Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491)

A provisional visa for points tested skilled workers to live and work in regional NSW.

Skilled migrant

About NSW Nomination 

NSW nomination for this visa allows skilled migrants to live, work and study in designated regional areas of NSW for a period of 5 years.

There are two pathways to NSW nomination for this visa: 

  • Pathway 1 – Apply directly to Investment NSW if you have an established work history with a regional NSW-based employer.
  • Pathway 2 – Be invited to apply by Investment NSW.

NSW nomination for this visa under 'Pathway 2' is exceptionally competitive. We strongly encourage anyone considering NSW nomination under 'Pathway 2' to consider all other migration pathways on the Home Affairs website and not wait to be invited to apply for NSW nomination. 

See our Common questions about skilled visas page for answers to a full list of our most commonly received questions. 


Applications for Pathway 1 are Currently Closed

Applications for Pathway 1 are now closed. Our team is diligently working on the details for the 2024-25 financial year. Once information about eligibility and the application process for the NSW nomination is finalised, we will share it on our website and through our newsletter.

Basic Eligibility 

To be considered for NSW nomination you must meet the following basic criteria:

  • Visa eligibility: Meet all visa requirements outlined by Home Affairs for this visa.
  • Skills assessment: Have a valid skills assessment in an occupation on the eligible skilled occupation list for this visa.
  • Residency: Be either currently residing: 
    • in NSW and have continuously resided in NSW for a minimum period of three months; or 
    • offshore and have continuously resided offshore for a minimum period of three months.

Important Information About Submitting an EOI in SkillSelect for NSW Nomination 

Submitting an EOI for NSW nomination for this visa requires careful attention. Don't miss these essential points:

  1. EOI validity: Ensure your EOI remains valid for the entire assessment period. 
  2. EOI Changes: You cannot modify your EOI after you directly apply directly for NSW nomination under 'Pathway 1', or are invited under 'Pathway 2'.
  3. Specific Visa and State: Ensure your EOI is exclusively for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) only and seeking nomination from NSW only.  
  4. Evidence of claims: Ensure you provide evidence for all claims in your EOI with valid documents. Ensure these documents remain valid for at least five business days post-application. 
  5. Employment claims: NSW has specific guidelines on the date you can claim skilled employment. These guidelines are unique to NSW and failing to comply will lead to your application being declined. 

Key Steps for Securing NSW Nomination 

The NSW nomination process involves several crucial steps that are different for each nomination pathway: 

Pathway 1 – Apply directly to Investment NSW if you have an established work history with a regional NSW-based employer 

To apply directly for NSW nomination under 'Pathway 1' you must: 

  1. Check Eligibility: Ensure you meet both the visa and NSW nomination eligibility requirements before applying. 
  2. Submit Your EOI: If you meet the criteria, submit an EOI in SkillSelect, specifically requesting NSW nomination for this visa only. Note: Your qualifying employment must be listed in your EOI.  
  3. Apply For Nomination: Apply for NSW nomination using our online application form.
  4. Wait For Your Nomination Assessment: Your application will typically be assessed within six weeks after payment. To help us stick to this timeline, please refrain from contacting us for updates during this period. 

Pathway 2 – Be invited to apply by Investment NSW 

To be considered for NSW nomination under 'Pathway 2' you must: 

  1. Check Eligibility: Ensure you meet both the visa and NSW nomination eligibility requirements before submitting an EOI.
  2. Submit Your EOI: If you meet the criteria, submit an EOI in SkillSelect, specifically requesting NSW nomination for this visa only. Should you be invited to apply, you'll need to support every point claim in your EOI with valid (i.e. non-expired) documentation. 
  3. Be Invited: NSW holds invitation rounds ongoing throughout the financial year. All EOIs that meet the guidelines are considered, but preference is given to occupations in NSW target sectors. Important: because of the exceptionally high demand for NSW nomination, we strongly encourage anyone considering NSW nomination to explore all other migration pathways and not wait to be invited.  
  4. Respond Promptly if Invited: You'll have 14 days to complete your application for NSW nomination after being invited. When you apply, you will need to provide valid documents to substantiate every claim made in your EOI. This 14-day window will not be extended. 
  5. Wait For Your Nomination Assessment: Your application will typically be assessed within six weeks after payment. To help us stick to this timeline, please refrain from contacting us for updates during this period.  

For your benefit, common reasons for application declines are listed below, which we suggest you review to enhance your application’s success. 


Understanding 'Pathway 2' Invitation Rounds and NSW Target Sectors 

Invitation rounds are an integral feature of the NSW nomination process under 'Pathway 2'. Here are the essential points: 

Invitation Rounds 

  • Timing: Invitation rounds occur throughout the financial year. There are no predetermined or publicly announced dates for invitation rounds. 

  • Selection: NSW considers multiple factors when selecting EOIs. These include your points score, English language proficiency, and your skilled work experience. NSW priorities EOIs submitted in NSW target sectors. 

  • Discretion: Invitation for NSW nomination is at the sole discretion of the NSW Government. 

  • Submission Date: The date you submit or amend your SkillSelect EOI has no impact on your likelihood of being invited. 

NSW Target Sectors 

During 'Pathway 2' invitation rounds, NSW will prioritise EOIs in occupations that fall under our key industry sectors—health, education, ICT, infrastructure and agriculture—during the invitation rounds. 

Read our 'Common questions about skilled visas' page for more information about invitation rounds and NSW target sectors. 


Common Reasons Applications Are Declined

Before applying for a NSW nomination make sure you meet our eligibility criteria. Failing to do so will result in your application being declined. Here are some common reasons are declined by our office:

  • Modification of SkillSelect EOI Post-Invitation: It is crucial to note that any modifications made to your SkillSelect EOI after receiving an invitation will lead to the decline of your application. This is a strict policy with no exceptions. We verify the last modify date of the EOI during the application assessment to ensure compliance.
  • Residency: To be eligible for NSW nomination, you must meet our residency requirement. Failure to meet this requirement will result in your application being declined.
  • Skilled Employment Claims: If you claim employment before you are deemed skilled by NSW, your application will be declined. For details on when you can claim skilled employment, refer to our 'Common Questions About Skilled Visas' page.
  • Points Claims: You must provide evidence that you were eligible to claim all points in your SkillSelect EOI.
  • Genuineness of Employment under Pathway 1: Applicants applying under 'Pathway 1' must genuinely meet the employment requirement. We conduct a thorough assessment of the applicant's eligible employment. Applications that do not meet this criterion will be declined.

Exploring Alternative Migration Pathways

The Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) is just one path among various visa options available for skilled migration to New South Wales.

Further Opportunities

The Home Affairs website provides a comprehensive list of visa options, which include employer-nominated visas for those with specific job offers or sponsorships.

Professional Guidance

Navigating the various visa options can be complex. For specialised guidance, consider consulting our 'Using a migration agent or legal practitioner' page.

We strongly encourage you to explore all pathways and seek professional advice to maximise your chances of successful migration.

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