The NSW Government has recently announced updates to the nomination criteria for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) under Pathway 1, effective immediately. These changes aim to enhance accessibility for skilled workers residing and working in regional NSW, supporting regional development and the local economy.

Previously, applicants for Pathway 1 were required to have lived and worked in a designated regional area of NSW for at least 12 months with a single regional NSW-based employer, among other conditions. Following industry feedback from our Regional Skilled Migration seminars, the NSW government has reduced this employment duration requirement to 6 months.

Key changes include:

– Reduced employment duration: Applicants must currently reside and work in a designated regional area of NSW continuously for the past 6 months, compared to the previous 12 months.

This modification expands eligibility for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) under Pathway 1, creating opportunities for skilled workers who have contributed to regional economies and communities for six months.

Remaining criteria:

– Employment with a single regional NSW-based employer from an established business premises in regional NSW.

– Role in the applicant’s nominated (or closely related) occupation.

– Occupations deemed skilled by NSW.

– Minimum salary of $70,000 (prorated if under 38 hours per week) from the qualifying employer in the nominated (or closely related) occupation in the 6 months before applying.

Important reminders:

– Skilled employment must occur after NSW deems the applicant skilled in their occupation and must be reflected in their SkillSelect Expression of Interest (EOI).

– Onshore visa application lodging is required, and applicants must not have a current visa application under consideration by Home Affairs for a permanent visa.

For comprehensive details about the updated criteria and application process, visit the NSW government website.


For furtherer guidance and assistance, applicants are encouraged to consult with immigration experts or legal professionals. For all visa inquiries and assistance, contact the Reid Legal team today.