NSW 491 visa Pathway 1 – Apply directly to an RDA office

491 NSW RDA applications open

Most NSW RDAs have opened applications for the sc 491 program on 2 November 2022.

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.

To apply under this pathway, you must:

  1. Ensure you are eligible for the 491 visa
  2. Confirm you meet the NSW basic eligibility criteria outlined below
  3. Complete an EOI in SkillSelect and ensure that:
    • all information is accurate
    • your EOI seeks nomination for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 491) and NSW only
  4. Apply directly to the RDA office in the region you wish to live and work in for the first three years after being granted your visa by Home Affairs
  5. Provide evidence for all points claims in your SkillSelect EOI, and where you currently reside, with your application. You must also provide a copy of your SkillSelect EOI
Regional NSW study exemption

You are exempt from the minimum work experience requirement under Pathway 1 if you have completed study in regional NSW within the most recent 24 months before applying to an RDA office; AND your study is related to your nominated (or closely related) occupation; AND your study in regional NSW makes you eligible to claim points for Study in regional Australia

Basic Eligibility

To be eligible for NSW nomination, you must meet the basic criteria outlined below:


You must meet all requirements set for the 491 visa subclass.


Be skilled in an occupation that is:

  • meet the minimum point score and years of skilled work experience for your occupation as outlined on our skills list, AND

You must be either currently residing in NSW or offshore, and have continuously done so for a minimum period of three months.

The work experience and point score requirement does not apply to the ‘Regional NSW-based direct pathway’.


491 NSW Pathways

Participating RDA offices

You can find more information for the individual RDAs by clicking on the tabs below:


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 Central Coast region by living and working here and to make a positive contribution to our communities.

Therefore, it is important that you get to know the Central Coast region, and research whether the work and lifestyle opportunities it provides are suitable for you and any dependents you may have.

Select a state below to see it’s requirements:

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State and territory requirements

Each state and territory has its own list of occupations, requirements and processes you must follow.

More information about the requirements and processes on how Australian states or territories nominate applicants is available.