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Visa Subclass 491 (SKILLED WORKER REGIONAL (PROVISIONAL) VISA)
WHAT IS A SUBCLASS 491 VISA?
Australia introduced the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) to replace its 489 visa on November 16, 2019. While visa 489 was valid for four years, the validity of the 491 visa is for five years. On the other hand, the 489 visa allowed one to apply for permanent residency after living and working in Australia for two years. Now, the new visa subclass 491 allows skilled workers to apply for permanent residency after three years.
The processing of subclass 491 visa is done on priority to meet the demand of skilled workers in regional Australia. This visa is also more accessible as it includes 500 new occupations in its list. To be eligible for this visa, you must be either sponsored by a relative or be nominated by the state or territory government. Your chosen professional should be on the relevant 'skilled occupation list' for this visa and you should have skills related to it.
Who is this Visa for?
This visa permit is meant for people who have not been sponsored by relatives or employers and have not been nominated by the Australian state or territory government but still want to build a lucrative career in the wealthy country with a market-based economy.
Visa 189 is the visa meant to facilitate the trained tradesmen and qualified experts from abroad to migrate to Australia and help the country bridge the skill shortages it is facing at the time.
The definition of regional Australia has been broadened for this visa category to include entire Australia, except the metropolitan areas of:
- Gold Coast, and
It means that if you want to stay, work, and study in Newcastle, NSW Gold Coast, or Wollongong, you can apply for visa 491.
WHO IS THIS VISA 491 FOR?
The 491 visa Australia state or territory nomination requirements are almost the same as the 489 visa. It is meant for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional Australia temporarily – for five years.
The new visa incentivizes migrants who want to relocate to regional areas in Australia, especially regional Western Australia and Queensland. Many people consider 491 visa for South Australia as the whole of it is classified as 'regional', including Adelaide. South Australia has extensive occupation lists and Adelaide, its largest city, is considered quite affordable and livable.
From November 2022, visa 491 applicants will be able to apply for Permanent Residence in Australia under the new 191 visa if they have:
- resided and worked in regional Australia for at least 3 years, and
- earned at least 53,900 AUD per annum during this period.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH VISA SUBCLASS 491?
Visa 491 is a provisional visa for skilled workers. On this visa, the main applicant can:
- stay in Australia for five years,
- travel to and from Australia as many times as they like until the visa is valid, and
- live, work, and study in the designated regional area of the country.
You may also apply for permanent residency through the 191 visa after three years if you are eligible for it. Please note that you can only work in an occupation or for employers who are in line with your chosen occupation at the time you apply for the visa.
Subsequent entrants or the family member of 491 visa holders can stay, live, work, and study in Australia for the period visa of the main applicant is valid. They can only live in designated areas in which the main applicant lives. They can also travel to and from Australia as many times as they like until their family member’s visa is valid.
WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBCLASS 491 VISA?
You need to be:
- sponsored by an eligible relative living in a regional area of Australia, or
- nominated by a state or territory agency.
It is also a points-tested visa and you need to have adequate points to be eligible to apply for it. Since this visa aims to promote migration to regional areas of the country, your visa 491 Australia application can become more active if you have:
- family and friends already living in the state you want to migrate to, and/or
- have lived and worked in your target region earlier.
You can only apply for the visa by invitation.
HOW TO APPLY FOR 491 VISA?
Skilled workers interested in obtaining a 491 visa must submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) through SkillSelect. They have to be sponsored by an eligible relative or nominated by a state or territory government agency in Australia.
The Australian state or territory government nomination is based on:
- your genuine interest and commitment to living and working in the region for the long term,
- age less than 45 years,
- occupation on the State Nominated Occupation List or supplementary occupation list,
- a positive General Skilled Migration skills assessment,
- one or more years of relevant work experience in the last three years,
- ability to meet minimum English language requirement,
- sufficient funds in your bank account to settle in the region, and
- your EOI.
Those who are eligible for the visa are invited to apply for it by the authorities.
HOW V2I VISA EXPERTS HELP YOU?
When you apply for a skilled visa, the highest number of points (15 points) is allocated to a regional or state nomination. V2I visa experts can help you find ways to get more points and win easy approval for your visa.
We also help you with a free consultation why it's good for you to go to Australia (and where you should go) as well as offer assistance at every step of your visa application process.
No standard timeframe is available as the processing time for 491 visa on the official website. However, our V2I immigration experts say that it may take 1.5 to 8 months to win approval for a visa 491 application.Read More
Fee & Cost
The visa 491 processing for the main applicant is AUD 4,045. For each co-applicant above 18, you will have to pay an additional fee of AUD 2,025..
For each family member under 18, you will have to pay an extra fee AUD 1,010. The total visa 491 cost will depend on the total number of applicants for the visa.Read More
Rules and Conditions
491 visa holders need to follow Australian laws as well as all the rules and conditions mentioned in their visa grant letter. These include:
- Living, working and studying in designated areas or regions of Australia in line with their visa conditions, and
- Informing the authorities about any change in their situation, be it their relationship status, family situation, contact details or details in their passport.
Requirements and checklist
The visa 491 applicant should be under 45 years of age. The applicant’s chosen occupation should be on the State’s or territory’s ‘Skilled Occupations’ list and he or she should have the right skills for it. The 491 visa applicants should have Competent English level.Read More