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Applying for a 491 Visa Nomination

Registered Nurse Jayesh John happily settled in the Northern Inland.
Registered Nurse Jayesh John happily settled in the Northern Inland.

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) allows skilled migrants to live, study and work in designated regional area for a period of 5 years.

Regional Development Australia (RDA) offices assist the NSW Government managing applications for NSW nominations for the subclass 491 visa. The Federal Government retains ultimate responsibility for Australia's migration program, including the allocation of available places across program streams and making decisions on visa applications.

Nomination Criteria for a 491 visa in NSW is consistent across all regions.

Please note due to the current level of demand, the chances of being nominated are currently low and you must meet the published nomination criteria to apply.

Below is information regarding applying for sponsorship from the Northern Inland region of NSW. We have broken the process down into a series of steps to make the process as clear as possible.

Applications for NSW Nominations for the 491 Visa under Pathway 1 and local employment eligibility option are open.

Our Office is Open by Appointment Only

 

To avoid disappointment, please do not travel to our office in the hope to see a staff member without an appointment. We will provide you with the same assistance over the phone or by email, which will be quicker and easier for you.

Step 1 - Determine Your Pathway

For the 2022-23 financial year (July 2022 to June 2023), there are two nomination pathways for a NSW nomination for the 491 Visa:

  • Pathway 1 – Apply directly to a Regional Development Australia (RDA) office

  • Pathway 2 – Be invited to apply by Investment NSW

There are two nomination streams under Pathway 1, these are:

  • Stream A – Established work history with a regional NSW-based employer

  • Stream B – My skills are required in regional NSW

 

Pathway 1 - Apply to an RDA

Under Stream A, applicants who have been living and working in their occupation (or a closely related occupation) for 12 months with the same employer in a regional area may be able to apply under this stream.

Under Stream B, applicants who meet set criteria can apply directly to the RDA for the region where they wish to live and work. Applications can be submitted when applications are open using the process described in steps 3 to 10 below.

 

Pathway 2

Under Pathway 2, applicants will be invited by the NSW Government during invitation rounds based on an Expression of Interest (EOI) submitted to the Department of Home Affairs through Skill Select.

Additional criteria apply for each of these pathways. Find out the applicable criteria for each stream on our Eligibility for 491 Visa Nomination from NSW page.

Alternative Migration Options

NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) is just one of a number of visa options for prospective skilled migrants. There is a range of visas offered by Home Affairs, including both temporary and permanent employer nominated visas.

You may also wish to seek advice from a registered migration agent. A searchable list of registered migration agents is available on the Department of Home Affairs website. There are also two registered migration agents in the Northern Inland:

Mark Lyden (Tamworth)
Christopher Serow (Legal Minds, Armidale)

Step 2 - Complete or Update Your EOI on SkillSelect

To receive a nomination from the NSW Government, you must have an Expresssion of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect by the Department of Home Affairs.

To be eligible for nomination in NSW, you must ensure that your EOI:

  • is accurate and up to date.
  • seeks nomination for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) and NSW only.

You must be able to provide evidence for all claims in your EOI.

You can find out more and apply for your EOI on the Department of Home Affairs website.

You must ensure you provide evidence for all the claims in your SkillSelect EOI. This is a common reason for nomination applications being declined.

Common causes for being declined for 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 you are not eligible. Your professional year must be in your nominated (or closely related) occupation  to claim these points
  • Claiming points for skilled employment before the date you are deemed skilled in your occupation

Applying for Pathway 1 or Working in Regional NSW Pathway

If you are applying under Pathway 1 or the Working in Regional NSW Pathway, and are either already residing in the Northern Inland or intend to move here, follow the steps below.

If you have received an invitation directly from the NSW Government in line with Pathway 2, you will apply directly to the NSW Government as per the Skilled Work Regional Visa (Subclass 491) page of the NSW Government's website. The following steps do not apply to you.

Step 3 - Get to Know the Northern Inland Region

As the region that is supporting you and providing you with the opportunity to gain a 491 visa and potentially permanent residency, we expect you to make a genuine effort to meet your visa conditions in the Northern Inland region. We look forward to seeing you living and working here and making a positive contribution to our communities.

Therefore, it is important that you get to know the Northern Inland region, and research whether the work and lifestyle opportunities it provides are suitable for you and any dependents you may have. We have collated a range of information about the region's location, postcodes and communities to help you get to know the Northern Inland region to help you make this decision.

Step 4 - Check the Occupation List

Check that your occupation is on the occupation list.

For Pathway 1, you will need to meet any applicable criteria for work experience and minimum points.

For the Working in Regional NSW Pathway, your occupation will need to be on the list and your employment must also be in your occupation or a closely related occupation.

Step 5 - Collate Your Documentation

When you submit your application you will need to provide corresponding documentation as a zip file.

