New South Wales (NSW) State Sponsorship – 489 & 190 Visas


Please note that NSW state sponsorship is now closed at least until the next financial year commencing on 1 July 2014.

We encourage you to Contact Us to discuss your potential eligibility for other visas, or sponsorship by another state.

This guide will help you determine whether your work experience and qualifications will allow you to apply for one of the eligible New South Wales state government sponsored occupations.

Eligible occupations for NSW state sponsorship

In order to obtain a 489 or 190 visa, you will need to obtain a positive skills assessment for one of the occupations that is listed in NSW’s skilled migration occupation list. The NSW government can change their list of sponsorable occupations without notice, so you do need to ensure that your selected ANZSCO occupation is available for sponsorship.

Firstly, have a look at this list of sponsorable occupations and determine if any of these can potentially align with your qualifications and/or experience. Basically, you are trying to find an occupation for which you think you can obtain a positive skills assessment.

How do I find more information about a particular listed occupation? You’ll need to search for that particular ANZSCO occupation and look at the tasks listed. For instance, the ANZSCO occupation of Civil Engineer is on the list of sponsorable occupations. Search for Civil Engineer and you’ll find this ANZSCO: Civil Engineer (233211). Associated with this ANZSCO are a number of tasks. This list of tasks is a general description of what a qualified Civil Engineer is expected to do. Because ANZSCO is a general description of the occupation,  you don’t need to perform all the tasks listed, and you may have performed some additional duties in your current and previous employment roles. 

For the ANZSCO occupation that you’re interested in, find the relevant skills assessment body’s website and look at its requirements for obtaining a positive skills assessment outcome (note that for some occupations, there is more than one relevant skills assessment body. You can use any of the listed bodies for your skills assessment application). For instance, the skills assessment body for engineering related occupations is generally Engineers Australia (Home page / Skills assessment information).

If you are not sure about which skills assessment body is applicable for your occupation, find the occupation on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List. This list states the relevant skills assessment body for each sponsorable occupation.

This is the only list for NSW state government sponsorship. There are no off-lists, or exempts, or special consideration because you studied or worked in the state etc. You need to obtain a positive skills assessment for an occupation on this list

NSW state sponsorship application process

I assume that you have found an appropriate and eligible ANZSCO, for which you think that you meet the requirements of the skills assessment body to obtain a positive skills assessment outcome.

If you are applying for 190 visa sponsorship, then there are no additional eligibility requirements for you to satisfy in order to gain NSW state sponsorship.

To apply for this sponsorship, you need:

  1. prepare and submit your EOI
  2. lodge a complete NSW Skilled –Nominated (subclass 190) application form
  3. provide all required supporting documents to evidence your claims
  4. enclose payment – bank cheque/money order for $300 (offshore) or $330 incl. GST (onshore) made payable to NSW Trade and Investment

Applications are processed in accordance to when they are lodged. Your application will be assigned to an assessing officer based on the date that it was received.

If you are applying for 489 visa sponsorship for a particular regional area, then you must agree to live in the designated region for a period of 2 years.

To apply for nomination from one of these regions you must complete NSW Form R and send it with copies of required documents and the application fee to the regional office you are seeking nomination from.

You will be advised of the outcome of your application through a letter.  If your application is successful, the application form will be stamped and signed by the authorised officer from the regional office.

Eligibility requirement for 190 & 489 visas

In the above steps, you should have confirmed that you can obtain a positive skills assessment for an eligible occupation, and you meet all the requirements for state sponsorship as set by the NSW state government.

Now you meet to check that you at least meet the threshold requirements for the visa:

  • You need to be under 50 years of age
  • You have obtained a positive skills assessment for an eligible occupation
  • You need to meet the English language requirement
  • You points score is at least 60 (find out how points are allocated)
  • You meet the health and character requirements

English language requirement

You need to have ‘competent’ English language ability which is satisfied if:

  1. You have obtained a score of at least 6 for each of the four test components in an IELTS examination conducted within the last 3 years immediately before the lodgement of the application
  2. You have obtained a score of at least ‘B’ in an Occupational English test conducted within the last 3 years immediately before the lodgement of the application
  3. If you hold a passport from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland of New Zealand

Please note that this is the minimum English language requirement that all primary visa applicants need to satisfy. If you are counting points on the basis of your English language ability, then you need to satisfy the relevant requirement in order to gain those points.

