State requirements for 491 visa

Below is a summary of the state opening dates for the 491 visa and further detailed information.

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491) visa allows points-tested skilled workers and their families to live, study and work in designated regional areas for a period of 5 years. If you are granted a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491) visa, you may be eligible to apply for the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) (subclass 191) visa, which provides permanent residence and the right to live and work anywhere in Australia.

The subclass 491 is a provisional points-tested visa to assist regional Australia to access the people and skills it needs to grow and thrive. This visa is for people who wish to settle in regional Australia who have skills that are in high demand in Australia’s labour market. This visa is administered by the Department of Home Affairs.

State and Territory Nominations for May 2024

The number of nominations made by State and Territory governments for Sc 190 and Sc 491 for the month of May. Between 30 April and 31 May 2024, the number of nominations made by each State and Territory government are the following:

Visa Subclass ACT  NSW  NT  QLD  SA  TAS  VIC  WA
 Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)  45  413  1  118  98  44  52  13
 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) State and Territory Nominated  61  93  6  17  187  136  44  2

It is worth noting that besides the minimum requirements from the Department of Home Affairs, each state/ territory government has their own set of requirements that all applicants who want to be nominated must meet. Navigating the state/ territory requirements is often complicated.

Understanding these difficulties, we have compiled the basic requirements of all states/ territories in this article so you can have a better idea of what need to be met to increase your chance of getting invitations.

State Total 190 491 Status
NT 650 250 400 190 – Not open

491 – Open – Applications will be assessed under new eligibility criteria: –

  • Priority occupation stream for offshore applications will be limited to 54 occupations listed on the new Offshore Migration Occupation List
  • NT residents who have not worked in their nominated/related occupation for at least six months in the NT will only be considered if they have been working in the NT for six months in a critical sector (health, aged, disabled care, education and childcare, hospitality)
  • NT graduates who hold sc 485 visa valid till at least 1 July 2024, or are eligible for such visa will not be eligible for nomination in this program year
NSW 4,150 2,650 1,500 190 – Open – limited invitations and occupational sectors

491 – Not open – Details on the criteria and application process for the 2023-24 program year will be updated shortly

ACT 1,200 600 600 Open – Next invitation round will be held before 20 November 2023
WA 2,350 1,500 850 Open – WA state nominations lodged before 1 July 2023 will be assessed against the 2022-23 criteria
TAS 1,200 600 600 Open – ROIs submitted before 1 July 2023 will remain valid for the 2023-24 program year

New minimum eligibility requirements apply to ROIs and applications submitted from 5 July 2023

VIC 3,300 2,700 600 Open – to be eligible for sc 491 nomination in the 2023-24 program, onshore applicants must be living and working in regional VIC at the time of nomination. As a result of this change, ROI’s submitted in 2022-23 year that were not invited, will need to submit a new ROI if still eligible
QLD 1,550 900 650 Open – Will begin inviting selected applicants from end of September 2023, and hold invitation rounds at the end of each month for the remainder of financial year
SA 2,300 1,100 1,200 Open -SA will prioritise the retention of international graduates and temporary visa holders

  • Experienced overseas workers with skills in high demand in SA such as Trades, Construction, Defence, Health, Education, Natural and Physical Science and Social and Welfare Professionals will be targeted
State and Territory nominated visa allocations (2023 – 2024)

Following consultation with States and Territories, the following nomination levels have been allocated for 2023-24 and comparison to the previous financial year):

2023–24 state and territory nomination allocations
State Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)*
ACT 600 (-200) 600 (-1,320) 0 (-10)
NSW 2,650 (-4,510) 1,500 (-3,370) 0 (-260)
NT 250 (-350) 400 (-440) 0 (-15)
QLD 900 (-2,100) 650 (-550) 0 (-235)
SA 1,100 (-1,600) 1,200 (-1,980) 0 (-70)
TAS 600 (-1,400) 600 (-750) 0 (-10)
VIC 2,700 (-6,300) 600 (-1,800) 0 (-170)
WA 1,500 (-3,850) 850 (-1,940) 0 (-40)
Total 10,300 (-20,310) 6,400 (-12,150) 0 (-810)

* ​No new allocations have been given for the BIIP. The Department has enough applications on-hand to meet the 2023–​24 planning level for the BIIP.​

​Below is a summary of the state requirements for the 491 visa.

