The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 is a new points-tested visa to assist regional Australia that enables eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years. Visa holders will be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence visa after three years.
The subclass 491 visa overruled the Skilled Regional (Provisional) subclass 489 visa from 16 November 2019.
Like the 489 visa, applicants for this visa must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a regional area and be invited to apply for the visa, following submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect.
Regional areas include everywhere except the metropolitan areas of; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth.
The subclass 491 visa will be accessible for more people as over 500 new occupations are eligible to apply under this visa. Moreover, with an aim to meet the demand in regional Australia, 491 visa applicants will receive priority processing as well.
In order to be eligible to apply under Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 visa, applicants must:
- be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation;
- satisfy the points test;
- have a relevant occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list- MCTSSL;
- have a suitable positive skills assessment for the occupation;
- have Competent English;
- submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect;
- be nominated by a state or territory government agency or be sponsored by an eligible relative that include: Parent, Grandparent, Sibling (brother or sister), Aunt/Uncle, Cousin;
- be invited by the state or Department of Home Affairs to apply; and
- meet health and character requirements
Point allocation for the 491 visa
There is a revised points system for the 491 visa so applicants have new ways to earn points towards their score. Applicants will get:
15 points = for nomination by a family member or a regional part of a state or territory, instead of 10 points under subclass 489 visa
10 points = for Masters or PhD level Australian qualification in certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications; instead of 5 points under subclass 489 visa
10 points = if one of the following applies:
- Applicant has a skilled partner that means that the partner is under 45 years of age, obtains a positive skill assessment in a j ob on the same shortage list as the main applicant and has Competent English; or
- Applicant is without a spouse or de facto partner (single); or
5 points = if applicant has a partner who can demonstrate Competent English but is not eligible for a positive skill assessment.
Points will still apply based on applicant’s age, qualification, years of overseas and/or Australian skilled work experience, Australian study and English skills, as they do under the 489 visa and other skilled visas.