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Australian work visa: Registration opens for 491 visa in NSW

Australian work visa
The NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) is now by invitation only. Source: Saeed Khan/AFP

Many international students in Australia harbour hopes of migrating or applying for permanent residency in the country after they graduate. An Australian work visa can be a useful pathway to this goal.

The New South Wales government notes on its website that applications for its Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491) are open, but it is now by invitation only. 

What to know about getting an Australian work visa

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) allows skilled migrants to live, study and work in designated regional areas for a period of five years. Applicants must meet all criteria in one of the following three streams to be eligible to be invited to apply for the NSW nomination.

Stream 2 is the most relevant for international students. Stream 1 is for those who live and work in regional NSW; Stream 2 is for applicants who have recently completed a study programme in regional NSW; and Stream 3 is for individuals who are skilled in an occupation that is in demand in regional NSW. 

Stream 1

  • Hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on the Stream 1 Combined Occupation List.
  • Have been living in a designated regional area of NSW for at least the previous twelve 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 twelve months

Stream 2 

  • 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 in a designated regional area in NSW; the study meets the Australian study requirement (as determined by Home Affairs); and the qualification obtained from this study was 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

Stream 3 

Australian work visa

There are a number of Australian work visas available for prospective skilled migrants. Source: Saeed Khan/AFP

Nomination process

Below are the steps to apply for NSW nomination:

  • Ensure you are eligible for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491)
  • Complete an EOI in SkillSelect
  • Register your interest during a submission window here
  • Be invited to apply
  • Apply to an RDA office where your skills are required within 14 days

Submission window 

The submission windows for the 2021-22 financial year are August, October, January and March. Invitations to apply will be issued up to seven days after the submission window closing. The cost of this Australian work visa starts from 4,115 Australian dollars.

If you’re not eligible for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491), don’t fret. There are a number of Australian work visas available for prospective skilled migrants — view your options here.