English language ability & claiming points

You can only rely on an IELTS or OET examination result in order to claim points for your English language ability. You must be using a result from an examination that was completed within 3 years of the date of lodgement of the application. The required band scores for the test components must be demonstrated in one test. The Department will not accept separate IELTS tests for each component.

In relation to counting points on the basis of your English language ability:

  • the Department will not accept any examination result other than an IELTS or OET examination result
  • the examination must be completed within the 3 year period that precedes the date of lodgement of the application
  • if you are exempted from satisfying the English language requirement due to the passport that you hold, you can and you still need to complete an  IELTS or OET examination if you want to claim points on the basis of your English language ability

Work experience

You must have worked at least 20 hours of paid work per week and in your nominated skilled occupation, or a closely related occupation.

The work must be paid – it cannot be voluntary work.

You can only count ‘skilled’ employment, that is it the work was undertaken after the applicant meets at least the entry level requirements as set by the relevant assessing authority for that occupation.

The date on which an applicant becomes ‘skilled’ may be different from the date that an assessing authority finds that the person meets their requirement for a suitable skills assessment. For example, an assessing authority may issue a suitable skills assessment on the basis of attainment of a tertiary qualification but may require a period of post qualification work experience before considering an applicant ‘skilled’ for the purpose of employment points.

Educational qualifications

If you hold multiple recognised qualifications, you can only count points for one of your recognised qualifications (e.g. if you have completed a Bachelor degree and a Diploma degree, you can receive points for the Bachelor degree only).

Your relevant skills assessment body will generally determine whether any qualifications earned outside Australia are of a standard that is comparable to the relevant Australian qualification.

You may be able to receive points for a qualification that is not related to your nominated occupation.

Australian study requirements

This means you have been awarded one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications through a course or courses taken at an Australian educational institution.

Your course or courses must:

  • be registered through the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Course for Overseas Students (CRICOS)
  • have been successfully completed
  • have resulted in you receiving a degree, diploma or trade qualification
  • have been completed in a total of at least 16 calendar months
  • have been completed as a result of at least two academic years of study
  • have had all instruction in English
  • have been completed while you were physically in Australia
  • have been completed while you held a visa authorising you to study in Australia
  • be counted only once towards the Australian study requirement. Any failed course subject cannot be counted towards the Australian Study Requirement

Two academic years of study is defined as 92 weeks of study in a course or courses registered by CRICOS. CRICOS determines a standard duration (number of weeks) for each course.

Age requirement

You need to be under 50 years of age at the time that you are invited to apply for the visa.

Dependents who are over 18 – Functional English language ability

All adult dependents who are over 18 years of age will need to demonstrate ‘functional’ English language ability. This can be demonstrated in a number of ways:

  1. Complete all years of primary education and at least 3 years of secondary education at educational institutions in which all instruction was conducted in English; or
  2. Complete at least 5 years of secondary education at institutions in which all instruction was conducted in English; or
  3. Achieved an IELTS average band score of at least 4.5 based on the 4 test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening in a test conducted not more than 12 months before the date of lodgement; or at the time of the processing of the relevant application to migrate; or
  4. Complete in Australia at least 1 year of full-time study or equivalent part-time study towards a degree, higher degree, diploma, or associate diploma at an institution or institutions where all the instruction was conducted in English; or
  5. Hold an award (being a degree, a higher degree, a diploma or a trade certificate) that required at least 2 years of full-time study or training; and all instruction (including instruction received in other courses for which the person was allowed credit) for that award was conducted in English.

How much does this visa cost?

