New Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) 491 Visa replaces 489 Visa
As of 16 November 2019, the Australian Department of Home Affairs replaces the Skilled Regional (Provisional) 489 Visa with the new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) 491 Visa. The Department of Home Affairs has allocated 14,000 places each year and features 504 eligible occupations for the 491 Visa and a new permanent visa pathway will come into effect from November 2022.
What is the Skilled Work (Regional) 491 Visa?
The Skilled Regional (Provisional) 491 Visa allows skilled workers to live an work in a specified regional area of Australia for up to five years. If you are eligible, this visa provides a pathway to permanent residence through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) 191 Visa.
Like the 489 Visa, the 491 Visa is a points-tested visa for applicants who are 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.
What are the significant changes?
- The time required to live and work in regional Australia in order to be eligible for permanent residency will increase from two years to three years and as a result, the visa validity period will also increase from four years to five years.
- The applicant will receive an additional 10 points on their application if their partner is a skilled spouse or de facto partner, or if the applicant is single, or 5 points if your partner has competent English.
- The applicant will have access to an increased amount of eligible occupations. Now 504, which is 77 more than the closest non-regional equivalent visa.
- “Regional Australia” will be expanded and simplified to include all areas of Australia except the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth.
- There will be an increase in priority processing of regional applications.
How does the 491 Visa lead to permanent residency?
From November 2022, the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) 191 Visa will come into effect. The applicant may be eligible for permanent residency if the following requirements are met;
- you have lived, worked or studied in the designated regional area for at least three years. whilst holding a 491 Visa.
- you can show earnings of at least $53,900 per year for three financial years during the five-year life of the visa to be eligible for the Permanent Residency conversion.