The NSW Government has issued an update with the following information:
The Home Affairs Department recently announced that the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional visa will replace the present 489 visa in Nov 2019.
The visa in the new subclass will have many similar features of the present 489 subclass but there will be will inclusion of a few differences in the validity period of visa to 5 years. There will also be the imposition of new conditions to enforce the intention of the government that the visa holders must be living, working and studying exclusively in regional areas. These areas for NSW presently include the entire regions outside Sydney. Moreover, the Illawarra and Hunter regions will get the regional status for minimum three years initially.
The NSW Government was awarded a fixed nomination allotment for 2019-20. Additionally, it is in the process to distribute these positions in the Regional Development Authorities participating in NSW, who presently deliver this feature of the Skilled Migration Program in NSW so that the regional employers get access towards skilled talents. The interested persons must evaluate individual websites of the Regional Development Authorities to collect any additional details in the future.
There will be a change in the points test for skilled migration from Nov 16th, 2019. These changes will influence the applicants of subclass 491 and also the applications seeking other skilled visas that were not assessed at that particular time. The new details are:
1. 15 points for State/Territory nomination through the government agency or family member sponsorship by those residing in the regions of Australia, specifically for living and working in regional Australia
2. 10 points are allocated to the skilled spouse/partner
3. 10 points are allocated to persons qualified in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
4. 5 points are allocated to the spouse/partner possessing competent English
5. 10 points are allocated to applicants with no spouse/partner
There will be a new provincial Priority Skilled Occupation List which will be announced soon.