Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491)

Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491)

Please be advised that this office begins accepting applications for the 491 Visa program at 4.00pm Wednesday 1st September, 2021.

Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491)

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) allows skilled migrants to live, study and work in designated regional areas for a period of 5 years. 

NSW nomination is by invitation only. To be considered for NSW nomination, you must register your interest on the NSW Government website.  NSW will use the information you provide when you register your interest to decide whether you will be selected to apply.


Registering your interest in NSW nomination is not an application. 

For information about NSW nomination criteria, see the NSW Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491) website. 

To register your interest in NSW nomination, please visit the NSW How to register your interest in NSW nomination website and read all the information prior to completing the online form. Also, please read the NSW Common questions about skilled visas website for further information about NSW nomination for skilled.


Applying for a 491 Visa Nomination

This RDA will be accepting IRN submissions for this program from 1st September 2021 – any and all IRNs, email applications or submissions sent in BEFORE this date, will need to be resubmitted from 1st September 2021 to be considered.

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.

Please see below for information about applying for sponsorship from the Far South Coast region of NSW. 


Step 1 - Check Eligibility Criteria

Before you apply with this RDA – you must have applied for an ROI with Investment New South Wales – you MUST include your ROI number in your application. 

First check both the NSW Government website and then the RDA website in the region you wish to apply to, to 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 – Skilled in an occupation required in regional NSW. 

Full details on the eligibility criteria for the Far South Coast region are available on our Eligibility for Nomination Criteria page.

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 South Coast 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 occupation list is available on our Occupation List for the Far South Coast page.

Step 3 - Get to Know the Far South Coast Region

As part of receiving a nomination from the NSW Government, applicants commit to live and work in NSW for the first two 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 South Coast 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 South Coast 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 South Coast region to help you make this decision.

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 and emailing the Skill Availability form to us.

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 - Register Your Interest for NSW nomination

This is a new step in the process for applying for a nomination for a 491 Visa from the NSW Government.

To apply for a 491 Visa, you must be invited to apply by the NSW Government. To receive an invitation to apply, interested applicants must lodge their details through their online form.

Further information about how to register your interest with the NSW Government and the online form is available on their website. We also recommend reading through their frequently asked questions about the ROI process.

In the 2021-22 financial year, ROI rounds will be held:

1st to 31st of August 2021

1st to 31st of October 2021

1st to 31st of January 2022

1st to 31st of March 2022

Registrations of interest to the NSW Government must be submitted in the designated months, any submissions outside this time will not be considered, even if the form is available.

Please note that we are unable to assist applicants with this stage of the process, as it is managed by the NSW Government.

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 1 Application Form and Document Checklist – PDF File (253 KB)

Stream 1 Application Form and Document Checklist – Word File (87 KB)

Stream 2 – Recently Completed Study in Regional NSW

Stream 2 Application Form and Document Checklist – PDF File (215 KB)

Stream 2 Application Form and Document Checklist – Word File (89 KB)

Stream 3 – Skilled in an occupation required in Regional NSW

Stream 3 RDA FSC Stream 3 – Application Form and Document Checklist

RDA Far South Coast will not be accepting offshore applications at this stage.


Certified Documents or Colour Scans

Supporting documents must be certified black and white copies, or colour scans of the original document.


Non-English documents must be accompanied by an English translation certified by a translator. You may not necessarily need to have the full document translated. Translations of the key pages to demonstrate your eligibility can be sufficient.

If you are applying from:

  • Within Australia, the translator must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), or
  • Outside Australia, the translator should be qualified and endorse the translated document with their full name, details of their qualification and contact details.


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.

Paying by Direct Deposit

Our bank account details are as below. This can be completed either through your online banking or by going into a branch of St George Bank near you. Please include 491/the name that the application is in/and the IRN for the reference detail for the deposit. 


St George Bank

Account Name:

Regional Development Australia – Far South Coast Inc.


112 879

Account No:

410 665 970

Step 7 - Submit Your Application

NOTE: You MUST include your ROI from NSW Government in your application. If you do not, you will not be eligible for nomination. 

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 

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 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.

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.
  1. 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. I am skilled in an occupation required in Regional NSW

    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 are 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.

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