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Common questions about skilled visas

What you need to know about EOI ranking, eligibility requirements, application costs for subclass 190 and subclass 491 visas.

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Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

General enquiries

NSW runs a selection-based invitation process. NSW selects and invites the highest-ranking candidates at the time of an invitation round to apply for nomination. Invitation rounds occur ongoing during the financial year.

NSW does not accept direct applications, you must be invited to apply for NSW nomination.

Unlike selection rounds conducted by Home Affairs, there are no set dates for NSW invitation rounds, and they are not announced beforehand.

During an invitation round, eligible EOIs are ranked by:

  1. Point score, then
  2. English proficiency, followed by
  3. Years of skilled employment

The highest ranking EOIs up to the number of places available for a given occupation are issued an invitation to apply. When an EOI was submitted, or amended, does not affect its ranking.

NSW will not issue invitations based on your visa expiring, losing points or eligibility, or living and working in NSW.

NSW will only contact you if you are selected to apply for NSW nomination. We determine how many invitations are issued on an ongoing basis with the top-ranking candidates in each occupation being invited to apply.

NSW does not:

  • send acknowledgement emails after you’ve submitted an EOI in SkillSelect,
  • provide status updates on your EOI, or
  • provide a likelihood of when/if you will be invited to apply for NSW nomination.

No. NSW does not accept direct applications, you must be invited to apply during the normal course of an invitation round. NSW will not respond to correspondence seeking special consideration.

Registered migration agents can provide immigration advice and assistance, including providing help with lodging visa applications. Agents must be qualified and demonstrate to the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) that they:

  • have sufficient knowledge of migration law and procedures
  • are a person of integrity
  • are a fit and proper person to provide immigration assistance.

Agents can advise if your visa application is likely to succeed, but they do not make visa decisions and cannot influence outcomes. Only the Department of Home Affairs makes decisions about visa applications.

It is illegal for someone in Australia to provide you with immigration assistance who is not registered with the OMARA.

NSW nomination fees are A$330, and are non-refundable.

Eligibility requirements

Please refer to the eligibility requirements section of our Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) website to see if you are eligible for NSW nomination.

The additional employment and residency requirement applied to select occupations last financial year does not apply to current invitation rounds. 

No. NSW is currently only inviting EOIs to apply for nomination from people currently residing in NSW. We cannot provide a time frame when offshore EOIs will be invited at this time.

The following documents (as applicable to you) are required to provide evidence of your residency:

  • bank statements from your main transaction account showing transactions,
  • rental/lease agreements,
  • utility bills, e.g. gas, water etc,
  • other bills, e.g. phone, internet etc,
  • driver’s license/proof of age card.

There is no set timeframe you must be residing in NSW to be eligible for NSW nomination; however, you must demonstrate (through documents outlined above) that you are genuinely residing in NSW if you are invited to apply for NSW nomination. 

There is no employment requirement to be eligible for NSW nomination, and you are not required to be currently, or previously, working in NSW in your occupation. 

Submitting an EOI in SkillSelect

No. When you submit your EOI, you need to ensure all the information provided in your EOI is correct, and can be supported by evidence. If you are invited by NSW before you meet our eligibility requirements, you are not eligible to accept your invitation.

You should only claim employment that is recognised as 'skilled', i.e. employment that is closely related to your nominated occupation, and after you met the minimum benchmark to be considered skilled in your occupation.

For the purposes of NSW nomination, you are only eligible to claim skilled employment after the date you have been deemed skilled on your skills assessment. Claiming employment before this date may result in your application being declined by NSW.

If you are unsure if your employment is at the relevant skill level of your nominated occupation, you may wish to have your employment assessed by the relevant skills assessing authority.

NSW only grants points for skilled employment that:

  • is after the date the Australian Computer Society (ACS) has determined you have met the required skill level in your occupation, and;
  • is considered by ACS to equate to work at an appropriately skilled level and relevant to your occupation.

If you have claimed points for skilled employment in your SkillSelect expression of interest (EOI), you must be able to provide an ACS skills assessment that identifies the date your employment is considered to equate to an appropriately skilled level.

If your ACS skills assessment does not identify this date, or has not been assessed as suitable, you are not able to claim points for skilled employment for the purposes of NSW nomination.

