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Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491)

Regional Development Australia (RDA) offices are now assisting NSW Treasury to manage the subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional Visa.

Applications are now being accepted by RDA Northern Rivers.

If you have any questions please refer to our FAQ– Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491) page or email 491visa@rdanorthernrivers.org.au

Each RDA office accepts and assess applications and determine eligible occupations for their respective regions. However, nomination criteria are consistent across all regions. These criteria are outlined below.

RDA offices focus on nominating applicants who are undertaking skilled work in critical sectors. These applicants are a priority for the Government in supporting economic recovery following the impacts of COVID-19.

Please note that RDA Northern Rivers has a very limited number of sponsorships available and as such we will only accept applications under Stream 1 initially.  Priority will be given to people currently living and working in this region.

 

Important information re S48 bar

The section 48 bar applies to applicants who are holding a bridging visa, and have had a visa refused or cancelled, since their last entry into Australia. If you are subject to a section 48 bar you need to leave Australia before you can reapply for a visa.

NSW will not re-nominate applicants who are subject to a section 48 bar where their nomination has expired, and they are unable to leave Australia.

Nomination allocations provided by the Department of Home Affairs are limited and it is currently uncertain when border restrictions will be lifted. To ensure the limited nomination positions allocated to NSW go to support the economic recovery of the state, RDA Northern Rivers will not re-nominate applicants subject to a section 48 bar.

Step 1: Check Eligibility Criteria

You must meet the criteria in one of the following three streams to be eligible for NSW nomination.  Please note that Northern Rivers is currently only accepting applications under Stream 1 as priority will be given to people currently living and working in the region.

  1. Living and working in regional NSW;
  2. Recently completed study in regional NSW; or
  3. Living and working outside of regional NSW.

Full details on the eligibility criteria are available from the Nomination Criteria section below.

Step 2: Check Occupation List

The eligible skilled occupations for each region will be different, so it is important that you check that your occupation is currently being accepted for our region. This list is updated regularly and sometimes needs to be changed without notice. Your occupation must be on this list when you submit your application.

It is important that the skilled occupation on your application to the Northern Rivers matches the occupation that is entered into SkillSelect. If these do not match, you cannot be nominated to apply for the 491 visa by the NSW Government.

Please note that nominations are limited for each occupation and region and not everyone who applies will be selected, even if they meet the eligibility criteria.  As the occupation list is updated regularly, there may be variances between the list below and the copy provided by the NSW Government. The list below is the current edition, and applications need to adhere to this list. Occupations that are on the copy provided by the NSW Government but not on this list will not be accepted.

Our occupation list is available on our Occupation List for the Northern Rivers page

Step 3: Get to know the Northern Rivers Region

As part of accepting a nomination from the NSW Government, applicants commit to live and work in NSW for the first two years of their visa. According to visa regulations, the applicant must have a genuine commitment to live and work in the nominating region.

This commitment is a condition of the NSW Government’s nomination.

If you are interested in relocating to the Northern Rivers, we encourage you to learn about it. Online information can be found on this website and also at www.northernriversnsw.com.au/the-region/

Step 4: Complete Your Application Form and Documentation

The application form and required documentation for each stream is different, so it is important that you select the correct stream to avoid delays in processing your application.

Application forms and document checklists for each of the streams are available through the links below for:

Stream 1: Living and working in Regional NSW

Stream 2 – Recently Completed Study in Regional NSW

Stream 3 – Living and Working Outside of a Designated Regional Postcode of NSW

Stream 3a – Job Offer in Regional NSW

Stream 3b – Offshore and at least five years of skilled employment

Stream 3c – Family Ties in Regional NSW

Please note that RDA Northern Rivers has a very limited number of sponsorships available and as such we will only be accepting applications under “Stream 1” initially.  Priority will be given to people currently living and working in this region

 

Step 5: Submit Your Application

All applications should be addressed to our Skilled Migration Project Officer.

It is preferable to submit your application by email, as this can reduce the processing time for your application.

Email applications, with all supporting documents clearly identified and in separate files to 491visa@rdanorthernrivers.org.au

You will receive an automated reply from our email system to acknowledge receipt of your application.

