22 December, 2022 until 9 January, 2023. For any outstanding applications, the two week period will be added to the processing time of your application. Thank you for your understanding.
There are two pathways to NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491):
Pathway 1 has 2 streams administered by the RDAs:
- Stream A – established work history with a regional NSW-based employer – the nominated occupation must be eligible for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) – the Home Affairs listing https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skill-occupation-list
- Stream B – My skills are required in regional NSW – Using the NSW Government skills list
Pathway 2 – Is the NSW Government Invitation Only Pathway
Information regarding these pathways are outlined on the NSW Regional Skilled Migration webpage.
Answers to common questions about skilled visas are also available.
Alternative migration pathways
NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) is just one of a number of visa options for prospective skilled migrants.
How to apply
Step 1: Complete Application and Submit Documentation
Apply online by going to the NSW 491 Application webpage from 2 November 2022. At this site you will complete the application form and be asked to provide relevant documentation that addresses your EOI claims. This should be provided in Zip File Format. As part of this process, you will be asked which RDA you are applying for. You can only apply for one RDA Region.
Payment to your chosen RDA must be made immediately prior to lodging your application with them. Evidence and receipt of such payment must be included in your zip-files at the time you submit your application to the relevant RDA.
Step 2: Get to Know Your Region
As the region that is supporting you and providing you with the opportunity to gain a 491 visa and potentially permanent residency, we expect you to genuinely commit to the Northern Rivers region by living and working here and to make a positive contribution to our communities.
Therefore, it is important that you get to know the Northern Rivers region, and research whether the work and lifestyle opportunities it provides are suitable for you and any dependents you may have.
Step 3: RDA Confirmation of Receipt of Documentation
The application and Zip file will be forwarded to your nominated RDA.
Your RDA will send a confirmation email of receipt of documentation and provide details regarding payment of your fee.
Step 4: Assessment Fee Payment Instructions
Payment is required as part of your application and we will not commence assessment of your application until your payment can be verified.
Our assessment fees are:
Skilled Regional State Nominated (491 visa): AUD $800.00 including GST
Note that payment for your application assessment fee does not guarantee a positive outcome for your application.
Our office will issue and email an invoice on receipt of the application which will include payment instructions.
Step 5: RDA Assessment Process
Applications will be processed in the order in which complete applications are received and will be completed within 8 weeks.
Once we have assessed your application, we will be in contact with you to request further information if required documents were not included in your application submission or to advise you on the outcome of your application.
Step 6: Await Outcome of your Application
Once we have referred your application to the NSW Government for nomination, it will take up to 5 working days (Monday to Friday, and excluding NSW public holidays) for the nomination to be processed and you will receive an invitation to apply from SkillSelect.
Data Collection Notice
The personal information you provide to RDA Northern Rivers is subject to the Privacy & Personal Information Act 1998. It is being collected by RDA Northern Rivers and will be used for the purposes related to NSW nomination under the NSW Business and Skilled Migration Program.
RDA Northern Rivers may share the personal information provided by you in connection with your application for nomination with the NSW Government, the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs and RDA Sydney for the purposes of verification and processing of your nomination and subsequent visa application. RDA Northern Rivers will not disclose your personal information to anybody else unless authorised by law. The provision of your personal information is required to be supplied for the purposes of assessing your eligibility for NSW nomination for a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491). If you choose not to provide any requested personal information, we may not be able to assess your application for nomination.
You have the right to request access to, and correct the details of, your personal information held by us. For further information concerning the management, storage, and privacy of your information, please refer to the NSW Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade website.
Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491) Program – RDA Northern Rivers Refund Statement
There are limited circumstances under which RDA Northern Rivers will refund an applicant their application fee for the Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491) Program. These circumstances include:
- Applicant turns 45 years of age during assessment process:
- The applicant has paid the application fee of $800 (incl. GST) and supplied proof of payment to RDA Rivers, and
- The applicant turns 45 years of age during the assessment process being conducted by RDA Northern Rivers, and
- Accordingly, RDA Northern Rivers is obliged to cease its assessment, deem the application unsuccessful and refuse nomination.
- Clerical billing error:
- RDA Northern Rivers discovers, or it is brought to the attention of RDA Northern Rivers, that a clerical error in its billing system has occurred, and
- Accordingly, where an applicant has been invoiced incorrectly and therefore made payment to RDA Northern Rivers for an amount that is considered to be incorrect.
The above circumstances are the only circumstances in which RDA Northern Rivers will refund an applicant their application fee or part thereof.
All permitted refunds will be returned to applicants in the manner in which the original payment was made and to the same corresponding bank account.
*Note: Under no circumstances are refunds available to applicants for having a change of mind concerning the Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491) Program or being materially non-compliant with the application criteria set out by the NSW Government and the Department of Home Affairs.
**All refunds are at the discretion of RDA Northern Rivers or at the direction of the NSW Government.