FAQ’S – Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491)


Where can I live and work in NSW under the subclass 491 visa?

The Department of Home Affairs determines which regions of Australia are eligible for the 491 visa. Eligible regions are published on the Home Affairs’ designated regional area postcodes website.

 I have been residing in regional NSW for less than 12 months, am I still eligible to apply?

If you are currently living in regional NSW, but do not meet the 12-month minimum requirement outlined under Stream 1, you may be eligible to apply for NSW nomination under Stream 3 if you have a job offer or family ties; however, preference will be being given to applicants applying under Stream 1 and meet the 12-month requirement.

What are the skills assessment requirements

  1. Nominated occupation matches the data entered in SkillSelect
  2. Valid for three years unless specified otherwise by the assessing authority (e.g. ACS assessments are valid for two years)
  3. Must be for skilled migration, not for other purposes (e.g. the temporary graduate visa subclass 485)

What is the age requirement?

The applicant must be under 45 years old at the time the nomination is effected in SkillSelect

What tests are accepted for English language ability?

  1. Certificates are valid for three years
  2. Tests accepted: IELTS, Pearson, CAE, TOEFL
    1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Applicants must have achieved the results in a single test. It’s worth noting that if an applicant has taken several tests and obtained ‘conflicting’ results they can request a ‘re-mark’ within 6 weeks of the test date on the Test Report Form.

  1. Occupational English Test(OET) – English test for healthcare professionals.

Applicants can demonstrate English ability using one or more tests to in which they have achieved a score of at least “B” in each of the four components of an OET.

Each test that the applicant uses to achieve the score must have been undertaken in the three years immediately before the day the invitation was issued in SkillSelect to the applicant.

  1. Pearson Test of English(PTE) Academic
  2. Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)*
  3. Foreign Language internet-Based Test(TOEFL iBT)

What educational qualifications can I use on my application?

  1. Do not have to be related to the nominated occupation for the purpose of claiming points – i.e. one can have a positive skills assessment that has been assessed as Diploma for an occupation and demonstrate an AQF Bachelor’s Degree in a different field to claim 15 points.
  2. Educational qualifications assessed as comparable to an AQF Associate Degree are only eligible for 10 points (not equivalent to an AQF Bachelor’s degree).
  3. Trade qualification means:
    1. an Australian trade qualification obtained as a result of the completion of an indentured apprenticeship, a training contract, part-time formal training at a technical college or employment.
  • a qualification, under the Australian Qualifications Framework, of at least the Certificate III level for an occupation in Major Group 4 in the ANZSCO – Community and Personal Service Workers.
  • a qualification, under the Australian Qualifications Framework, of at least the Certificate III level for an occupation in Major Group 3 in ANZSCO – Technicians and Trades workers. (i.e. the ANZSCO code starts with the number 3).

What are the requirements for skilled employment?

  1. At least 20 hours per week.
  2. Remunerated
  3. In the last 10 years before nomination
  4. Closely related to nominated occupations – this means in the same ANZSCO Unit Group, i.e. to four ANZSCO digits. For example, the occupations of Management Accountant and Taxation Accountant are in the same group.
  5. ICT professionals – NSW requires all ICT professionals claiming points for skilled employment to provide an Australian Computer Society (ACS) skills assessment that clearly identifies the ‘Skill Level Requirement Met Date’ – under ACS’ framework, the skilled date is the date after which an applicant can claim skilled employment.

What is meant by Australian study?

  1. Can be for one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications taken at an Australian educational institution.
  2. The course(s) must have been completed in a total of at least 16 calendar months.
  3. The 92 weeks of study could contribute towards the award of one of more acceptable qualifications. The courses of study do not need to have been done within a 24-month period. It is possible to have a break between completing the first course and beginning the second one.
  4. Does not have to be related to the nominated occupation
  5. Must be registered through the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Course for Overseas Students (CRICOS)
  6. If the student takes longer to complete the course work, they will be credited with the number of weeks that CRICOS determines as a standard duration. For example, if a student completes a course in 92 weeks while CRICOS determined the course duration to be 78 weeks, the student will receive credit for 78 weeks only.

Does my university degree satisfy “study in regional Australia”?

  1. The applicant satisfied the Australian study requirement (see above)
  2. The applicant lived and studied in regional Australia or a low population-growth metropolitan area.
  3. None of the study undertaken constituted distance education.

What are the requirements for Partner skills?

The applicant’s partner must:

  1. be under 45 years old
  2. have a valid, positive skills assessment in an eligible occupation
  3. have at least competent English – the test certificate must be valid.

If the partner does not have a skills assessment but has at least competent English skills, the applicant can claim five points.

If the partner has both competent English and a valid, positive skills assessment in an eligible occupation, the applicant can claim 10 points.

Single applicants or applicants with a partner who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident can claim 10 points

What is a Professional Year in Australia?

  1. A Professional Year Program is a structured professional development program combining formal learning and workplace experience for international students who have graduated from a university in Australia.
  2. Professional Year Programs run for 12 months and are currently available in the fields of accounting, computer science and engineering — Australian industries where the demand for skilled graduates is high.
  3. Must have been completed in the last 4 years.
  4. Was provided by one of these organisations:
    1. Australian Computer Society
    2. CPA Australia Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
    3. Institute of Public Accountants
    4. Engineers Australia.

Does my qualification constitute Specialist Educational Qualifications?

  1. The qualification must be at Doctorate or Masters by research-level, that included at least 2 academic years study in a relevant field.
  2. To determine whether the qualification is eligible, see the CRICOS You can search for the course by institute and see whether it is listed in a STEM field of education on the Department of Home Affairs webpage.

How long do I need to Commit to live and work in NSW?

  • 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.
  • The 2-year commitment is a condition of our nomination.
  • We do not provide Letters of release.

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