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NSW opens submission window for 491 regional visa for limited time

Regional NSW Source: Getty Images/Manfred Gottschalk

New South Wales has invited applications under the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491). Under the new process, nomination for the visa is by invitation only, and the submission windows for the current financial year are August, October, January and March.

The New South Wales government has invited applicants to register their interest for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491). 

The state government will select and invite candidates to a Regional Development Australia (RDA) office during the submission window and for up to seven days after it closes. 


  • Registration open for 491 visa in NSW in three streams with new conditions
  • NSW government will invite candidates for a limited window
  • Migrants living and working in regional NSW will be preferred

The submission windows for the current financial year (2021-22) are August, October, January and March. 

New South Wales has been divided into 14 RDA committees: Central West, Far South Coast, Far West, Hunter, Illawarra, Mid North Coast, Murray, Northern Inland, Northern Rivers, Orana, Riverina, Southern Inland and Sydney.

Applicants can apply for nomination under three streams. 

Stream 1 is for those living and working in regional New South Wales while Stream 2 applies to those who have completed their studies in the state's regional areas. Stream 3 is meant for people skilled in an occupation that is in demand in regional New South Wales.

Rushikesh Handge.
International student and Indian national Rushikesh Handge.
Supplied by Rushikesh Handge

Indian international student Rushikesh Handge welcomed this news and is planning to apply under Stream 3.

“I’m currently in South Australia and have a fair chance of getting permanent residency in New South Wales as it has more jobs. But competition is also tough,” said Mr Handge, who came to Australia in 2017.

After completing his studies in Victoria, he had to move to South Australia.

“The chances of getting permanent residency in South Australia were better than Victoria. But I am now ready to move to New South Wales,” Mr Handge told SBS Hindi.

Under Stream 1, it is mandatory for the applicant to have been residing and working in the nominated occupation in his/her RDA for 12 months. Under Stream 2, the applicant must have passed from a regional university such as the University of Wollongong and Charles Sturt University.

“Preference is given to migrants registering their interest under Stream 1,” a government mailout read.

Gold Coast-based migration agent Seema Chauhan told SBS Hindi that around 160 occupations have been listed under Stream 1, but that number varies for streams 2 and 3 depending upon the region.

“The process is new. Stream 2 is now available for both offshore and interstate applicants,” she added.

This visa allows skilled migrants to live, study and work in designated regional areas for five years. The fee for this visa starts from $4,115 and the current processing time varies from 10 to 13 months.

Applicants are encouraged to check their eligibility, complete an expression of interest in Skillselect and register their interest during the submission window.

Once invited, they will have to apply to an RDA office where their skills are required, within 14 days.

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