The Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional visa is a provisional General Skilled Migration visa which requires holders to live, work, and study in a regional area of Australia.
Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa
The Department of Home Affairs has allocated 14,000 places to this visa subclass.
The 491 is a points-tested visa for applicants sponsored by:
- a designated regional area of an Australian state or territory, or
- an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area of Australia
Once certain residence requirements have been met, holders can apply for a permanent Regional visa.
In order to qualify for a Subclass 491 visa, you would need to:
- Be aged between 18 and 44 inclusive
- Have Competent English or higher, and their dependent family members over 18 years of age have at least Functional English
- Obtain a positive skill assessment in an occupation on the relevant Skilled occupation list
- For family sponsored applicants, this is the Medium-Long Term Skills Shortage List (MLTSSL)
- For State/Territory nominated applicants, this is the MLTSSL, the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and the Regional Occupation List (ROL) anda State/Territory Occupations List
- Meet the pass mark in the skilled migration points test- currently 65.
- Lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect system, and be invited to apply
- Be nominated by a State or Territory Government, or have sponsorship from an eligible family member
- Meet health and character requirements
Once you are invited to apply for a skilled visa, you must lodge your application within 60 days, otherwise the invitation lapses. Accordingly, it is very important that you have all required documentation prepared to lodge as soon as possible after receiving the invitation.
Nomination by a State or Territory Government
Each State and Territory Government publishes a list of occupations in short supply in their area. There may be specific requirements in terms of work experience, English language ability, or specialised skills which differ to the requirements for the Department of Immigration. It is very important to check the State/Territory requirements before commencing with an application.
Sponsorship from an Eligible Family Member
Applicants through the family sponsored pathway can only nominate occupations on the MLTSSL. The sponsor must be usually resident in a designated regional area of Australia, and be:
- At least 18 years of age
- An Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
- An eligible relative; including parents, children, siblings, aunt/uncle, nephew/niece, grandparent, or first cousin.
Where can I be when I apply?
You can either be onshore or offshore (overseas) when you apply for a Subclass 491 Visa.
Including Family Members
You can include the following types of family members in your application:
- Spouse or de facto partner (including same-sex relationships)
- Dependent children
Duration and Conditions
The visa is a provisional (temporary residence) visa, allowing applicants to remain in Australia for up to 5 years from the date of grant. Visa holders will have access to Medicare, as well as full work rights.
A condition of this visa is that all visa holders must live, work and study in a regional area. If you are nominated by the State or Territory would also be expected to reside in the State or Territory which nominated them for the visa.
Conversion to Permanent Residency
After a period of 3 years of living working in a regional area and if you meet the required income criteria you may be able to apply for permanent residency.
Applicants should also note that there are restrictions on applying for other permanent visas, such as the 189, 190, or 820 Partner visa until they have held the 494 for the three year period.
We advise individuals and families looking to live and work in a regional area to apply for the 491 visa to seek professional advice on their eligibility for the visa and state or family sponsorship. Our team of Migration Consultants can identify the best pathway forward, provide you with a roadmap to reach your goals, and support you through the application process. Book a consultation with us today.