Skilled regional nominated migration (489) - closed to new nominations

The skilled regional nominated (489) visa is closed to new nominations, pending the introduction of the new Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491) visa in November 2019.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa

The Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs has announced that a new points-tested visa to assist regional Australia, for applicants with an eligible skilled occupation, nominated by a state or territory government agency will come into effect in November 2019.

The new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa will replace the Skilled Regional Nominated (489) visa which will cease being open to new Expressions of Interest in Skill Select in early September 2019.

NSW will provide specific guidance as to when NSW will cease nominating applicants for the Skilled Regional Nominated (489) visa in due course. Applicants are advised to check with participating NSW Regions (below) with regards to their individual nomination process.

Specific details regarding eligible occupations and postcodes designated as regional areas will be also released in due course.

About this visa

The new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa will enable eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years. Visa holders will be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence visa after three years. Applicants for this visa must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area and be invited to apply for the visa, following submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect.


Applicants must:

  • have a relevant occupation on a skilled occupation list;
  • have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation;
  • satisfy the points test;
  • be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation;
  • have Competent English;
  • submit an Expression of Interest vis SkillSelect;
  • be nominated by a state or territory government agency or be sponsored by an eligible relative;
  • be invited by the Department to apply; and
  • meet public interest criteria including health and character requirements

Participating NSW regions

NSW Department of Industry works in partnership with participating Regional Development Authorities (RDA) committees in NSW to deliver the 489 program.

Under this arrangement, NSW RDAs that choose to participate in the 489 program can select and nominate candidates whose skills are needed in their region.

Participating regions determine their own list of eligible occupations as well as any additional eligibility criteria.

There are currently nine regions participating in NSW's 489 program:

Hunter and Illawarra regions may participate in NSW's regional migration programs in 2019-20.

For detailed information on the eligibility criteria and application process, please check the website of the relevant region.

Key criteria

To apply for the 489 visa, candidates must:

How to apply

  1. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect.
    Ensure that you meet the 489 visa criteria.
  2. Apply to the relevant NSW RDA for nomination and wait for the outcome.
    Ensure that you meet the participating RDA's 489 nomination criteria.

  3. Some RDAs’ nomination processes may include an initial expression of interest step, which may attract an upfront, non-refundable fee. Please check the relevant RDA website listed above for more details. Please note that this is NOT the same EOI in SkillSelect detailed above in point 1.

    The RDA expression of interest step has been established by some RDAs to assist in selecting the most suitable applicants for nomination consideration. It is not an application for nomination and it does not guarantee a successful outcome.

    Whilst the NSW Government does not endorse the RDA expression of interest step, each RDA has the ability to manage its own delivery of the 489 program. The NSW Government strongly encourages all potential applicants to seek specialist advice from a registered migration agent prior to completing in an expression of interest step with a RDA.

  4. If you are nominated by NSW, apply for the visa to the Department of Home Affairs.
  5. If your visa is granted, move to your nominating region in NSW and commence your commitment to live and work in the region.

For more information on opportunities for living and working in regional NSW please visit Regional NSW.