Common questions about skilled visas

What you need to know about NSW nomination for subclass 190 and subclass 491 visas.

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Program overview and purpose 

The purpose of the NSW Skilled Migration Program is to attract and retain skilled migrants to NSW where there are known skilled labour shortages.

NSW receives a limited allocation of nomination positions from the Australian Government and is committed to fulfilling its migration program.

Overview of key changes for 2022-23 

What has changed in NSW’s Skilled Migration program in 2022-23?

For the first time, minimum points test scores and minimum skill requirements have been published alongside our Skills List.  

These are not new requirements and have been used to inform NSW’s nominations for previous program years.  

The published scores for each occupation on NSW skills lists for 2022-23 have been determined by examining all eligible EOIs currently in the NSW SkillSelect pool, and the places available for that occupational grouping this financial year. 

Publishing the minimum points score and years of skilled work experience for each occupational grouping aligns with other state and territory migration programs and provides greater transparency around the score a prospective applicant might realistically expect to be invited at.  

Publishing these requirements are designed to improve client experience and processing times. 

General enquiries 

I have been nominated by NSW in the past, am I eligible to be nominated again?

No. Once you are nominated by NSW – which means that your application to NSW was successfully approved, and you were invited to apply for the visa by Home Affairs – you permanently lose eligibility to be nominated again for any skilled visa. This includes:  

  • where you could not accept your nomination because there was incorrect information in your SkillSelect EOI (Expression of Interest) — it is the EOI owner's responsibility to ensure they are able to apply to Home Affairs for the visa if nominated, or 

  • you do not apply to Home Affairs for the visa and your nomination expires, or  

  • you were nominated in a previous financial year  

Will NSW eligibility requirements change throughout the financial year?

NSW may periodically adjust the published eligibility criteria to ensure the skill needs of NSW are met. Any changes apply to all EOIs regardless of when they were submitted (or amended) in SkillSelect.

Am I eligible for NSW nomination?

The eligibility criteria for each visa are available at: 

What is an ANZSCO unit group?

The ANZSCO unit group code is the first four digits of the ANZSCO occupation code. For example, the occupations 252311 Dental Specialist and 252312 Dentist both belong to the 2523 Dental Practitioners unit group.  

What is a ‘closely related’ occupation?

‘Closely related occupations’ are occupations that are: 

  • in the same ANZSCO unit group as your nominated occupation, or 

  • consistent with a career advancement pathway, or 

  • recognised as closely related by your assessing authority as part of your skills assessment 

Minimum years of skilled work and point score requirements 

How are the minimum years of skilled work experience and point scores for each unit group determined?

These numbers are informed by the allocation of places in each unit group for the financial year and the EOIs in the SkillSelect pool. This means that if an applicant scores below these numbers, it is unlikely they will be invited to apply.  

These numbers will be periodically reviewed throughout  the financial year to ensure NSW’s skills needs are met. 

Am I eligible for NSW nomination if I score below the required years of skilled work experience and/or point score?

Unfortunately if you score below these numbers in your unit group, you are unlikely to be selected for NSW nomination.

What is the regional NSW study exemption?

You are exempt from the work experience requirement when applying for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) if you have completed study in regional NSW within the most recent 24 months; AND that study is in your nominated (or closely related) occupation; AND means you are eligible to claim points for ‘Regional study in Australia’.  

Note: The minimum point score requirement for your unit group still applies.  

Invitation rounds

When can I expect to be invited to apply for NSW nomination?

You should not wait to be invited by NSW.  Being invited to apply for NSW nomination is exceptionally competitive. As such, we strongly recommend all prospective migrants explore all other migration pathways and do not wait to be invited by NSW. 

When is the next invitation round?

Invitation rounds occur frequently throughout the financial year. We cannot advise the date of upcoming invitation rounds. 

I was invited to apply for NSW nomination, but I did not see the invitation email in my inbox. Will NSW resend the invitation?

Because EOI numbers are prevented from being invited more than once, if you do not apply using your invitation link and wish to be considered again in a future invitation round, you must submit a new EOI in SkillSelect. 

I was invited to apply for NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491), can it be changed to the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)?

If you were invited by NSW for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) it is because you submitted an EOI in SkillSelect seeking nomination for that specific visa subclass.  

Skills lists

Is my occupation eligible for NSW nomination?

NSW skills lists are at the ANZSCO unit group level. Visit our Skills List page to see if the unit group that your occupation belongs to is eligible for NSW nomination for the visa you are seeking nomination for. 

It is important to note that not all occupations within a listed unit group are eligible for that visa. Whether an occupation is eligible for a visa is decided by Home Affairs. 

To be considered for NSW nomination, you must hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that is BOTH eligible for the specific visa AND falls within an ANZSCO unit group shown on that visa’s skills list. 

We cannot nominate anyone in an occupation that is not eligible for a given visa. 

Visit the Home Affairs website to confirm that your occupation is eligible for a given visa before you apply for a skills assessment. 

How often are the NSW Skills Lists reviewed?

he NSW Skills Lists are reviewed annually at the beginning of each financial year; however, changes may be made throughout the year to ensure NSW’s skills needs are being met.  

Residency

Am I eligible for NSW nomination if I reside offshore?

Yes, offshore applicants are eligible in all eligible occupations; however, you must be currently residing offshore and have done so for a minimum period of:  

  • six months for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190), or 

  • three months for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491)  

Am I eligible for NSW nomination if I reside in another Australian state or territory?

If you are currently residing onshore, you must be currently residing in NSW and have continuously done so for a minimum period of:  

  • six months for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190), or 

  • three months for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) 

How do I prove where I reside?

