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  • Writer's pictureElan Rysher

NSW opens for Subclass 491 applications for a LIMITED TIME

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

The subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa was introduced in November 2019 by the Australian Department of Home Affairs. One of the key requirements of this visa is being nominated by one of the States or Territories. Once candidates are nominated, they receive invitations to lodge visa applications.

Farm in regional NSW where subclass 491 visas are granted
Regional NSW nominations will open for 1 week only

Many SkillSelect candidates have been anxiously waiting for New South Wales to open its subclass 491 visa program. However, more than six months after the visa was introduced, Australia's most populous State and popular migrant destination hasn't actually nominated anyone for this visa.

Today, NSW Treasury has announced that it will begin accepting nominations for subclass 491 visas for a limited time. Here's what we know:

Applications will open on Monday 15 June 2020 and close at 5pm on Tuesday, 23 June 2020. Applications lodged during this period will be processed by 30 June 2020. Only applicants who meet the following criteria will be assessed:

  • all Department of Home Affairs’ requirements for this visa, and

  • have an occupation on the NSW Stream 1 Regional Skilled Occupation List, and

  • have been living in a regional area in NSW for at least the last 12 months, and

  • have been working in a regional area in NSW for at least the last 12 months, and

  • have been working in their nominated occupation, or a closely related occupation, for at least the last 12 months.

Updated 22 June 2020: NSW has extended the period 491 nomination applications can be lodged by. Applications will now be accepted until 5pm on 26 June 2020. The requirements to work in a regional area in the nominated occupation has been removed.

Applicants that do not meet all of these requirements will have their applications declined. Application fees are non-refundable in the event of a refusal.

EOI Candidates waiting for NSW 491 visa State nomination
Candidates have been waiting for over 6 months

Where is the list?

The NSW Stream 1 Regional Skilled Occupation List is not yet available to the general public. There are links to the list on NSW's migration portal however they are currently not working. ImmiUpdates has obtained a copy of the NSW Stream 1 Regional Skilled Occupation List.

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How to apply?

Further information on applying for NSW subclass 491 nomination will be published on the NSW Treasury website on Monday 15 June 2020.

Why now?

The Department of Home Affairs allocates a set number of nominations each State can issue every financial year. If the States don´t use their allocated nominations before the year is over, they are gone.

NSW hasn't nominated anyone for subclass 491 visas yet and the financial year is almost over. Basically, it's now or never for NSW's allocated subclass 491 nominations in 2020.

Man waiting for NSW 491 nomination applications to open
Applying correctly and on time is crucial

Why only 1 week?

Based on the information we have, it looks like NSW is test-running its subclass 491 program. This short trial will help them to figure out if their system functions as intended and caters for the migration needs of NSW's regional economy.

We do not know when NSW will reopen its 491 program and whether their requirements will be the same or different.

What about Stream 2?

Stream 2 of NSW's 491 visa program is for applicants who are offshore. At this stage ImmiUpdates has no information about the commencement of this path.

I think I´m eligible, what should I do?

If you think you meet NSW's Stream 1 requirements, gather your supporting documents ASAP and jump on NSW's migration portal as soon as it opens on 15 June.

Because we do not know when NSW will reopen Stream 1 and under what conditions, it is absolutely critical that candidates lodge their applications correctly, accurately and on time. An experienced Migration Agent can help you secure your NSW nomination.

If you still want to apply on your own, consider getting an Agent to check your application for you before you submit it. Remember, you don't know when this opportunity will present itself again.

Have any questions? Drop them in the comments below! (or send us a message)

Source: the Migration Institute of Australia


Information (or the lack of it) contained in ImmiUpdates should not be relied on as immigration assistance or advice. ImmiUpdates expressly disclaim any liability, arising at law, in equity or otherwise, for any information published or not published in past, the present or future editions of the blog. People seeking immigration assistance should seek advice from a registered migration agent and those seeking legal advice should consult a lawyer. The copyright in the newsletter belongs to Rysher Migration Services and no part of the blog is to be reproduced by any means without the written consent of Rysher Migration Services.


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