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NSW Eases Pathway 1 Criteria for Skilled Work Regional Visa Subclass 491

Pathway 1

NSW Government Announces Subclass 491 Visa Pathway 1 Revisions

In a significant development for skilled migration in New South Wales (NSW), the NSW Government has unveiled changes to the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) under Pathway 1, starting from 3 April 2024. This update, aimed at promoting regional development and the local economy, simplifies the criteria for skilled workers in regional NSW, making the path to nomination more accessible.

Updated Nomination Criteria for Enhanced Accessibility

The revision of Pathway 1’s criteria is a direct response to feedback from regional employers and participants at the Regional Skilled Migration Seminars. The NSW Government has acknowledged the need for flexibility in the visa process to support the dynamic landscape of regional NSW’s workforce needs.

Key Changes to Pathway 1:

Reduced Employment Duration Requirement: The significant adjustment in the criteria is the reduction of the required employment duration from 12 months to just 6 months. Skilled workers currently living and working in designated regional areas of NSW are now eligible for nomination under Pathway 1 after six continuous months of employment, rather than the previous twelve.

This modification is expected to widen the pool of eligible applicants for the Skilled Work Regional visa, enabling more skilled individuals to contribute to the regional economy and communities of NSW.

Remaining Nomination Criteria:

  • Applicants must be employed by a single regional NSW-based employer at a business premises established in regional NSW.
  • Employment should be in the applicant’s nominated or a closely related occupation.
  • The occupation must be recognised as skilled by NSW.
  • Applicants must earn at least the TSMIT salary level of $70,000 (pro-rated for part-time work) from their qualifying employer in the relevant occupation over the 6 months immediately before application.

Important Application Notes:

  • Skilled employment is recognised post-NSW’s validation of the applicant’s skills in their chosen occupation and must be indicated in their SkillSelect EOI.
  • Applicants are required to submit their visa application from within Australia and should not have any pending permanent visa application with the Department of Home Affairs.

For further information on the updated nomination criteria and application procedures, please visit NSW Government’s Skilled Visas page. For inquiries about the updated Subclass 491 visa requirements or broader immigration queries, feel free to contact our dedicated team at

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