To prove your residency, you must provide:  

  • bank statements for a minimum of six months from your main transaction account showing your salary and everyday transactions  

In addition to the following documents (as applicable to you):  

  • rental or lease agreements  

  • utility bills, e.g. gas, water etc  

  • other bills, e.g. phone, internet etc  

  • driver’s licenses or proof of age cards 

Do I need to be currently employed in NSW?

No. You do not have to be currently working (or have previously worked) in NSW in your nominated (or closely related) occupation to be eligible for nomination.     

I reside in NSW, but work remotely for a company based in another Australian state or territory (or offshore), am I still eligible for NSW nomination?

Yes. Where your employer is based does not affect your eligibility. If you are invited, you simply need to show evidence that you meet our residency requirement. 

I'm in NSW on a tourist visa, am I eligible for NSW nominaiton?

We do not consider any time spent in NSW on a tourist visa as you residing in NSW. As such, any time spent in NSW on a tourist visa cannot be counted toward the required residency timeframe. 

Skilled employment

How does NSW define ‘skilled employment’?

NSW defines ‘skilled employment’ as employment that is: 

  • after the date you are deemed skilled in your nominated occupation, AND

  • in your nominated (or closely related) occupation, AND 

  • for remuneration of at least 20 hours per week

How do I know what date NSW deems me to be skilled in my occupation?

For NSW nomination, you may only claim skilled employment after the date you have been deemed skilled in your occupation. This date is either (whichever is later): 

  • the date you have been deemed skilled by your skills assessor (if applicable), or 

  • the date you completed your qualifying study 

If you are unsure whether your skills assessment shows the explicit date they have deemed you to be skilled in your occupation, you should contact your skills assessor directly.  

NSW will not accept employment as skilled before you completed your qualifying study. 

What happens if I’ve claimed skilled employment in my EOI before the date I have been deemed skilled in my occupation?

If you have been invited to apply for NSW nomination, and you have claimed skilled employment before the date you were deemed skilled, unfortunately, you are not eligible to accept your invitation to apply for NSW nomination.  

How do I show evidence for skilled employment after I have obtained my skills assessment?

If you have a valid skills assessment, which has assessed your skilled employment, you do not need to obtain a new assessment for ongoing employment after you obtained your assessment.   

You can prove your further skilled employment by supplying evidence including:   

  • employment contract   

  • employment reference letter detailing the duration of your employment, the hours worked per week and duties performed  

  • payslips, and  

  • your letter of offer 

Applying for NSW nomination

When can I apply for NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) under Pathway 1?

You can apply for NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) under Pathway 1 shortly. This will be announced on our website and Skilled Migration newsletter. We cannot provide a timeframe when this will occur at this stage. 

What are the most common reasons why applications to NSW are declined?

Common reasons why applications are declined include where an applicant: 

Wasn't eligible to claim all the points in their EOI 

It is the responsibility of the EOI owner to ensure they can provide evidence for all the claims in their SkillSelect EOI. Common causes of this include: 

  • claiming credentialled community language points when your qualification has expired. Your CCL certificate must be valid on the day you are invited to apply by NSW to claim these points 

  • claiming professional year points when not eligible. Your professional year must be in your nominated (or closely related) occupation for you to be eligible to claim these points 

  • claiming points for skilled employment before the date you are deemed skilled in your occupation  

Does not meet the residency requirement 

You must be either currently residing in NSW or offshore and have continuously done so for a minimum period of six months. 

Over-claimed points for employment 

If your skills assessment displays a date you have been deemed skilled in your occupation, you cannot claim points for skilled employment before this date. This particularly applies to ACS and most VETASSESS assessments. 

If your assessment does not display this date, you cannot claim points for skilled employment before you completed your qualification.  

To ensure you are eligible to accept your NSW invitation, we strongly recommend you confirm you are eligible to claim all the points in your SkillSelect EOI, and that you have only claimed eligible skilled employment.  

If you have claimed points in error, you are not eligible to accept your NSW invitation if invited. There are no exceptions for any reason. 

I have been invited to apply for NSW nomination, but my English/skills assessment has expired. Can I still apply?

Yes. You may still apply for NSW nomination with an expired document. To do this, click the checkbox in the application form to advise our office you are applying with an expired document. Further information about this process is explained in your invitation email. 

I have been invited by NSW, how long is the invitation link valid for?

Our invitation links are valid for 14 days only – you must apply within this time. We will not reissue your invitation if the link expires. 

If you do not apply to NSW using your invitation link and wish to be considered again in a future invitation round, you must submit a new EOI in SkillSelect – EOI numbers are prevented from being invited more than once. 

I’m an ICT professional, what skills assessment do I need to provide?

I'm claiming points for skilled employment  

For NSW nomination, you must provide an ACS 'skills assessment', and your employment must be assessed by ACS. You can only claim points for employment after the date ACS deems you skilled in your occupation. 

You cannot provide an ACS 'post-Australian study assessment' if you are claiming points for employment.  

I'm not claiming points for skilled employment  

You can provide any ACS assessment accepted by Home Affairs. 

What are the fees for NSW nomination?

Applying to Investment NSW 

A non-refundable application fee of A$330 (including GST) applies if applying from within Australia, or A$300 if applying from outside Australia. 

Applying to an RDA office 

Each RDA office sets their own fees. You need to contact the RDA office you wish to apply to directly for information about their fee structure.  

International students 

Are international students eligible to apply for a NSW skilled migration visa?

There are multiple pathways for international students who wish to stay in NSW after graduation.  

International students can apply for a skilled visa if they meet the eligibility requirements. 

There are multiple pathways for international students who wish to stay in NSW after graduation.  

Visit the Home Affairs website for information on available visas including student and temporary graduate visas. You may also wish to seek advice from a registered migration agent.   

Visit the Study NSW website to learn more about international student experience and support programs during your studies in NSW.  

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