Skilled Work Regional Australia 491 Visa (Subclass 491)
A skilled migrant worker can apply for the skilled work regional australia 491 visa if they intend to live, work, and study in a regional or low-population growth metropolitan area for up to five years. 491 visa Australia offers a pathway for skilled workers to contribute to regional development in Australia.
Criteria for the 491 visa include:
- Must receive an invitation letter to apply for the visa.
- The nominated profession must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations.
- Must have a relevant skills assessment for the nominated occupation.
- Must be under 45 years old.
- Must meet the score specified in the invitation letter based on the factors in the points test.
- Must have a competent level of English.
- Must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory or sponsored by a relative.
- Must meet health and character requirements.
If sponsored by an Eligible Relative Sponsor:
- Applicants can only nominate occupations on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
- The sponsor is usually a resident in a designated regional area and must be related to the primary applicant or their spouse/de facto partner.
- Eligible relationships include parent, child, step-child, brother, sister, adoptive sibling, step-sibling, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, grandparent, or first cousin.
- The sponsor must have sponsored each member of the family unit who is also an applicant for a Subclass 491 visa.
If sponsored by a State or Territory:
- Applicants should check the individual requirements for State and Territory sponsorship.
- The Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), and Regional Occupation List (ROL) apply to State/Territory-based applicants.
Conversion to Permanent Residency (Subclass 191)
After living and working in a regional area for at least three years, visa holders may apply for the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa. Certain income requirements and proof of living in regional Australia for three years are necessary to be eligible for this pathway.
Additionally, applicants should note that they are not eligible to apply for other permanent visas, such as the 189, 190, or 820 Partner visa until they have held skilled work regional australia 491 visa for three years. The 491 visa australia offers a valuable opportunity for skilled workers to establish themselves in regional Australia and potentially pursue permanent residency.
How is the Subclass 491 visa different from the Subclass 190 visa?
Subclass 190 is a permanent visa whereas Subclass 491 is a temporary visa, commonly called a provisional permanent visa, which essentially means that once you have spent and worked for the required time in a regional area, you are eligible for permanent visa.
Do I need to meet the state eligibility requirements in addition to department of Home Affairs requirements for Subclass 491?
If you are applying to be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency, you will need to meet state eligibility requirements and apply for nomination. Another option is getting sponsorship by an eligible relative.
I have spent 3 years in a regional area as per subclass 491 visa conditions. Can I leave the regional area?
No, you need to stay in the regional area until you have subclass 191 granted as subclass 491 visa comes with the “condition 8579 – live, study and work in designated regional area” which essentially means you can’t move until you have your next visa granted with no such condition. Contact Indeedvisa for more information.
Why is the Subclass 491 visa becoming more popular than other general skilled migration pathways?
The Australian government wants to promote regional areas, which is why recent policies have been in favour of moving migrants to regional areas instead of already crowded metropolitan areas such as Sydney and Melbourne. Applicants receive an additional 15 points for Subclass 491 nomination and more occupations are covered under the subclass as compared to Subclass 190 and Subclass 189.