You should only claim points for skilled employment that is after this date in your EOI. This will ensure that if you are invited to apply for NSW nomination, your application will not be declined on the basis of having over-claimed points.

If you have a valid skills assessment, which has assessed your skilled employment, you do not need to obtain a new assessment to demonstrate your employment occurring after you received your assessment.

You can demonstrate your further skilled employment with evidence such as; your letter of offer, employment contract, payslips and employment reference letter detailing the duration of your employment, the hours worked per week and duties performed.

Where you currently reside is shown in your SkillSelect EOI. 

If you are currently residing in Australia, you need to make sure this is reflected in your EOI. To do this, select 'Australia' as your 'usual country of residence' and then the relevant state or territory.

NSW cannot check or amend your EOI. 

Invitation rounds

NSW invitation rounds occur ongoing throughout the financial year. There is no set date, and they are not announced beforehand.

NSW cannot forecast the likelihood of candidates receiving an invitation to apply for NSW nomination. If your EOI is valid, you will be considered in future selection rounds; however, being invited is not guaranteed.

The NSW Government cannot preference or fast track applicants outside of normal policy and procedures due to the competitive nature of the program.

If you were not invited to apply for NSW nomination at the same point score as another EOI, it could be because:

  • your EOI ranked lower in English proficiency and/or years of skilled work experience, or 
  • your EOI does not correctly reflect your current residency. Your EOI must show you reside in NSW to be eligible for NSW nomination.    

NSW sends invitations by email to the address you have provided in your EOI. It is your responsibility to regularly check this email account.

NSW invitations are sent from on behalf of Make sure these email addresses are not blocked by your spam filter.

NSW issues only one invitation per each EOI. If you are invited but do not take up your invitation, you will need to submit a new EOI in SkillSelect to be considered again in a later invitation round. Because this selection process is highly competitive, there is no guarantee that you will receive another invitation at a later date.

After you have been invited by NSW

You should not apply. You were invited by NSW based on claims made in your SkillSelect EOI. If the points score in your NSW nomination application is less than the points score EOI at that time, your application will be declined. Our application fees are not refundable.

Invitations expire after 14 days and you will not be able to apply after this date. Your invitation email shows the expiry date and time of your invitation.

If you are invited to apply for NSW nomination but do not apply within the 14 day period, you will need to submit a new EOI in SkillSelect in order to be considered for selection at a later date. As the process is competitive, there is no guarantee that you will receive another invitation.

If your employment is wholly included in your skills or employment assessment document, we do not require any further evidence.

If your employment is not included in your skills or employment assessment, or you have skilled employment after your assessment was completed, please provide at least two of the following with your application:

  • A signed and dated reference letter(s) from your employer on the organisation’s letterhead. Reference letters must outline the length of employment, your duties performed, and the hours worked per week.
  • Your letter of offer and/or employment contract.
  • Notice of assessment received from the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Your most recent six months of payslips from your employer. If the employment is less than six months, include the entire length of the employment.

Please note the following important information relating to employment claims:

  • For the purposes of NSW nomination, you are only eligible to claim skilled employment after the date you have been deemed skilled on your skills assessment. Claiming employment before this date may result in your application being declined by NSW.
  • NSW requires all ICT professionals claiming points for skilled employment to provide an Australian Computer Society (ACS) skills assessment that clearly identifies your 'Skill Level Requirement Met Date'. Under ACS’s framework, your skilled date is the date after which you can claim skilled employment.

If the details in your application are incorrect, please send an email to explaining your circumstances and providing the correct information. Please quote the Skilled Reference Number (SRN), provided to you in your application acknowledgement email, in the subject line.

Remember that the claims submitted in your application to NSW must be the same as your SkillSelect EOI. Overstating the claims in your EOI to secure an invitation from NSW will lead to your application being declined.

Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491)

General enquiries 

To apply for NSW nomination, contact the participating region you wish to migrate to directly.

A list of participating regions is available on our subclass 491 visa website.

Home Affairs determines which regions of Australia are eligible for the subclass 491 visa. Eligible regions are published on the Home Affairs’ designated regional area postcodes website.

Nomination criteria

An applicant must have worked in their nominated, or closely related, occupation for the 12 months immediately preceding their application in regional NSW. The employment must qualify as skilled employment under the Home Affairs points scheme, i.e. a minimum of 20 hours per week. The employment does not need to be located in the region being applied to.

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