The New South Wales (NSW) 491 nomination program provides an opportunity for skilled migrants to establish residence, employment, and educational pursuits within designated regional areas of NSW for a duration of five (5) years.
Pathways to NSW Nomination
There exist two distinct pathways to secure NSW nomination for this visa:
- Pathway 1 – Direct Application to Investment NSW: Applicants can directly submit their applications to Investment NSW, provided they possess satisfactory work history with an employer based in regional NSW.
- Pathway 2 – Invitation by Investment NSW: Applicants may receive an invitation to apply from Investment NSW. (* It is important to note that the competition for NSW nomination under ‘Pathway 2’ is notably intense.)
Basic Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for NSW nomination, applicants must meet the following fundamental criteria:
- Visa Eligibility: Fulfill all visa requirements specified by the Department Home Affairs for this visa.
- Skills Assessment: Possess a valid skills assessment in an occupation listed on the eligible skilled occupation list designated for this visa.
- Residency: Reside either in NSW continuously for a minimum of three months or offshore continuously for a minimum of three months.
Pathway 1 Additional Criteria
Applicants applying directly under ‘Pathway 1’ must meet the following additional criteria:
- Residency and Employment History: Currently live and work in a designated regional area of NSW for the past 12 months.
- Qualifying Skilled Employment: Have qualifying skilled employment in the twelve (12) months at the time of application. This employment must be:
- With a single regional NSW-based employer.
- In the nominated (or closely related) occupation.
- Deemed skilled by NSW.
- Paid a minimum of the TSMIT salary level of $70,000 by the qualifying employer in the nominated (or closely related) occupation.
(* Importantly, qualifying skilled employment must occur after the date NSW deems the applicant skilled in their occupation and must be reflected in the SkillSelect Expression of Interest (EOI))
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