Key summary

  NSW VIC ACT WA NT QLD TAS SA
Residence Reside in NSW Reside in regional Victoria for at least 3 months Reside in Canberra for at least 6 months No Yes Closed Reside in Tasmania Reside in SA
Local Employment Not required No (from 7 July 2021)) Yes – at least 6 months Yes Must show good job prospect Closed Yes if not apply under Graduates category Yes
Offshore invite No No No No No Closed Yes – if have job offer No
Fees (AUD) $300 Nil $300 $200 $300 $200 $220 $330

Victoria’s Skilled 491 visa Migration Program is now open

  • VIC state nomination program is now closed to Registrations of Interest (ROI). Submitted ROI will continue to be assessed and selected for invitations to apply for Victorian visa nomination.
  • If a ROI is withdrawn, applications will not be able to submit a new one until the 2023-24 program opens.

Onshore and offshore applicants can apply
In addition to applicants living in Victoria, Victoria will also be selecting applicants living outside Australia for the subclass 190 visa in all eligible occupations.

For the subclass 491 visa in addition to applicants living in Victoria, applicants living offshore can apply, noting Victoria are currently prioritising health occupations for subclass 491 visa nomination.

More eligible occupations
All occupations on the relevant Department of Home Affairs occupation list are now eligible, and applicants are no longer required to be using STEMM skills and working in a target sector to apply.

Related:

ACT 491 nomination criteria:

Next invitation round will be held before 14 July 2023

The Australian government has directed ACT to nominate those who can support the economic recovery post-COVID. As such, you must meet the following criteria before you apply for the nomination:

  • Resided in Canberra for at least 3 months
  • One of the following:
    • Nominated occupation is on the ACT Critical Skills List (July 2022), OR
    • A primary holder of a subclass 457/482 visa sponsored by an ACT employer:
      • You have worked in Canberra for the sponsor for at least 3 months
      • The visa must have a minimum of 12 months validity at time of nomination application.
    • Must be working for an ACT employer in Canberra for at least 3 months (must be paid employment, and for a minimum of 20 hours per week).

You can find the ACT Critical Skills List  here, July 2022).

Related:

WA State nomination under 491 visa

WA state nomination for 491 visa is currently open.

Migration WA has made significant temporary changes to its skilled state nomination program criteria, including:

  • new occupations added to the eligible lists
  • waiving the $200 application fee
  • halving the requirement to have an employment contract from 12 months to six months
  • reducing requirements for applicants to demonstrate sufficient funds
  • removing additional English requirements for professional and manager
  • occupations, and
  • reducing work experience requirements for the 2022-23 program year to 6 months

The 2022-23 WA state nomination requirements have now been released. The WA migration program has expanded the graduate occupation list for the graduate stream with now over 300 occupations.

There are two streams under which WA state nominations are issues: General Stream and Graduate Stream. Depending on which lists your occupation falls into, you must apply under the suitable stream.

General Stream Eligibility

  • Occupation must be in the General Stream occupational list.
  • Must be residing in Australia;
  • Meet language requirement. This requirement depends on of occupation group.
    • ANZSCO Group 1 and 2: Proficient – IELTS Level 7
    • All other eligible occupations: Competent – IELTS Level 6
  • Must have at least one year of Australian work experience in the nominated (or closely related) occupation over the last 10 years or at least three years of overseas work experience in the nominated (or closely related) occupation over the last 10 years.
  • Must have a genuine full-time job offer in Western Australia in your nominated occupation for at least 12 months.
  • Have sufficient settlement funds if you are not residing in Western Australia.

Graduate Stream Eligibility

  • Occupation must be in the Graduate Stream occupational list.
  • Must be residing in Australia;
  • Meet language requirement. This requirement depends on of occupation group.
    • ANZSCO Group 1 and 2: Proficient – IELTS Level 7
    • All other eligible occupations: Competent – IELTS Level 6
  • At least two years study in Western Australia.
  • Must have at least 6 months works experience in the nominated occupation or have a six month contract of employment in your nominated (or closely related) occupation in Western Australia.
  • Have sufficient settlement funds if you are not residing in Western Australia.

