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Applying for a 491 Visa Nomination

RDA Northern Inland is no longer able to accept applications for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) for the remainder of the 2021-22 program year.

Our allocation of nomination positions, provided by the NSW government has now been filled.


If you are seeking settling into the Northern Inland region you may wish to consider alternative migration pathways which can be found at https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia


If we have already advised you that we will accept your application you can still submit your application within the 14-day timeframe.

Due to COVID-19 our office is closed to visitors.


Do not travel to our office in the hope of an appointment, you will be refused. We are able to resolve all queries over the phone or email, so please contact us via these methods.

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

Regional Development Australia (RDA) offices assist the NSW Government managing applications for NSW nominations for the subclass 491 visa.

Under this new arrangement, each RDA is responsible for setting their own eligible skilled occupations for nomination (within DoHA and NSW Treasury guidelines) and accepting and assessing nomination applications.

Nomination Criteria for a 491 visa in NSW is consistent across all regions, however the application process, eligible skilled occupations, including any additional requirements for some occupations, will vary by region.

Please note that as a result of COVID-19 and significant reductions in Australia’s Migration Program Planning Levels, the chances of being nominated are currently low and you must meet the published nomination criteria to apply. This also means that applications cannot be made from overseas applicants.

Below is information regarding applying for sponsorship from the Northern Inland region of NSW. We have developed 10 steps to make the process as clear as possible.

Step 1 - Check Eligibility Criteria

First check if you are eligible to apply for nomination for a 491 Skilled Work Regional Visa through one of the following three streams:

  • Stream 1 - Living and working in regional NSW
  • Stream 2 - Recently completed study in regional NSW
  • Stream 3 - Skilled in an Occupation Required in Regional NSW

Full details on the eligibility criteria are available on our Eligibility for Nomination Criteria page.

Step 2 - Check the Occupation List

Check the occupation list that is applicable for the eligibility stream that you wish to apply under.

For Stream 1 Applicants

For Stream 1 (Living and Working in Regional NSW) you need to be working in an occupation or a closely related field on the combined occupation list from the NSW Government.

For Stream 2  and Stream 3 Applicants

If you wish to apply to the Northern Inland for Stream 2 (Recently Completed Study in Regional NSW) or Stream 3 (Skilled in an Occupation Required in Regional NSW), your occupation must be on the occupation list for the Northern Inland.

The skilled occupations for each region will be different, so it is important that you check that your occupation is currently being accepted for our region. This list is updated regularly, and sometimes needs to be changed without notice. Your occupation must be on this list when you submit your application.

It is important that the skilled occupation on your application to the Northern Inland matches the occupation that is entered into SkillSelect. If these do not match, you cannot be nominated to apply from the NSW Government.

As the occupation list is updated regularly, there may be variances between the list below and the copy provided by the NSW Government. The list below is the current edition, and applications need to adhere to this list. Occupations that are on the copy provided by the NSW Government but not on this list will not be accepted.

Our occupation list is available on our Occupation List for the Northern Inland page.

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 - Complete an EOI on Skill Select

To be able to receive an invitation to apply from the NSW Government, you must have an EOI number from Skill Select by the Department of Home Affairs.

You can find out more and apply for your EOI on their website.

The Department of Home Affairs does not provide notification of an EOI being lodged by a potential applicant. You must complete the additional steps below to be considered.

Step 5 - Register Your Interest for NSW nomination

This is a new step in the process for applying for a nomination for a 491 Visa from the NSW Government.

To apply for a 491 Visa, you must be invited to apply by the NSW Government. To receive an invitation to apply, interested applicants must lodge their details through their online form.

Further information about how to register your interest with the NSW Government and the online form is available on their website. We also recommend reading through their frequently asked questions about the ROI process.

In the 2021-22 financial year, ROI rounds will be held:

  • 1st to 31st of August 2021
  • 1st to 31st of October 2021
  • 1st to 31st of January 2022
  • 1st to 31st of March 2022

Registrations of interest to the NSW Government must be submitted in the designated months, any submissions outside this time will not be considered, even if the form is available.

If you did not receive an invitation to apply in a prior round, you must re-register your interest for each round. Registrations from prior rounds are not included in the current round. If you have not received an invitation by 10 days after the close of a round, you should assume you have not received an invitation as part of that round.

Please note that we are unable to assist applicants with this stage of the process, as it is managed by the NSW Government.

Any queries about this process or the online form should be directed to the NSW Government via the contact details on their website.

Step 6 - Be Invited to Apply by the NSW Government

The NSW Government will select applicants from the pool that have applied for a ROI. Successful applicants will be notified within 7 days of the end of each round of ROIs.

If you have received an invitation to apply from the NSW Government - congratulations! You have 14 days to submit your application to one region that requires your skills.

If you want to apply to the Northern Inland region, and you are applying under Stream 1 you can now proceed through steps 7 to 10 and submit a full application. If you are applying under Stream 2 or 3, you need to check if your occupation is on the occupation list for the Northern Inland before proceeding to steps 7 to 10.

If you are wanting to apply to another region, you must follow the instructions on the website of the RDA for that region.

Please note we are unable to provide you information about the status of your ROI application, as these are assessed by the NSW Government, not RDA-NI. While we understand that some potential applicants are facing difficult circumstances, we are unable to accept any applications without an invitation to apply from the NSW Government.

We have now filled our allocation for 491 Visa Applications for the 2021-22 financial year.


We are unable to accept any applicaitons for those who currently hold an inviation from the NSW Government and are not already in communication with us.

Step 7 - Complete Your Form and Documentation

The application form and required documentation for each stream is different, so it is important that you select the correct stream to avoid delays in processing your application.

Application forms and document checklists for each of the streams are available through the links below.

Stream 1 - Living and Working in Regional NSW 

Stream 2 - Recently Completed Study in Regional NSW

Stream 3 - Skilled in an Occupation Required in Regional NSW

Step 8 - Make Payment for Your Application Assessment

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.

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

Step 9 - Submit Your Application

All applications should be addressed to our Senior Skilled Migration Project Officer, Gary Fry.

It is preferable to submit your application by email, as this can reduce the processing time for your application as we will receive your application quicker.

Email applications, with all supporting documents clearly identified and in separate files to migration@rdani.org.au

You will receive an automated reply from our email system to acknowledge receipt of your application.

Alternatively, you can send a hard copy of your application to us by mail to:

Attn: Gary Fry
RDA - Northern Inland
PO Box 72
Armidale NSW 2350

Or by courier to:

Attn: Gary Fry
RDA - Northern Inland
143 Marsh Street
Armidale  NSW  2350

ALSO, please include the phone number [61 02 6771 0700].

All mailed documents should be photocopies that are certified where appropriate, so that they are not lost in the mail.

Step 10 - Await the Outcome of Your Application

Applications will be processed in the order in which complete applications are received and will be completed within 6 weeks of being received by RDA-NI.

Once we have assessed your application we will be in contact with you to request further information if required documents were not included in your application submission or to advise you on the outcome of your application.

If your application is successful, we will provide you with information about the next steps in the process.

Once we have advised the NSW Government that we have offered you nomination, it will take up to 4 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.

Please do not call or email our office regarding the progress of your application if it has been less than 6 weeks.


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

Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions Have a question? It might be answered in our list of frequently asked questions about the 491 visa. Read More
Helpful Information for 489 and 491 Visa Holders Helpful Information for 489 and 491 Visa Holders FInd out about living in the Northern Inland, working, health, transport and Permanent Resdiency. Read More
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Phone02 6771 0700
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