SKILLEDWORK REGIONAL VISA (SUBCLASS 491)


491 VISA – COMPLETE APPLICATIONS FOR THIS CURRENT FINANCIAL YEAR THROUGH RDA FAR WEST WILL CLOSE AT 12 NOON ON FRIDAY 11 JUNE 2021.

EOI and Applications received after 12 noon on Friday 11 June will not be considered – no exceptions will be made.

Applying for a 491 Visa Nomination

Regional Development Australia (RDA) offices will shortly commence assisting NSW Treasury managing applications for NSW nominations for the subclass 491 visa.

The application process for the Far West NSW region is now Open. The RDA FW Migration Office will only be opened between the hours of 9.00am – 12 noon ACDST Monday – Thursday.

Under this new arrangement, each RDA will be 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 will remain 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.

Below is information regarding applying for sponsorship from the Far West region of NSW. This information is available to allow you time to put your application together. The application process for the Far West NSW region opened Monday 22nd February, 2021.


PLEASE NOTE: S48 bar

The section 48 bar, applies to applicants who are holding a bridging visa, and have had a visa refused or cancelled, since their last entry into Australia.

If you are subject to a section 48 bar you need to leave Australia before you can reapply for a visa.

NSW will not re-nominate applicants who are subject to a section 48 bar where their nomination has expired, and they are unable to leave Australia.

Nomination allocations provided by the Department of Home Affairs are limited and it is currently uncertain when border restrictions will be lifted.

To ensure the limited nomination positions allocated to NSW go to support the economic recovery of the state, RDA Far West will not re-nominate applicants subject to a section 48 bar.


STEPS

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 – PLEASE NOTE: This stream is currently CLOSED – if you believe you have a special case (you have had your job/offer for more than six months) please contact our office directly via phone or email

Step 2 – Check the Occupation List

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 Far West NSW 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 Skilled Occupation list is available here RDA FW Skilled Occupations

Step 3 – Get to Know the Far West NSW Region

As part of receiving a nomination from the NSW Government, applicants commit to live and work in NSW for the first three years of their visa. According to visa regulations, the applicant must have a genuine commitment to live and work in the nominating state.

This commitment is a condition of the NSW Government’s nomination.

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 genuinely commit to the Far West region by living and working here and to making a positive contribution to our communities.

Therefore, it is important that you get to know the Far West 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 Far West NSW region to help you make this decision.

RDA FW Welcome Pack

Visit Far West Proud | Love Where You Live! (lovethefarwest.com.au)

Step 4 – Check Skill availability and receive your Interim Reference Number (IRN)

As nominations are extremely limited at this time, prior to submitting your application, you MUST check that you are still able to apply for your skill in the nominating region. Do this by filling in the Skills Assessment Form and emailing back to the nominated addressRDA Skills Assessment Form

This template will request your name and skill only. Do not submit anything else.

This is NOT an Expression of Interest process. It is to ensure that particular skills are not oversubscribed and that, when you apply, nominations in your skill area are still available.

If your skill is still available, you will receive an email with an Interim Reference Number (IRN). Within 48 hours of receiving this IRN, you must submit your application, including this Interim Reference Number in the Subject heading of your application email. The Interim Reference Number expires after 48 hours and, should you submit after that time, your application will be ineligible.

Step 5 – Complete Your Application 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 for:

Stream 1 – Living and Working in Regional NSW

Stream 2 – Recently Completed Study in Regional NSW

Stream 3 – Job offer in Regional NSW – PLEASE NOTE: This stream is currently CLOSED

CURRENTLY CLOSED – Do not apply under this stream unless you have been in specific contact with this RDA and have received Special Consideration Confirmation

Stream 3c – Family Ties in Regional NSW – PLEASE NOTE: This stream is currently CLOSED

RDA Far West will NOT be accepting offshore applications under Stream 3b and 3c until further notice. This is due to the request from the Australian Government to prioritise on-shore applicants and the national border restrictions due to COVID-19. This will be reviewed in April and no exceptions can be made.

Step 6 – Make Payment for Your Application Assessment

Note that payment for your application assessment fee does not guarantee a positive outcome for your application. You are paying for the assessment process, not the outcome. 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 (incl. GST)
Employer Nomination (RSMS 494 Visa): AUD $770.00 (incl. GST)

We accept payment for your assessment fee by Direct Deposit only.

