Subclass 491 Visa

With immigrations goals set to lure highly skilled workforce to fill the positions left vacant in the regional areas, Australia aims to introduce the highly anticipated Subclass 491 Visa for the upliftment of the Australian economy. Inducing more employment opportunities in the regional areas, the govt. expects to have very high participation rates for skilled migrants to help stimulate the economic growth of the country.
The Skilled stream also plays an important role in regional development through providing high calibre workforce and increased revenue plan in the coming years.
With the abolishment of Subclass 489 Visa coming 16th November 2019, 491 Visa will play a prominent role in the advancement of the Australian region through skilled labour, govt. investments and promoting local spending in the areas.
The proposed new 491 - Skilled Work Regional Visa (Provisional) allows you and your families with the privilege to live, work, and study freely in any designated regional areas of Australia for maximum period of 5 years. The eligible 491 visa holders can thereafter apply for PR after completing three years of stay in Australia.
The proposed subclass 491 visa falls in the category of skilled and point tested visas and to qualify for it, an applicant must be nominated by:
  • A state or territory government agency in Australia, or
  • Through family sponsorship, with the condition that the sponsoring member be resident of a designated regional area in Australia.
A regional compliance 8579 is enforced by the Australian government on the 491 visa holders with the provision of staying, working, and studying in a regional area. They can move freely in between the regional areas except for the metropolitan cities - Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
How much points required for 491 Visa?
Being a point-tested skilled visa, an applicant is required to achieve at least 65 points to qualify for the visa. Out of which 15 points will be awarded to applicants for being nominated by a state or territory government agency, or family sponsorship by a member residing in a regional area of Australia. Though much of the points allocation is not specified by the Australian govt. till now but we’ll get to know the points breakthrough in due course.
Key Eligibility requirements for 491 Visa:

The main criteria for the visa are as follows:
  • The intended occupation must be listed in the regional occupation list.
  • Must be nominated by a State or Territory in Australia, or through family sponsorship.
  • Must be within the age-limit of 45-years.
  • Must acquire a positive skills assessment for the nominated occupation.
  • Must meet the health and character requirements for the visa.
And, once the applicant qualifies for the Skilled Work Regional Visa – 491, an Expression of Interest (EOI) is submitted via SkillSelect, through which the prospective applicant will be ranked according to his/her EOI score. The high scoring applicant will then be given priority from the relevant state or territory.
Benefits of 491 Visa
  • Regional applications will be processed with utmost priority.
  • 491 visa holders and their families are allowed to live, work and study in a regional area for a maximum of five years.
  • Government induced incentives plan for immigrants to stay for a longer duration in a regional area to facilitate ties through employment and community participation.
  • Eligible to apply for Australia Permanent Residency without a second nomination stage.
  • Additional leverage of points in the point-tested stream.
  • Access to a broader range of occupations than the equivalent non-regional visas.**
  • Expanded classification of regional areas which includes Perth and Gold Coast as regional areas
Yes, it’s true, applicants who are sponsored by State and Territory governments, or family members residing in regional Australia will probably be eligible to apply for 504 occupations under the new Skilled Work Regional Visa (Provisional) which 77 more than the equivalent non-regional visas.
When will be invited to apply for 491 Visa?
With the effect of 489 visa quickly fading, the Australian government is no more seeking applications under the once so highly regarded Skilled Regional Provisional Visa. Coming November 16, 2019, aspiring immigrants can see changes in the points grid for immigrating to Australia with the introduction of two new provisional visas focused on the upliftment of regional Australia.
  • Skilled Work Regional Visa (Provisional) - Subclass 491
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Provisional) - Subclass 494
Right now, Subclass 491 Visa looks to be promising in terms of its benefits and transitional changes to PR after three years of successful stay in Australia. So, we can expect to see an uproar post 16th November, 2019 within the immigrant community.
Can 491 Visa Holders lodge other Visas?
No, absolutely not! Not until you’ve met the criteria of 491 visa holders i.e. to stay and work in a regional area for three years. This is one of the main conditions imposed by the Australian government to restrict immigrants from moving to other areas when holding the 491 - Skilled Work Regional Visa.
A 491-visa holder is not eligible to apply for visas such as the 189 &190 skilled PR visas, subclass 186 employer nominated PR visa and the 820 - onshore partner visa.
After having held the visa for at least 3 years, the holder is eligible to apply for Subclass 191 - Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa, and business visas - 124, 132, and 188.
Does 491 Visa lead to Permanent Residency?
The road to transitional change of the Skilled Work Regional Visa (Provisional) to Australian Permanent Residency is possible after the successful completion three years employment and good quality life in a regional area. Meaning that the 491 visa holders and their respective family members have complied with the clause of living and working in the designated regional area to granted the privilege of applying for Permanent Residency through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa subclass 191 (which is said to be introduced in November 2022).
The requirement for Subclass 191 visa is that the applying candidate must be a 494 or 491 visa holder, who has stayed for at least 3 years in a designated regional area and must meet the minimum taxable income benchmark (which is currently at $53,900).
Where to reach us for further queries regarding Subclass 491 Visa
As a pioneer Immigration consultancy in Delhi & Pan India, VisaExperts take pride in providing accurate guidance on your Australia visa application and facts. To Know more about 491 visa and related Australian immigration news, get in touch with us at [email protected]; or just give us a call on (+91) 859 533 8595; or directly interact through our Live Chat window.


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