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Home » Australian Visas » 491 Visa – Skilled Work Regional Visa (Provisional)

491 Visa – Skilled Work Regional Visa (Provisional)

Visa Requirements | Application Steps | Pass Mark | Processing Times | Cost | FAQ | Permanent Residency

The Skilled Work Regional Subclass 491 visa is a provisional visa, valid for five years once granted.

On 20 March 2019, new provisional skilled visas were introduced to entice skilled migrants to work in regional Australia.

One of these is the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa, which will provide a pathway to permanent residence after having lived and worked in regional Australia for three years.

The subclass 491 visa entitles visa holders, together with their families, to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia and provides you access to Medicare (our national healthcare scheme). It also provides a multiple re-entry facility to travel in and out of Australia as often as you like within the visa validity period.

491 Visa Requirements for Applicants

Applicants for this visa must be invited to apply for the visa.  They may be nominated by a State or Territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member who resides in a designated regional area.

The visa is a points-tested visa, and applicants must be under 45 years of age at the time of receiving an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs.

In order to qualify for a Subclass 491 visa, you will need to:

Steps involved in Applying for a 491 Visa

Pass Mark for 491 Visa

The current migration points threshold is set to 65; however, this fluctuates depending on the volume and quality of candidates applying. Some occupations require a much higher pass mark; please access ‘Latest invitation round GSM‘.

The number of invitations for Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 Family Sponsored on 8 December 2022 was 120 places which were down from the October invitation round of 847.  These figures do not include invitations issued for State, and Territory Government nominated visa subclasses. State and Territory Governments nominate throughout the month for specific points tested skilled migration and business innovation and investment visas.

Processing Time

Processing times are impacted each month by changes in application volumes, seasonal peaks, complexity, and incomplete applications. Estimates of processing times are provided as a guide only. Individual processing times may vary from the published estimates. See the estimated processing times at Global visa and citizenship processing time.

491 Visa Cost

The current government application fee starts from AUD4,240. This will vary depending on the number of dependants included in your application and their age.

Our consultancy fee will be dependent on your individual circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Job Offer required for a 491 visa?

A job offer is not required to apply for a subclass 491 visa application. However, should you wish to be nominated by an Australian state government, each state government may have additional criteria to meet their individual state objectives, which may include the requirement of having a job offer.

Who can Sponsor a 491 Visa?

An eligible relative can be related to yourself or your partner and can be your parent, child or step-child, a brother or sister (including step or adoptive), an aunt, uncle (including step or adoptive), a nephew or niece (step or adoptive), a grandparent or a first cousin.

Your sponsor must be:

Applicants for this visa who are sponsored by an eligible relative may only select a nominated occupation on the Medium Long-Term Skilled Occupation List.

Do I Apply in Australia or Overseas? Can I include Family Members on my visa application?

You can apply either whilst in Australia or outside of Australia, and you can include dependent family members such as spouse/partner and dependent children.

What happens after I submit my 491 Visa application?

You wait until a Case Officer is allocated who will assess your eligibility.  A decision-ready application will be granted without a request for further information, so it’s important to make certain you lodge a decision-ready application

Are you eligible for Medicare and to Buy a house?

Subclass 491 visa holders are eligible for Medicare. A subclass 491 visa holder is considered a temporary resident for purchasing a property in Australia. You are best to check with the Foreign Investment Review Board about what steps you must take.

State Nomination

Each state and territory has a unique occupation list seeking skills that meet the skill shortage requirements for each region. You must first submit an EOI and nominate the state and territory where you wish to reside. Please refer to State Nomination.

Can I move states after receiving my visa approval?

There is no restriction for subclass 491 visa holders to move interstate.

However, the nominating state government would generally require you to commit to residing and working in the designated area to which you were nominated.

What Conditions Apply Following Grant of the Visa?

The conditions apply to the primary applicant and all secondary dependents included in the application and specify that all visa holders must live, work and study only in a designated regional area and must notify the Department of changes of address and other details such as phone number and new passport details.

From 491 Visa to Permanent Residency

There is a pathway for subclass 491 visa holders to apply for permanent residency when they have resided and worked in a designated area for three years, with the primary applicant’s taxable income for each of the three financial years to be no less than $53,900.

Would you like to know more about your prospects for a visa?

Eligibility is the most important step in determining whether a person may meet the legal criteria for a visa application and one consultation could save you money.

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