Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 491)

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 491)

A skilled migrant worker can apply for this visa if they intend to live, work, and study in a regional or low-population growth metropolitan area of Australia for up to five years.

Criteria:

  • Must receive invitation letter to apply for the visa
  • The profession must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations.
  • Must have relevant skills assessment for 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 in English.
  • Must be nominated by the Australian State or Territory or sponsored by a relative.
  • Must meet health and character requirements.

If sponsored by Eligible Relative Sponsor

  • Applicants through the family sponsored pathway can only nominate occupations on the MLTSSL
  • Sponsor is usually resident in a designated regional area; and
  • Sponsor is related to the primary applicant or the primary applicant’s spouse or de facto partner (if the primary applicant’s spouse or de facto partner is also an applicant for a Subclass 491 visa) as: a parent, child, step-child, brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step-brother, step-sister, aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step-aunt, step-uncle, nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step-nephew, step-niece, grandparent or first cousin; and
  • Sponsor has sponsored each member of the family unit of the primary applicant who is also an applicant for a Subclass 491 visa.

If sponsored by State or Territory

Check Individual tabs for State and Territory Sponsorship Requirements. The Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and the Regional Occupation List (ROL) are for State/Territory based applicants.

Conversion to Permanent Residency (Subclass 191)

It is possible to apply for a permanent Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa after living and working in a regional area for at least 3 years. The applicant must meet certain income requirements and prove they have lived in regional Australia for a period of three years.

Additionally, applicants should be aware that they are not eligible to apply for other permanent visas, such as the 189, 190, or 820 Partner visa until they have held the 491 for three years.

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.