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NSW Government Announces a Change to Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491) – Effective Immediately

The NSW Government has announced an update to the nomination criteria for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) under Pathway 1, effective immediately.

This adjustment will make the pathway more accessible to skilled workers living and working in regional NSW, to better support regional development and the local economy.

Updated nomination criteria for Pathway 1

Previously, applicants for Pathway 1 were required to have been living and working in a designated regional area of NSW for at least 12 months with a single regional NSW-based employer, among other requirements. Based on industry feedback at our recent Regional Skilled Migration seminars, the NSW government is now reducing this employment duration requirement to 6 months.

Key changes:

  • Reduced employment duration: Applicants must now be currently living and working in a designated regional area of NSW and have continuously done so for the past 6 months, instead of the previous 12 months.

This change means that more skilled workers will be eligible to apply for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) under Pathway 1, opening up opportunities for those who have been contributing to the regional economy and communities for six months.

Remaining criteria:

  • Employment must be with a single regional NSW-based employer working from an established business premises in regional NSW.
  • The role must be in the applicant’s nominated (or closely related) occupation.
  • The occupation must be deemed skilled by NSW.
  • Applicants must be paid a minimum of the TSMIT salary level of $70,000 (prorated if under 38 hours per week) from their qualifying employer in the nominated (or closely related) occupation in the 6 months immediately before applying.

Important reminders:

  • Skilled employment must occur after NSW deems the applicant skilled in their occupation and must appear in their SkillSelect EOI.
  • Applicants must lodge their visa application onshore and must not have a current visa application being decided by Home Affairs for a permanent visa.

For more details about the updated criteria and how to apply, please visit the NSW government website.