Important information and advice for Skilled Migrants including  487 / 489 visa holders and applicants


If your objective is Permanent Residency, you need to understand The Skilled Regional visa (subclass 887)…

This is a permanent visa for people who have lived and worked in specified areas of regional Australia. Visa sub-class 489 recipients are eligible to apply for this.

The requirements include having:

  • lived in a regional Australia/low population growth metropolitan area for at least two years if you were nominated by a state or territory government
  • lived in a designated area of Australia for at least two years if you were sponsored by an eligible relative
  • worked full time (usually at least 35 hours a week) in a specified regional area for at least a year while you held your eligible visa
  • complied with the conditions attached to your eligible visa or your Bridging visa.


You can meet the work requirement if you worked at least 35 hours a week in one full-time job or in two part-time jobs.  You can include any paid employment or self-employment, and you will need to be able to provide evidence of your employment claims.


"Visa Condition: 8539 - MUST STAY IN SPECIFIED AREA" Appears on 489 visa grant notices
This means….
While the visa holder is in Australia, the holder must live, study and work only in an area specified by the Minister in an instrument in writing for item 6A1001 of Schedule 6A or item 6D101 of Schedule 6D, as in force:

(a) when the visa was granted; or
(b) if the holder has held more than 1 visa that is subject to this condition — when the first of those visas was granted.
If still unclear by what time relocation from a metropolitan city must occur or if there is flexibility in relation to this condition, please contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.


As stated when RDA Northern Inland provides a letter of support, we expect relocation to this region within three months of a visa granting and a genuine effort to find employment in this region should occur before a job-search is broadened.

The Northern Inland Region of the State of New South Wales
The Northern Inland Region of the State of New South Wales

Health Insurance


It is very important that you have full private health insurance! 


Medicare is only available to permanent residents of Australia.


Even minor medical procedures or a visit to a doctor can be costly. If you have not got private health insurance and you are not a permanent resident of Australia, then getting it should be an immediate priority.


Here is a link to health funds in Australia. There is a link to each one in the table:


It might be most convenient to deal with people locally, so we suggest you look up which health funds (if any) have an office or representatives in your area.


Most health insurance policies do not cover pregnancy / having a baby during the first 12 months of the policy.





Regional Development Australia Norther Inland has established the Skilled Migration Jobs Board Northern Inland. Skilled migrants and employers are encouraged to join this Facebook group, submit a post and connect with each other. We will also share job advertisements in this region which are suitable for our skilled regional State nominated migrants.


Australian job search websites such as, and are important resources. However, it is also worthwhile to consult local employment agencies and newspapers in towns and cities within the Northern Inland region of NSW.

Employers, such as the University of New England and the 12 Local Government Areas of the region advertise positions vacant on their respective websites.

Further information on councils and employment agencies can be found on our website:


Many skilled migrants searching for employment in the Northern Inland region only focus on Tamworth and then Armidale, as they are the largest population centres. There is, of course, much more to this region.
Some of the towns in the North West, such as Moree, Narrabri and Gunnedah offer great lifestyles and often have greater employment opportunities due to skills shortages in those areas.

Here are the links to employment agencies in local government areas / towns / cities of the Northern Inland region:

Armidale Regional Council

Glen Innes Severn Council

Gunnedah Shire Council

Gwydir Shire (Bingara & Warialda)

Inverell Shire Council

Liverpool Plains Shire Council

Moree Plains Shire Council

Narrabri Shire Council

Tamworth Regional Council

Tenterfield Shire Council

Uralla Shire Council

Walcha Shire Council


If your nominated occupation is particularly specialised, it may be worthwhile researching local employers in that field and contacting them directly.


How to apply for jobs in Australia

If your job application is to be taken seriously by an employer, it is important to submit a job application that is professional, by Australian standards or expectations. This involves preparing and submitting a well written application or cover letter, as well as your résumé or CV.

Employers expect to see more than a résumé and a message like "I want a job".


Bad English and grammar, typing or spelling mistakes can make the application effort look non-genuine or simply reflect poorly on the applicant.


Helpful advice on applying for jobs and writing applications in Australia can be found on the Skilled Migration Jobs Board Northern Inland.


General Settlement Assistance

Dependents of 489 and 187 visa recipients are eligible for assistance from Northern Settlement Services (NSS), which has an office in Armidale and Tamworth.

NSS supported services provided in the Northern Inland NSW region include:


  • Multicultural Women’s Group - meets weekly during school term.
  • Cultural awareness training.
  • Outreach and case work services across the New England area including Inverell and Moree.
  • Convenes and facilitates the New England Multicultural Interagency
  • A key partner in the offering of a weekly after school Homework Program offered to eligible Migrant and Refugee public school students.
  • Information on English language training options
  • Advocacy
  • Advice about local communities



The Northern Inland region of NSW is a large geographic area that is not densely populated. Public transport exists in most urban centres but often at a level that may not meet all requirements. It is likely that newcomers to the region will want to acquire a vehicle, if they do not already have their licence and vehicle organised.


Here is a link to information about driving licence eligibility and requirements for people from overseas, on the Roads and Maritime Services NSW website.


There are obviously differences between the road rules in New South Wales, Australia and those in other countries.  There can also be minor differences in road rules in different States and Territories in Australia.


Roads and Maritime Services has information about these differences and Regional Development Australia Northern Inland encourages recent settlers in Northern Inland NSW, Australia to access all such practical and helpful sources of information.



Rental properties are listed on the real estate websites mentioned earlier. You may be required to show proof of income and rental history prior to securing a lease.


Rental Accommodation in Northern Inland NSW can be a competitive market, with variability throughout the region in cost and availability. When searching for a place to live, it is practical to bring proof of income and rental history documents to rental inspections.


Real estate agents usually ask for a rental bond as a form of security – this is lodged with the Rental Bond Board, a government institution. This is generally a minimum of four weeks rent, so the cost should be factored into your financial considerations.


Know your rights and obligations as a renter:  to learn all about renting in NSW or  to use a relocation consultant.


Some other useful sites are: allows you to key in a suburb and search for a house in the price range you can afford.  provides comprehensive listings of rental properties and houses and apartments for sale across NSW. gives the average prices for suburbs and towns as well as a breakdown of a suburb’s population, public transport, demographics and more.


It may be preferable to find temporary accommodation to begin with, when arriving in the Northern Inland region. This would mean greater flexibility to relocate to another part of the region for employment, if necessary. Being locked into a lease can restrict the area of a job search.



It is important to know your rights if you are renting.
It is important to know your rights if you are renting.



Do you have children? Need information on schools? Here are some helpful links to get your started:


Click here for information about public schools in New South Wales.


Click here to locate school options in specific towns.

Special teacher support for children from non-English speaking backgrounds (with limited English ability) can be arranged and is at no extra cost.

Please visit this fantastic website to learn more about enrolling non-permanent residents:


Click here to find out about independent schools in New South Wales (and click on North West).


Click here for information about Catholic Schools in the Northern Inland region of New South Wales.


Click here to go to the University of New England (UNE) website.


Click here to check out UNE's current positions vacant page.


Click here to go to the TAFE New England Institute website. Dependents of 489sc visas might be eligible for free short English language courses. The more you improve your English, the easier it will be to settle here and feel a part of the community.


Other eduation and training options include:

New England Community College and the Guyra Adult Learning Association


Tamworth Community College


Community College Northern Inland Inc.


UNE Partnerships (a vocational education and training provider)


Know your rights in Australian workplaces


Here is a downloadable Fact Sheet about basic rights of workers in New South Wales, Australia.

DownloadSafeWork NSW Fact Sheet (1.2 MB)