You will need to provide the following documentation / evidences:

  • Proof of current address in NSW or offshore. This can include lease agreements or lease receipts, utility bills or your driver's license.
  • A copy of your Skill Select Expression of Interest (EOI) details, including EOI Number and points claimed.
  • A copy of your passport.
  • A copy of your skill assessment (not older than 3 years)
  • A copy of your English test results (not older than 3 years)
  • Copies of the documentation to support the claims in your EOI. These must match your EOI, and can include:
    • Proof of employment or skilled work experience, such as employer reference letter and employment contracts.
    • Copies of qualification certificate(s) or letter of completion.
    • Copies of evidence for any other points being claimed, including those relating to partner points. This includes, where applicable, specialist educational qualification, credentialed community language qualifications, partner skill qualifications, partner English skills and professional year in Australia.
  • Working in Regional NSW Pathway applicants need to provide evidence of regional employment for at least 12 months (no less) and your wage rate, including payslips and employment contract. You will also need to provide evidence of living in regional NSW for the same 12 months. This can include lease agreements or accommodation receipts, or utility bills.
  • Pathway 1 applicants need to provide proof of residing either in NSW or offshore for at least 3 months leading up to and including the date of your application. This can include lease agreements or accommodation receipts, or utility bills.

You must ensure you provide evidence for all the claims in your SkillSelect EOI. This is a common reason for nomination applications being declined.

Common causes for being declined for 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 you are not eligible. Your professional year must be in your nominated (or closely related) occupation  to claim these points
  • Claiming points for skilled employment before the date you are deemed skilled in your occupation

Step 6 - Make Payment for Your Application Assessment

We will need payment before we can add your application to the queue to be assessed.

Please note that payment for your application assessment fee does not guarantee a positive outcome for your application.

Payment is required as part of your application, and we will not commence assessment of your application until your payment can be verified.

Our assessment fees are:

Skilled Regional State Nominated (491 visa) : AUD $800.00
Employer Nomination (RSMS): AUD $770.00

We can accept payment for your certification fee by either:

  • Direct Deposit
  • Credit Card via PayPal
  • Bank Cheque, Personal Cheque or Australia Post Money Order

Please ensure that you include a copy of your payment receipt with your application submission so we can identify your payment.

Paying by Direct Deposit

Our bank account details are as below. This can be completed either through your online banking or by going into a branch of the Commonwealth Bank near you. Please state the name that the applicaiton is for in the detail for the deposit.

Bank: The Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Account Name: Regional Development Australia - Northern Inland
BSB: 062501
Account No: 10383622

 

Swift Code (BIC) for international deposits: CTBAAU2S

 

Bank Cheque, Personal Cheque or Australia Post Money Order

Note that these payments are not preferable, as they must clear in our bank account before assessment can commence on your application, which will extend the time for processing.

These need to be made out to Regional Development Australia Northern Inland and mailed to:

RDA - Northern Inland
PO Box 72
Armidale NSW 2350

 

Credit Card / PayPal

We accept credit card payments via PayPal by selecting the type of certification you will be submitting and adding the applicant name and agent name as applicable using the form below.

PayPal will also accept international transactions.

You do not need a PayPal account to use this method. If you do not have an account, select "Pay with Credit or Debit Card" on the first screen that appears.

PayPal will email you a receipt, please include a copy of this with your application.

Please note that Paypal will not accept payments from bank accounts and credit cards in countries in which it does not operate. Check if your country is on PayPal's list of supported countries. Unfortunately we are unable to accept credit or debit card payments from countries not on this list. You will need to organise a direct deposit as detailed above.

Type of Certification
Applicant's Name
Agent's Name (if applicable)

By submitting a payment, you are agreeing to the Refund Statement available below.

Step 7 - Submit Your Application Details

Once you have collected your details, and made a payment to us, you are ready to submit your application!

You will need to submit your details through the Application for Skilled Work Regional Visa (Subclass 491) online form on the NSW Government website.

You will need to compile your documentation, including your payment receipt, into a zip file format to submit your application.

As part of this process, you will be asked which RDA you are applying for, you can only apply for one RDA Region.

By submitting your application, you agree to the following Data Collection Notice:

Payment must be made immediately prior to lodging your application. Evidence and receipt of your payment must be included in your zip-files at the time you submit your application.

Please note that the application web form on the NSW Government website will only be available when the Pathway 1 and Working In Regional NSW Pathway are open for applications.

Step 8 - Await the Outcome of Your Application

Applications will be processed in the order in which complete applications are received and will be completed within 8 weeks of being received by RDA-NI.

When we are assessing your application, we will be in contact with you to request further information if required documents were not included in your application submission.

If your application is successful and we have referred your application to the NSW Government for nomination, it will take up to 5 working days (Monday to Friday, and excluding NSW public holidays) for the nomination to be processed and you will receive an invitation to apply from SkillSelect.

If you are successful in receiving a nomination, we recommend you have a look at the helpful information for visa holders section of our website.

Please do not call or email our office regarding the progress of your application if it has been less than 8 weeks since payment and your application.

 

Attending to calls and emails such as these delays the process for everyone's applications, including yours.

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Answers to common questions about skilled visas are available on the NSW Government website.

 

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Phone02 6771 0700
Emailrdani@rdani.org.au
Opening Hours 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday
(Except Public Holidays)
Address 143 Marsh Street
Armidale NSW 2350
Postal Address PO Box 72
Armidale NSW 2350
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An Australian Government Initiative