NSW invites applications for Subclass 491, offering direct pathways to permanent residency

The New South Wales (NSW) government is asking skilled professionals currently employed in the state to apply directly to Investment NSW for the Subclass 491 visa under its ongoing 2023-24 migration program, with a focus on addressing critical skill shortages in regional areas.

The NSW government is targeting specific industry sectors with critical skills shortages through Subclass 491.

“These sectors include health, education, ICT, infrastructure and agriculture,” a NSW’s Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade spokesperson told SBS Hindi.

There are two routes to NSW nomination for the Subclass 491 category – Pathway 1 and 2.

Under the Pathway 1, applicants can directly apply to Investment NSW if they have a proven work history with an employer based in regional NSW.

“To apply directly under Pathway 1, you (the applicant) must be currently living and working in a designated regional area of NSW and have continuously done so for the past 12 months,” the NSW government said.

In Pathway 2, applicants may receive invitations to apply from Investment NSW and during these invitation rounds, priority will be given to expressions of interest (EOIs) in occupations aligned with key industry sectors.

The department spokesperson said Pathway 1 is a direct application pathway while for Pathway 2 invitation rounds occur throughout the financial year.

“There are no predetermined or publicly announced dates for invitation rounds,” the spokesperson added.

Applications will continue to be assessed until allocation is exhausted.

NSW’s Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade spokesperson

Registered migration agent Vaibhav Patel said this development opens up a new opportunity for applicants seeking residency.

“Our research indicates that NSW has only utilised 20 percent of its total visa allocation. As of January this year, NSW has issued approximately 300 visas under Subclass 491, leaving 1,200 seats still available for applicants,” Mr Patel explained.

“We’ve observed that applicants who are already employed in their respective fields are obtaining residency more quickly and with greater ease,” he added.

Mr Patel said applicants should apply for the 491 visa if they are currently eligible, instead of waiting for other visa categories.

Under the Migration Program 2023-24, nomination allocations are available to states and territories in three visa categories: Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190), Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491), and the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP).

Each state and territory evaluates eligible applicants based on criteria specific to their region.

In the 2023-24 fiscal year, NSW has been allocated a total of 4,150 skilled visa slots which includes 1,500 places for the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa category.

In a recent statement, the New South Wales government asked applicants of the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa to directly apply to Investment NSW.

Source: https://www.sbs.com.au/

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