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491 Visa (Skilled Work Regional visa) – Provisional

The new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa will allow qualifying skilled workers and their families to live, work, and study in Australia's designated regional districts for a period of five years. After three years, visa holders will be able to apply for a Permanent Residence visa.

Applicants for this visa must be nominated by one of the following:

  • A state or territory government agency in Australia
  • After submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect, you will be sponsored by an eligible family member who lives in a selected regional area and will be invited to apply for the visa.

The existing 489 visa will be replaced with the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa on November 16, 2019. The 491 visa is a skilled visa with a points system. It has a 45-year age limit and a good skills evaluation.

New Replaces
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – first provisional stream

The visa is valid for 5 years. Conditions, namely 8579, will be enforced to enforce the government’s objective that visa holders only reside, work, and study in regional areas. Visa holders are permitted to travel between regional areas. Regional areas are defined as any area that does not include Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane. Significant change: Perth and the Gold Coast have been designated as regional areas. In accordance with the employment and residence conditions linked to your visa, you may work in any occupation and for any employer.

Holders of the new provisional visa will also be unable to apply for most other skills-based visa in Australia unless they have spent at least three years in a specified regional area, unless extraordinary circumstances arise. Furthermore, similar to the current arrangements for the subclass 457 and 482 visa programmes, holders of the new provisional visa may be negatively impacted by noncompliance by sponsors.

The new permanent 491 visa pathway will be as follows:

  • Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional): To meet the requirements of the permanent visa (beginning November 2022), applicants must have held a subclass 491 or 494 visa for at least three years, have complied with the conditions of that visa, and have met the minimum taxable income requirements. You must have earned at least $53,900 per year for the past three years. If your partner meets these requirements, they can also be the primary applicant for the 191 visa.

Effect on current 489 visa to 887 visa pathway:

New applications for the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 489) are no longer being accepted. Transitional measures are in place for applications that have been lodged but are still pending, as well as candidates whose pathway currently aims for the permanent Skilled Regional Visa (subclass 887).

Skilled migration changes:

The skilled migration points test will be modified beginning November 16, 2019. The revisions will affect applicants for subclass 491 as well as applications for other skilled migration visa that have not yet been examined (but only in a way that is beneficial for applicants, by providing additional points). Other points will be awarded for age, qualifications, international and Australian job experience, Australian studies, and English proficiency.

The new points details are:

  • 15 points for nomination by a State or Territory government agency or sponsorship by a family member living in regional Australia to live and work there.
  • 10 points for relevant qualifications in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Partner points:

  • If any of the following apply, you will receive 10 points.
    • Skilled spouse or de facto partner (skills evaluation and English proficiency). OR
    • Candidates who do not have a spouse or de facto partner (single). OR
  • 5 points if your partner speaks English fluently. Your companion does not need a Skills Assessment if he or she is beyond the age of 45.

Summary of the 491 visa:

  • Every year, 15,000 spots are made available.
  • Be one of the 491 vocations on the list.
  • 489 family and state sponsored visa will be replaced.
  • An eligible relative or state authority must be your sponsor.
  • Points Tested.
  • For the first five years, visa will be given.
  • To qualify for a skilled regional 191 visa, you must reside and work in a regional area for a period of three years.
  • In order to qualify for the employer-sponsored stream, you or your partner must earn a minimum of $53,900 each year for three years.
  • Everywhere besides Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane is a regional area of the nation.
  • Depending on where you live, you may be able to travel between several locations, including Perth, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Hobart, and Canberra.
  • For a period of three years, you cannot apply for any other skilled PR or 820 partner visa.
  • $4,045 in DHA fees (for main application) ; $2,025 for spouse.

Benefits of the 491 visa:

  • The processing of regional applications is given priority.
  • Longer-term migration incentives that encourage migrants to stay in regional areas by participating in the workforce and community.
  • Subclass 491 visa candidates now have access to more points.

Ranking systems for an invitation to apply for a 491 visa:

  1. A skilled partner OR an applicant without a skilled partner.
  2. Competent English demonstrated by the applicant and a co-applicant (but does not have the skills for skilled partner points).
  3. Ineligible English-speaking or Skilled-partner applicant.

Migration definitions:

Definition Locations Regional Incentives
Major Cities Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane – NA
Cities and major regional centres Perth
Gold Coast
Sunshine Coast Canberra Newcastle/Lake Macquarie Wollongong/Illawarra Geelong Hobart
– Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places.
– Priority processing on regional visa.
– Access to the Regional Occupations List.
– more jobs compared to non-regional lists.
– On a post-study work visa, international students studying at regional universities can stay in Australia for an
additional year.
Regional centres and other regional areas All the other locations – Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places.
– Priority processing on regional visa.
– Access to the Regional Occupations List
– more employment than on non-regional lists.
– On a post-study work visa, international students studying at regional universities will be able to stay in Australia for
an extra two years.
– Region-specific Designated Area Migration Agreements have priority in negotiations (DAMAs).

Nomination by an Australian state or territory government agency:

In the event that you are selected for a visa, we will invite you to apply for the visa. Government agencies in each state and territory have their own standards for selecting nominees. A different set of rules applies in each state:

  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia

Sponsorship by an eligible relative (Family stream):

Your occupation must be on the MLTSSL list to qualify for the 491 family stream. You must have a sponsor who is:

  • 18 years old or older.
  • In Australia, a person who lives in a specific location.
  • Be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident of Australia, or a New Zealand citizen who meets the eligibility requirements.
  • Be an eligible relative of you or your spouse.

An eligible relative can be:

  • A parent.
  • A child or step-child.
  • A brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step-brother or step-sister.
  • An aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle.
  • A nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step-nephew or step-niece.
  • A grandparent.
  • A first cousin.

Prior to receiving a visa, you must have a sponsor’s approval.

Do the sponsor and the applicant need to reside in the same State/Territory?

Even if the sponsor and applicant do not share a residence, the sponsor must continue to fulfil the conditions that they agreed upon, regardless of where each one lives.

Have a suitable skills assessment:

At the time of invitation, you must confirm that a sufficient skills evaluation has been completed. With your application, you will be required to submit a copy of the skills assessment that you have completed. Medical and legal professionals can also submit the following as proof of their abilities:

  • Registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency in its whole, unconditionally, or generally.
  • Registration as a specialist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency on a temporary basis as a result, you can only practise in your chosen field. You don’t need any more training or guidance.
  • Acceptance as a lawyer in the appropriate jurisdiction.
  • In order to be considered for an invitation, you must have passed a skills exam within the last three years. For a shorter period of time, the assessment must not have expired. The qualification you obtained in Australia while you were on a student visa must be one that was recorded on CRICOS.