The below is just a list of the relevant government lodgement fees:

  • Base application fee: $3520
  • Additional applicant charge for each additional adult that is 18 years and over: $1760
  • Additional applicant charge for each additional adult that is 18 years or under: 880

Secondary visa application charge (SVAC)

This fee will apply to each dependent applicant that is over 18 and is not able to demonstrate functional English language ability. The primary applicant must satisfy the applicable English language requirement.

This fee is paid at the time of decision so your case officer will contact you at the time that the payment is required. For adult dependents that can’t demonstrate functional English, the SVAC is $4,885.

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44 thoughts on “New South Wales (NSW) State Sponsorship – 489 & 190 Visas

  1. adel

    Hi Peng,

    Thanks for your helpful info that you are providing.
    Me and my wife currently live in Aus on 457 sponsored by my work.
    My wife is doctor and currently doing her 1 year under supervision in General practice. At this stage she holds a provisional registration and will receive her general registration in June.
    She has the AMC certificate for both MCQ and clinical exams
    Can you please advise if we can apply for EOI+state sponsorship at this stage or we have to wait until she receives her general registration?
    We have met all the above requirements and I think we have 70+ points


  2. Garth

    Hi Peng,

    Great and useful web site I must say, Ive got 2 questions for you.

    First of all, do you have to live in NSW before applying for a state sponsorship 190 NSW, I live in the NT here.

    Secondly, with the points system under educational qualifications , I hold a trade qualification in which i gained in Australia by going to University, though it was only a 1 year course and I hold a vetassess qualification as well for my qualifications from the uk . Does this mean i can receive 10 points for each the trade certificate gained in Australia and the vetassess.

    Garth Nelson

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Gareth,
      No you don’t need to live in NSW.
      You get 10 points if your qualification is assessed as being equivalent to an Australian Diploma or trade qualification – your VETASSESS skill assessment may indicate whether your qualification is recognised in Australia.

  3. mohammad

    I want to apply for 489 visa at NSW. I am graduated from curtin university in master of petroleum engineering.

    my question is, shall have 12 months contract related to my Occupation for not?.

    Also, if I dont find a job related to my Occupation at regional area of NSW, can I find a job in other Australian regional areas such as, WA or Adelaide?
    or If I find a job in other regional states , can I go there base on my 489 visa?


    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Mohammed,
      For 489 NSW sponsorship, a job offer is not needed.
      You need to live in that particular regional area of NSW as a 489 visa holder.

  4. Ali

    Great information Peng..
    i got a question for you !
    i had experience letter from my companies, they only mentioned start-end dates and designation/role i have worked on, but didn’t mentioned responsibilities all the i perform there..

    is that an issue?

    appreciate your reply


    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Ali,
      A work reference letter should list the duties of your role, otherwise the Department won’t be able to determine if the experience is relevant.

  5. Jaimee

    Hi Peng, I have received letter of invitation from the NSW for 489, but .it has been more than 7 weeks I am waiting for invitation from EOI and my 485 visa is going to expire on 15 Dec 2013. My question is how long I have to wait for EOI invitation. How can I extend my visa. Thanks…

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Jaimee
      We can’t predict when invitations will be issued. It really depends on DIBP, ad factors such as the nominated role, whether the state quota has been satisfied for this period, whether there is invitations issued for that particular occupation in that round etc.
      You can apply for any another visa in which you satisfy the requirements for if you wish to remain in Australia while waiting for the invitation.

  6. Peng Cheng Post author

    Hi Harry,
    My understanding is that you need to live in the state that is sponsoring you for a period of at least 2 years from the date of grant. I’m not aware of any specific time frame in which you need to make the move.
    I suppose that DIBP may have the power to cancel your visa if you do not move since this clearly demonstrates that you did not actually satisfy the requirement for state sponsorship

  7. Steve Chan

    Dear Peng,

    I posted my NSW state nomination application as Accountant (General) on 26-11-2013 and received an acknowledgement e-mail with Reference number from NSW trade and investment on 28-11-2013. However, in that acknowledgement e-mail they mentioned that “Currently we are processing applications received on 16-10-2013″.
    It’s been more than a month now but I haven’t heard back from them as yet. Will you please tell me what should I do and should I be worried? Your response in this regard will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Steve Chan

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Steve,
      I’d call the NSW state government authority – they are processing your application so they are the only people that can provide you with an update.

