Changes to the NSW Government 491 Nomination Criteria

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Subclass 491 visa in the General Skilled Stream requires a nomination by a state or territory. Each state or territory sets their own requirements for nomination which are in all cases additional to the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) requirement.

The State of New South Wales (NSW) is one nominating state and has two pathways for potential nominees. Pathway 1 by which nominees apply directly to NSW after lodging an expression of interest (EOI) with (DOHA) and Pathway 2 by which NSW invites nominee to apply for nomination through a selection from (EOI)s lodged with (DOHA).

On 3 April 2024 the NSW Government has announced changes to the Pathway 1 requirements for its nomination under the Subclass 491 visa beginning.

Applicants must now be currently living and working in a designated regional area of NSW and have continuously done so for the 6 months before the day the nomination application is lodged, instead of the previous requirement of 12 months.

Other criteria for this scheme remain the same such as the requirement that the employment be the applicant nominated occupation or closely related to it. It must be with a single regional NSW-based employer working from an established business premises in regional NSW. The remuneration must be at the current Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) which is currently 70,000 per annum.

It is important to note that NSW deems employment at the skilled level, after the deeming date by the skills assessing authority. If there is no such date NSW deems applicant’s skilled level after the completion of the required qualification for their nominated occupation.

Nominations under pathway 2 remain unchanged to date and NSW regularly conducts invitation rounds based on target sectors.

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