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

Payment is by Direct Deposit ONLY

Our bank account details are as below. This can be completed either through your online banking. Please include 491/the name that the application is in/and the IRN for the reference detail for the deposit.

Bank: Broken Hill Community Credit Union
Account Name: Regional Development Australia – Far West Inc
BSB: 802-377
Account No: 377 376 73

Step 7 – Submit Your Application

All applications with all supporting documents clearly identified and in separate attachments/files within the one email should be addressed to our Migration Office via migration@rdafarwestnsw.org.au

Your application MUST have a valid Interim Reference Number (IRN – see above) in the Subject Heading.

You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application, including an Application Reference Number (ARN). This number must be quoted in any enquiries.

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 6 weeks of the receipted date.

During assessment of your application, we may contact you to request further information if required. If additional documents are required, the processing time may be delayed.

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 may take up to 5 working days (Monday to Friday, and excluding NSW public holidays) for the nomination to be processed and for you to 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.

Nomination Criteria

You must meet all the criteria in one of the three following three streams to be eligible for NSW nomination:

  1. Living and working in regional NSW;
  2. recently completed study in regional NSW; or
  3. living and working outside of a designated regional postcode of NSW – PLEASE NOTE: This stream is currently CLOSED

  • Applicants who do not meet the criteria in one of these three streams may be refused unless otherwise agreed with NSW Treasury.
  • ‘Closely related occupations’ are defined as those having the same ANZSCO unit group, i.e. sharing the same first four digits.

  • ‘Designated regional areas’ are determined by Home Affairs. Please see their website for a list of regional NSW postcodes.

1. Living and working in regional NSW

To be eligible for NSW nomination under this stream you must:

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on your nominated region’s occupation list;
  • have been living in a designated regional area in NSW for at least the previous 12 months; and
  • have been working in your nominated occupation, or a closely related occupation, in a designated regional area of NSW, for at least the previous 12 months.

2. Recently completed study in regional NSW

To be eligible for NSW nomination under this stream you must:

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on your nominated region’s occupation list;
  • have completed study or education with an education provider, where:
    • the study was completed within the previous 24 months;
    • the education provider is located in a designated regional area in NSW;
    • the study meets the Australian study requirement (as determined by Home Affairs from time to time); and
    • the qualification obtained from this study has been assessed as closely related to your nominated occupation by the relevant assessing authority; and
  • have lived in a designated regional area of NSW while completing your study.

3. Living and working outside of a designated regional postcode of NSW – CURRENTLY CLOSED

To be eligible for NSW nomination under this stream you must meet all the criteria for at least one of the following categories:

Job offer in regional NSW – PLEASE NOTE: This stream is currently CLOSED
To be eligible for NSW nomination under this category you must:

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on your nominated region’s occupation list;
  • have an offer for ongoing employment that is:
  • in the Applicant’s nominated occupation, or a closely related occupation; and
  • for a minimum term of 12 months and 35 hours of work per week;
  • have an offer for ongoing employment from an employer that is:
  • located in a designated regional area in NSW; and
  • registered in Australia.

At least five years skilled employment experience (offshore Applicants)
If you reside outside of Australia, you must: PLEASE NOTE: This stream is currently CLOSED

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on your nominated region’s occupation list; and
  • have at least five years of skilled employment in such nominated occupation, or a closely related occupation.

Family ties in regional NSW – To be eligible for NSW nomination under this category you must:

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on your nominated region’s occupation list; and
  • have an immediate family member in a designated regional area in NSW who satisfies all of the criteria below:
  • a grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, brother or sister of the Applicant (including by virtue of a step or adoptive relationship);
  • at least 18 years of age;
  • either an Australian Permanent Resident, an Australian Citizen or a NSW nominated provisional visa holder (489);
  • currently residing in a designated regional area in NSW; and
  • has been residing in a designated regional area in NSW for at least the previous 24 months,
  • and you must ensure that your family member has completed a statutory declaration to confirm that they satisfy each of the above chain migration requirements.

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 list of registered migration agents is available on the Migration Agents Registration Authority website.