Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)

Australia offers a wide range of visas for people who want to visit, work, study, or live permanently in the country. One of the options available to skilled workers who wish to live and work in regional areas of Australia is the Skilled Work Regional Visa (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491). If you're considering applying for this visa, or just want to learn more about it, you've come to the right place. This guide will provide you with an overview of the visa, its requirements, and the application process, as well as other important information you need to know before applying. Whether you're a skilled worker looking to immigrate to Australia or a student seeking to stay and work in the country after graduation, the Skilled Work Regional Visa (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491) may be a suitable option for you.


What is the Skilled work regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491)?

The Skilled Work Regional Visa (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491) is a provisional visa for intending migrants who are interested in either State or Territory government regional nomination or have a family member in regional Australia who can sponsor them. Once a 491 visa is granted the visa holder can remain in a designated regional area of Australia for up to five years, with a permanent residency pathway available after three years (visa 191). Dependent family members may be included and must also live, work and study in a designated regional area.

The Skilled Work Regional Visa (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491) is different from the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189), which does not require sponsorship or nomination, and the Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190), which requires nomination by a state or territory government agency. It is a points-based visa and requires sponsorship by an eligible family member or state/territory government agency. The 491 visa also has a shorter validity period than the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (Subclass 191).

It is important to note that the 491 visa is not a permanent residency visa and does not guarantee permanent residency. It also does not allow the visa holder to work in non-regional areas of Australia, unless certain conditions are met. Additionally, the visa holder must maintain their eligibility for the visa, including ongoing employment in a regional area and meeting the minimum income threshold.

Who can apply for the subclass 491 visa?

The 491 visa can be applied for from within or outside of Australia. Applicants within Australia must hold a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B or C. To be eligible for this visa, applicants must be skilled in an occupation on the relevant State Government Occupation List and be nominated by that State OR be skilled in an occupation on the MLTSSL and be nominated by an Eligible Family Member. Whether you are applying on the basis of a State nomination or a Family Member nomination, all applicants must meet a minimum score of 65 points on a points test.

Applicants must also meet the following criteria:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 44
  • Have Competent English or higher, and their dependent family members over 18 years of age have at least Functional English
  • Hold a positive skill assessment in the nominated occupation
  • Meet health and character requirements

How do I apply for a subclass 491 visa?

An applicant can lodge an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect and be invited to submit a visa application by the Department of Immigration.

An applicant for a 491 visa must be issued with a nomination by their chosen state or territory, or obtain family sponsorship. Once you are invited to apply for your 491 visa, you must lodge your application within 60 days. For this reason, it is very important that you have all required documentation prepared to lodge as soon as possible after receiving the invitation.

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