  8. Tabu

    Dear Peng,

    I have applied for 190 Visa (NSW) along with my family (Wife + Kid) and my profession is Software Engineer. I submitted the documents in the month of June and PCC /Medicals in July 2013, till now my visa is under progress.

    In the site they have mentioned the processing time is 12 weeks but in my case it is beyond that. Is there anything to worry or it is a normal processing time?

    What would be the max processing time to send the grant letter?

    Thanks in Advance

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Tabu,
      Normally processing time is around 3-6 months. There is no max processing time. You need to contact the Department if you want an update.

  9. Marinda

    Hi, we were granted 489 in NSW, unfortunately my husband is finding it difficult to find employment. Can a 489 from NSW be transferred to another regional area in another state?
    Thank you

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Marinda,
      As far as I’m aware, you can live in another area – your 489 will not be cancelled. But you may not be able to meet the requirements for permanent residency though the 887 visa.

  10. Kelly Ag

    Dear Peng,

    I applied NSW SS 190 5 weeks ago, in the website they stated that processing period is 12 weeks, in the acknowledgement e-mail they mentioned that “Currently we are processing applications received on 16-10-2013″.

    Do u have any idea of the date they are now up to ? To be honest, I am really worried about my application even though my application has reached before 24 of December.

    Also do I need to think of Plan B ?

    Your response and advice in this regard will be highly appreciated.


    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Kelly,
      I don’t have any NSW SS applications pending so I’m not sure what current processing times are like.

  11. Joel

    I do appreciate the wealth of information being offered on this website.
    I have been confused about the conditions of NSW SS 489 visa grant that says, ” the holder of the visa must stay, work or study in the nominated region for two years and be employed for at least one year”.
    Does that mean that, visa holders must only work in their nominated occupation or they can work elsewhere if they can not find employment readily in their chosen profession?
    If an urban planner for instance work as a baker for a year within the two years, would that still fulfill the conditions for application of Permanent Residency?

    Looking forward to getting a response from you.


    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Joel,
      My interpretation is just that the holder of the visa must stay, work or study in the nominated region for two years and be employed for at least one year. The obligation doesn’t require you to work in a particular occupation.

  12. Tehsin

    I have a question for you.

    I have applied for an extension of student visa and waiting for outcome. Can we apply for PR (190 visa) ? Can we submit another application to DIAC as one application is already in process?

    Thank you and waiting for reply.

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Tehsin,
      It is possible to have more than one visa application pending with the Department at the same time. You should be able to lodge a valid 190 visa application if you are currently holding a Bridging visa A, or a substantive visa such as a student visa.

  13. tim

    Hi peng

    realy nice side.

    i need your help. i have applied for SS in NSW for subclass 489 dated 5/1/2014. approximately when my application will be processed? which application is proessing right now?
    i have another question , how long an application become valid after submission?

    Thank you

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Tim,
      I wouldn’t have this information – you would need to contact the NSW state government authority.

  14. Ankita

    Hi Peng

    I hold a 489 visa sponsered by southern inland(nsw)….does it mean that i have to live &work in that particular region……my visa condition 8539 states that i can live anywhere in regional Australia (there is a postcode list available)….please suggest so as to get through visa 887 after 2 years.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Ankita,
      My understanding is that you need to live in that particular regional area if you want to meet the requirements of the 887 permanent residency visa, which is the visa that 489 visa holders transition to.

  15. john

    Hi there,
    Have applied for 489 family sponsored to NSW on end of october 2013 still waiting for invitation any guesses??? When will I get one..

  16. yashu

    hi sir,
    i am yashu and launched my 489 VISA(offshore) on 20th jan 2014.My friends who launched visa (offshore)on 1st and 6 nd of jan 2014 and got there case officer on 16th and 17th of feb 2014 respectively. I am still waiting for my case officer. Can u s say when i can expect my case officer ?

