Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491)

2021/2022 Financial Year

NSW nomination for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) is now by invitation only. You must first register your interest in NSW nomination to be considered through the NSW Government website.  

Below you will find the information you need about the nomination process, how to register your interest in NSW nomination, and nomination criteria for the Orana region. Make sure you read the information carefully prior to applying, you are unable to apply directly to RDA Orana without first registering your interest to NSW Investment and then receiving an invitation to apply.

RDA Orana will not be accepting any further applications for Stream 3 and Stream 2 applications for the remainder of this financial year for the following occupations, the allocation for these occupations has now been exhausted. There will be no special consideration:

  • Accountant (General)

The new NSW nomination Process

1.     Ensure you are eligible for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491)

2.     Confirm you meet the criteria under a NSW nomination stream

3.     Complete an EOI in SkillSelect

4.     Register your interest during a submission window

5.     Be invited to apply

6.     Apply to an RDA office where your skills are required within 14 days

How to register your interest

Simply complete the NSW Investment online form during a ‘submission window’ to register your interest in NSW nomination for the Orana region.

For more information on how to register your interest click here.

Submission Windows

Submission windows for the 2021-22 financial year are the months of August, October, January, and March.

NSW Investment will select and invite candidates to apply to a Regional Development Australia (RDA) office during a submission window and up to seven days after a submission window closes.

Nomination Criteria

There are three nomination streams for this financial year:

·        Stream 1 — I am living and working in Regional NSW

·        Stream 2 — I have recently completed study in Regional NSW

·        Stream 3 — I am skilled in an occupation required in Regional NSW

Preference is given to migrants registering their interest under Stream 1. You must meet all criteria in one of the following three streams to be eligible to be invited to apply for NSW nomination.

Stream 1 – I am Living and Working in regional NSW

  • have been living in a designated regional area of NSW for at least the previous twelve 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 twelve months

Stream 2 – I have recently completed study in regional NSW

  • 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 in a designated regional area in NSW
    • the study meets the Australian study requirement (as determined by Home Affairs); and 
    • the qualification obtained from this study was 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

Stream 3 – I am skilled in an occupation required in Regional NSW

Offshore candidates

Offshore candidates are now eligible to submit a Registration of Interest to NSW Investment under Stream 3. 

Note: the likelihood of being invited to apply is very low. NSW Investment strongly recommends all prospective offshore candidates explore all other migration pathways available to them on the Home Affairs website, contact a registered migration agent for advice, and not wait to be invited by NSW.

RDA Orana Occupation List

Stream 1 applications are eligible from an occupation listed on the combined occupation list. For Stream 2 and Stream 3 applications, your occupation must be listed on the Orana region occupation list.

You can find these lists here.

RDA Orana will not be accepting any further applications for Stream 3 and Stream 2 applications for the remainder of this financial year for the following occupations, the allocation for these occupations has now been exhausted. There will be no special consideration:

  • Environmental Manager
  • Accountant (General)
  • External Auditor
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Public Relations Professional
  • Civil Engineer
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Engineering Technologist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • ICT Business Analyst
  • Developer Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • Computer Network and Systems Engineer
  • Solicitor
  • Civil Engineering Draftsperson

Applying after receiving your Invitation from NSW Investment

Once you have received your invitation by email from NSW Investment you are able to submit a full application with RDA Orana. If you have not received your invitation, you are not eligible to apply. Any applications received who do not have an invitation email issued from NSW Investment will automatically be declined.

How to apply

Step 1

Carefully read through the nomination criteria provided above to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. Make sure you check our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for some handy information. If you do have questions after reading through this, you can contact us via email at We will attempt to respond to non-urgent inquiries regarding this program within 5 business days.

Step 2

Download the application form for which stream you wish to apply under. They can be found below.

Stream 1 – Living and Working in Regional NSW

Stream 2 – Recently completed study in Regional NSW

Stream 3 – I am skilled in an occupation required in regional NSW

Read through the applicable form carefully and ensure that you have all the documentation required. Once you are ready, fill out this form electronically and ensure it is signed and dated. It will need to be uploaded as part of our application process later.
NOTE: If you are using a migration agent for this process, please ensure you have completed and signed a Form 956, you will need it for the final steps.

Step 3

You will need to make a payment for your application to be assessed by RDA Orana as the Regional Certifying Body (RCB). Payment is required prior to us being able to assess your application. The amount for your assessment is $800.00 inc GST. 

NOTE: Payment does not in any way guarantee a positive outcome of your application. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions in regard to refunds and payments.

You will need to keep a copy of your payment receipt to include as part of your application to us so that we can verify that payment has been made.

Step 4

If you have completed all the above steps, then you are ready to apply. You will need to upload a copy of your invitation email from NSW Investment to be able to submit.

Please ensure you have all your supporting documentation ready for upload, incomplete applications take longer to process.

S48 Bar

The Section 48 bar will no longer apply to applications made for subclass 491 or 494 visas nominated on or after 13 November 2021. You can read the new legislation here.

The section 48 bar applies to applicants who are holding a bridging visa and have had a visa refused or canceled, since their last entry into Australia. 

Nomination allocations provided by the Department of Home Affairs are limited and it is currently uncertain when border restrictions will be lifted.

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 is 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.

Contacting the Skilled Migration Team

Thank you. Once you have submitted your application you will receive an email letting you know that it has been received by RDA Orana. We are a small team and work on a range of projects across the region, one of which is Skilled Migration. We understand that this can be a stressful time for individuals and we will do our best to assess applications quickly.

In light of this, we ask that inquiries to the team are only via email or our website. We ask that you thoroughly read the information provided prior to making contact with us. The more inquiries we receive and need to respond to, the longer it takes to process applications.

We are not under any circumstances able to provide individual advice. We can only assist with understanding the documents required as evidence or our application process. The criteria are outlined above and cannot be deviated from under any circumstances.

Please note: Where the information you are seeking is covered by the content of our website or that of Investment NSW and/or DoHA, there will not be a customised response from either our office or that of Investment NSW. Further, there is no special consideration for applicants who do not meet the requirements and/or do not fill in the webforms in their entirety. If you do not receive a response in a reasonable timeframe, please assume that the information you are seeking is already available on our websites and look there before contacting us again.  

After you have submitted your application, any correspondence to us should include your EOI reference number in the subject line and be directed only via email to

The Skilled Migration Team

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