Occupations marked as ‘regional Western Australia only’

  • Candidates nominating a regional occupation must provide evidence of a job offer/contract of employment in a location defined by the Commonwealth as Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas
  • Regional Postcodes
    • 6041 to 6044, 6084, 6207, 6213, 6215 to 6537, and 6560 to 6770

Related:

NT 491 nomination criteria

Onshore applications for Northern Territory nomination under the General Skilled Migration program can now be lodged through the online application system. Offshore applications remain closed while the national border restrictions stay in place.

Related:

QLD 491 nomination criteria

Migration Queensland has opened its state nominated skilled migration program for 2023-24.  As with all states and territories Queensland had received a significantly reduced allocation of places for this program year.

Queensland will begin inviting selected applicants from the end of this month and hold invitation rounds at the end of each month – ensuring an evenly spread workload throughout the program year.

Related:

NSW 491 nomination criteria

Stream 1 — I am living and working in Regional NSW

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on the Stream 1 Combined Occupation List.
  • 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

  • hold a valid skills assessment for an occupation that appears on your nominated region’s occupation list
  • Be currently residing in an Australian state or territory
  • Offshore candidates are now eligible to submit an ROI under Stream 3. Note: the likelihood of being invited to apply is very low. We strongly recommend all prospective offshore candidates explore all other migration pathways available. Please book an appointment to discuss your options and pathways.

Related:

491 NSW Pathways

TAS 491 nomination criteria

State nomination program appears to remain open.

Tasmania has now received its full nomination quota for the 2020 – 21 program year. The full allocation is made up of:

  • Subclass 491 – 1400 places
  • Subclass 190 – 1000 places
  • Business migration – 45 places

Approximately 25% of skilled visa nomination places have been used.

This includes:

  • individual providing critical or specialist medical services, or
  • individual with critical skills required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services, or
  • individual who are involved in delivering services in sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery.

International graduates who do not work in the critical area would be unlikely to receive a nomination at this stage.

Related:

SA 491 nomination criteria

  • GSM (ROI, 491 and 190 and BIIP) programs closed to new applications as of 8 June 2023. Any applications that have commenced by not lodged before 8 June 2023 will be deleted from the system.
  • Existing applications that have been lodged before 8 June 2023 will continue to be assessed.
  • Pending an allocation of 190 nominations from the Commonwealth Government for the 2023-24 program year, applicants who are assessed as eligible for 190 state nominations will receive a nomination in the upcoming program year.

South Australia will open its skilled migration program on 20 July 2021 for this financial year. With a total of 5,200 places allocated for both 190 and 491 nominations, South Australia has announce its changes to the migration program with the following key points:

  • Applicants residing in Australia but not in South Australia now are eligible for the South Australia under Talent and Innovator Employment Stream
  • Offshore applicants are eligible for South Australia state nomination, depending on their nominated occupations.
  • There are 3 main streams: Talent and Innovators Program, Currently living and working in South Australia, and International Graduates stream.
  • For some instances, applicants do not need to work in their nominated occupation to apply for the state nomination.

The South Australian program is focused on:

  1. Talent and Innovators Program

This program is intended for skilled migrants who can contribute to South Australia’s priority sectors. It is divided into four streams:

  • Employment stream
  • Start-up and small business stream
  • Independent talent stream
  1. Currently working in South Australia

This program is accessible for applicants who are:

  • Currently living and working in South Australia
  • Living and working in regional South Australia
  • Living and working in South Australia as a long-term resident
  1. International Graduate of South Australia

Students who complete their studies in South Australia can access additional waivers and concessions. There are various requirements to meet before the applicant can apply for this stream. Some of the requirements include:

  • The course must be CRICOS registered with a minimum of 46 weeks.
  • A minimum of 50 % of the qualification must be completed in South Australia.
  • The applicant must reside in South Australia for at least one year during his/her studies.
  • The applicant must continue to reside in South Australia post-study.
  • For subclass 190 or 491 nominations, the applicant must be working in South Australia in his/her nominated occupation.

Related:

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