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Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

The SkillSelect subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional Provisional visa is a temporary visa that provides applicants with a two-step pathway to Australian permanent residence.

This Visa replaced the Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa on 16 November 2019


The regional Subclass 491 Visa presents an exciting opportunity to transition to permanent residence for those with eligible occupations. There is no requirement to be tied to an employer, and once the visa is granted all you have to do is live work and study in a regional area for three years to be eligible to apply for permanent residence.

Invitations are being issued to eligible applicants very quickly

The government has  announced that the Regional Areas for this visa will include the city of Perth and the Gold Coast, which is brilliant news. This means that only Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne will be excluded!

In addition to Perth and the Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle, Wollongong, Geelong and Hobart will also be included in the regional areas. This gives potential applicants lots of opportunities in areas that were not considered regional before.

The Subclass 491 visa has two streams and each stream has its own occupation list (see below for links to the occupation lists).

This visa allows you to transition to Permanent Residence after three years,  of you and your family living, working and/or studying in your regional area. The Permanent visa you will transition to is the Subclass 191 Visa, which will come into effect on 16 November 2022.

The visa is granted for 5 years

There are two streams:

  • Nomination by a State or Territory.
  • Sponsored by an Australian citizen/Permanent Resident  relative living in a regional area.

Different Occupation Lists

Each Stream has a  different occupation list:

  • The Family Sponsored Stream occupation list is the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) which you will find here.
  • The State Nominated Stream’s occupation list is a combination of the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), and the Regional Occupation List (ROL). You will find the combined list here.
What are the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa requirements?

You must have an invitation to apply for the visa.

  • An Expression of Interest (EOI) is required for this visa.
  • You must have at least 65 points on the New Points Test to lodge an EOI.
  • Use our points test calculator here to get an idea of your eligibility!

Age

  • You must be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation.

Skills Assessment

  • You must have a skills assessment in your nominated occupation, which is less than three years old at the time of invitation (unless the skills assessment specifies a shorter period of validity).
  • Subclass 485 skills assessments are not acceptable.

English

  • You must have”Competent” English (e.g. IELTS 6) at the time of invitation , unless you hold a passport from:
    • United Kingdom
    • Republic of Ireland
    • Canada
    • New Zealand
    • United States
  • The visa grant is for five years.

Declaration

You must declare that you and your family members included in the application have a genuine intention to live, work and study in a regional area.

What sort of occupations are eligible for this new Regional Visa?

There are two Occupation Lists, one for each stream of the visa:

How much is the Visa Application Charge?
  • Primary applicant: $4,045
  • Additional applicant over 18 years: $2,025
  • Additional applicant under 18 years: $1,010
  • A second Visa Application Charge is applicable where any applicant over the age of 18 does not meet the Functional English test – $4,890
How do I transition to permanent residence from the Subclass 491 visa?
  • There is an option to transition to the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence visa three years after being granted the Subclass 494 visa.
  • The Subclass 191 visa will come into effect on 16 November 2022.
  • All members of the family must live work and study in the regional area for at least three years to become eligible to transition to permanent residence.
  • Regional areas of basically all areas of Australia except the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
I have heard that there are lots of conditions attached to the Subclass 494 visa. What are they?

You are correct, there are several conditions attached to the visa. These are:

Notification requirements

  • Condition 8578: you must notify the Department within 14 days of a change of your residential address, email, phone number, passport details, employers details, address and location of position of employment.

Live Work and study in a Regional area

  • Condition 8579: you must live work and study in a regional area, including all members of the family.

Requirement to provide evidence

  • Condition 8580: You must provide evidence if requested within 28 days of your residential address, address of each employer, address of location of employment, and address of any educational institution.

Attend interview if requested

  • Condition 8581: if requested you must attend an interview with the Department in a manner specified by it (face-to-face, Skype or FaceTime).

Please note that breaching any of these conditions, may result in visa cancellation.

Is it true that there are other visas you cannot apply for once you have held a Subclass 491 visa?

This is correct. Subclass 491 visa holders are unable to make an application for the following visas unless they have held their Subclass 491 visa for at least three years:

  • Subclass 858 – Distinguished Talent Visas
  • Subclass 132 – Business Talent Visa
  • Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme Visa
  • Subclass 188 – Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa
  • Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent Visa
  • Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated Visa
  • Subclass 820/801 – Provisional/Permanent Partner Visa
Will I be eligible for Medicare?

Applicants for the Subclass 491 visa will be eligible for Medicare.

On the subject of health, is there a Health Waiver provision in the Subclass 491 visa?

There is no health waiver provision for the  Subclass 491 visa.

Want to discuss your eligibility for the new Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa? Contact us today on +61 3 9573 5200 and book yourself a consultation (Skype, face to face in Sydney or Melbourne, or by telephone) or book one online.