The NSW government has dramatically sacked the Regional Development Authorities (RDA’s) from looking after the regional sponsored 491 visa. From January 2020, the NSW State Government will directly take over the processing for the new regional visa and the RDA’s will look after the remainder of the 489 applications.

This is a big change to the last decade or so of letting specific regional areas have control of who is sponsored to those regions. With that being said, some regions, such as the Orana, were becoming so specific in their sponsorship requirements and then regularly changing them without notice, many professionals like ourselves thought they were getting lost in their positions of power.

Now the state has regained control we should see a more uniformed approach.

The 3 Stream Approach

Similar to the Queensland’s government approach to sponsorship for the 491 visa the NSW government has followed a 3 stream model.

  1. I’m living and working in regional NSW
  2. I’m offshore
  3. I’ve recently completed study in regional NSW

Yes the requirements are very different to QLD but still a 3 factor model.

1) I’m living and working in regional NSW
2) I’m offshore
  1. Your nominated occupation is on the NSW Stream 2 Regional Skilled Occupation List and;
  2. You are residing outside Australia, and;

a) You have an offer for ongoing employment in a designated regional area in NSW from an employer who is registered in Australia, and;

  • the offer of employment is in your nominated, or a closely related occupation*, and;
  • the offer of employment is for a minimum of 12 months and for 35 hours per week. or;

b)You have at least five years of skilled employment in your nominated occupation, or a closely related occupation* or;

c) You have an immediate family member living in a designated regional area in NSW.

3) I’ve recently completed study in regional NSW
  1. Your nominated occupation is on the NSW Stream 2 Regional Skilled Occupation List and;
  1. You have completed study at an education provider, or education providers, located in a designated regional area in NSW, and;
  • the study was continuous and meets the Australian study requirement, and;
  • you have lived in a designated regional area in NSW while completing this study, and;
  • the study was completed within the last 12 months, and;
  • the qualification from your study has been assessed as closely related to your nominated occupation* by the relevant assessing authority.
Wollongong and Newcastle Students Rejoice

Of course now the designated regional areas include Wollongong, Newcastle and Katoomba regions, those international students studying there or have studied there in the last 12 months will have the most to gain.

Sadly the Stream 2 Regional Occupation List does not have Accountants and most of the IT and Engineering occupations on it, so that’s disappointing for many.

Are you interested in applying to NSW for state sponsorship? Or are you thinking of taking up postgraduate degree in Australia and are looking forward into your visa pathway to permanent residency here in Australia? Australian Immigration Law Services has serviced a great many clients and have seen them through from their student visas through to permanent residency and citizenship. We encourage you to contact us for a consultation, where we will learn about your specific situation and give you the best advice on the visa pathways that are available to you. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.

Amy Kim