Alternatively, you can send a hard copy of your application to us by mail to:

Attn: Migration Officer
RDA – Northern Rivers
PO Box 146
LISMORE NSW 2480

Step 6 - Make Payment for Your Application Assessment

If we have sponsorships available we will contact you, via the email address your application was submitted from, for payment and provide the 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.

Note that payment of your application assessment fee does not guarantee a positive outcome for your application.

Our assessment fees are:

Skilled Regional State Nominated (491 visa): AUD $800.00

Step 7 - Await the Outcome of Your Application

Applications will be processed in the order in which complete applications are received and will be completed within 6 weeks.

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.

If your application is successful, we will provide you with information about the next steps in the process.

Once we have advised the NSW Government that we have offered you nomination, it will take up to 4 working days (Monday to Friday and excluding NSW public holidays) for the nomination to be processed. You will then receive an invitation to apply from SkillSelect.

Nomination Criteria

You must meet all the criteria in one of the following three streams to be eligible for NSW nomination:

  1. Living and working in regional NSW;
  2. Recently completed study in regional NSW; or
  3. Living and working outside of regional NSW.

Applicants who do not meet the criteria in one of these three streams may be refused unless otherwise agreed with NSW Treasury.

‘Closely related occupations’ are defined as those having the same ANZSCO unit group, i.e. sharing the same first four digits.

‘Designated regional areas’ are determined by the Department of Home Affairs. Please see the Department of Home Affairs website for a list of regional NSW postcodes.

 

1. Living and working in regional NSW

To be eligible for NSW nomination under this stream you must:

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on your nominated region’s occupation list;
  • have been living in a designated regional area of NSW for at least the previous 12 months; and
  • have been working in your nominated occupation, or a closely related occupation, in a designated regional area of NSW, for at least the previous 12 months.

 

2. Recently completed study in regional NSW – Not currently available

To be eligible for NSW nomination under this stream you must:

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on your nominated region’s occupation list;
  • have completed study or education with an education provider, where:
    • the study was completed within the previous 24 months;
    • the education provider is located in a designated regional area in NSW;
    • the study meets the Australian study requirement (as determined by Home Affairs from time to time); and
    • the qualification obtained from this study has been assessed as closely related to your nominated occupation by the relevant assessing authority; and
  • have lived in a designated regional area of NSW while completing your study.

 

3. Living and working outside of regional NSW – Not currently available

To be eligible for NSW nomination under this stream you must meet all the criteria for at least one of the following categories:

Job offer in regional NSW

To be eligible for NSW nomination under this category you must:

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on your nominated region’s occupation list;
  • have an offer for ongoing employment that is:
    • in your nominated occupation, or a closely related occupation; and
    • for a minimum term of 12 months and 35 hours of work per week;
  • have an offer for ongoing employment from an employer that is:
    • located in a designated regional area in NSW; and
    • registered in Australia.

At least five years skilled employment experience (offshore Applicants)

If you reside outside of Australia, you must:

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on your nominated region’s occupation list; and
  • have at least five years of skilled employment in such nominated occupation, or a closely related occupation.

Family ties in regional NSW

To be eligible for NSW nomination under this category you must:

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on your nominated region’s occupation list; and
  • have an immediate family member in a designated regional area in NSW who satisfies all of the criteria below:
    • is either your grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, brother or sister (including by virtue of a step or adoptive relationship);
    • at least 18 years of age;
    • either an Australian Permanent Resident, an Australian Citizen or a NSW nominated provisional visa holder (489);
    • currently residing in a designated regional area in NSW; and
    • has been residing in a designated regional area in NSW for at least the previous 24 months,
    • and you must ensure that your family member has completed a statutory declaration to confirm that they satisfy each of the above chain migration requirements.

Participating regions

*Designated regional postcodes within the RDA Sydney area can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.

 

Alternative migration options

NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) is just one of a number of visa options for prospective skilled migrants. There is a range of visas offered by the Department of Home Affairs, including both temporary and permanent employer nominated visas.

You may also wish to seek advice from a registered migration agent. A list of registered migration agents is available on the Migration Agents Registration Authority website.

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Suite 3
109 Molesworth Street
(PO Box 146)
Lismore NSW 2480 [Map]

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