  17. Mohsin Karim

    Hi There,

    I would like to ask a very important question. My application was finalised back in November for NSW statesponsorship 190.

    Is it important to move to NSW and am I able to apply for my citizenship without moving to NSW.

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Mohsin,
      From what I understand, the Department will not cancel your visa even if you do not live in the sponsoring state. But I have only heard this from other people – none of my clients have tried to live in other states.

  18. Omar Hasan

    Hi there !

    I , Omar Hasan, am a 28 years old and have received positive skill assessment result based on my previous study back home with 2 semesters of my studies here in Australia from ICAA as a General Accountant and I have got IELTS 7 in each though currently I m an full-time international student under Visa subclass 573. I think currently i have 55 points altogether.

    I am just wondering if I can apply for NSW regional state sponsorship (SUBCLASS 489) now an a Genaral accountant ? or by changing my ANZSCO code to External Auditor or to anyone suitable ?

    My 2nd question is , if now I apply for subclass 489 in NSW and then my application is accepted can I Apply again for 190 once NSW open again their SS after 1st of july ?

    And my last Question is, Among all accounting occupations which one gets quicker response of Nomination at subclass 489 and subclass 190 ?

    With thanks
    Omar Hasan

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Omar,
      NSW state sponsorship is closed until the next financial year. I don’t think that you can get sponsorship for a 489 visa.
      You can apply for a 190 visa as a 489 visa holder.
      I think that processing time is the same for all occupations.

  19. John

    Hi there,

    Am John just wanted to know is there an individual cut off point for each occupation on SOL list to recieve invite for 489 family sponsored visa (NSW)? If so where can I find that. Thanks.



  20. Md Mizanur Rahman

    I am Mizan, I was assessed before as general accountant, want to apply for 489 visa for Orana being assessed again Management accountant, now have 50 points trying get more by Naati and IELTS, so that can apply for 190 or 189,
    I hard that my EOI will be locked for 60days, and would not be able to apply for any other visa before expiring, my age going to be 40 in 15,oct,2014. Can I apply for another EOI for 190 when points available while 489 will be processing.
    one more question, I was interested for Southerninland,nsw as close to me, but they are not getting any accountant, do you have any information that they are going to again?
    I am waiting for your reply.
    Kind regards,

    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Mizan,
      I think that you can have an EOI lodged for a 190 and 489 visas at the same time – but I haven’t done this for any of my clients before.
      I’m not familiar with that region in NSW.

  21. Het

    I have got 489 from NSW. Should I live three or I can live in any regional area? If i live in diffrent area, would it affect on my PR?
    My second question is can I change subclass 489 to 189 or 190 if I get 7 bands in IELTS?


    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Het,
      You need to work and live in the designed regional area if you want to apply for PR under the 887 visa. You can apply for a 190 or 189 visa if you meet the requirements.

  22. sunny

    Hi Peng,
    How are you, thanks for your support on this blog.
    I have one tricky question which i cannot find the proper answer on internet.
    Actually, my wife applied her first student visa onshore in january 2014. that visa has been refused in feb becoz the application was invalid. they said that application must be offshore for the first student visa application. Now we are on MRT.
    On the otherhand, in this mean time, i got my degree assesment and we are now eligible for 489 visa.
    to apply for that visa, we cannot launch onshore becoz of MRT.
    can we take bridging visa B to travel offshore, once we apply for that visa, Can we come back with that bridging B travel rights? or do we need to stay there until we get our decision for 489.
    pls help with this question.


    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Sunny,
      You can leave and come back on the BVB since the processing time for the 489 visa will certainly take a few months – say 3-6 months. You can be in Australia at the time of decision.

  23. Pari

    Hi Peng,

    I have few queries that I am not aware about.
    1.Details of the IELTS eligibility band for 261313 in New South Wales (NSW) State Sponsorship 190 Visas.
    2.Is there a seperate skill assesment for NSW state sponsorship? I am asking this because I have already done my ACS skills assessment for 261313.

    Thanks in advance for the help.


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