Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa (Subclass 491)
The Department of Home Affairs will commence the Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa (Subclass 491) on 16th November 2019 with a new permanent visa pathway from November 2022. The Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa (Subclass 491) supersedes the 489 visa. The 491 visa is a points-based visa for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area in Australia. The 491 visa is valid for five years and the visa holder must live and work in a specified regional area. Additionally, eligible family members can be included in the application. To be able to submit a valid application for this visa you need to first submit an Expression of Interest through Skill Select.
What are the requirements for the 491 visa (known so far)?
To qualify for the 491 visa, you must:
- be invited to apply
- be older than 18 and less than 45 years of age when the invitation is issued
- nominate an occupation that matches your skills and qualifications and is on the relevant skilled occupations list
- have your skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority as suitable for your nominated occupation
- have at least competent English
- score at least 65 on the points test CLICK TO TAKE THE POINTS TEST NOW!
- be nominated by a state or territory government
- meet the health and character requirements.
The 491 visa has a different points system, the key changes to the points system will be:
- 15 points – for nomination by a family member or a regional part of a state or territory
- 10 points – for Masters or PhD level Australian qualification in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) areas.
- 10 points if:
- You have a skilled partner, who is under 45 years of age, has competent English and obtains a positive skill assessment in an occupation that is on the same list as you
- You are single; or
- You have a partner who is an Australian permanent resident or an Australian citizen
- 5 points – if you have a partner who has competent English.
How can you apply for the 491 visa?
If you are invited to apply for the 491 visa, you will then have 60 days in which to submit your online application. Your invitation letter will explain the process you should follow. Invitations are based on claims made in your Expression of Interest at the time you are invited to apply. Your application must reflect the information provided in your Expression of Interest and be supported by relevant evidence.
What are the benefits of the 491 visa?
The 491 visa allows you and your dependents to:
- temporarily live and work in a designated regional area in Australia
- study in a specified regional area of Australia
- travel in and out of Australia while the visa is valid
- apply for permanent residence through the Permanent Residence Skilled Regional Visa (subclass 191) after certain conditions have been met.
What obligations do you have to meet if granted the 491 visa?
If you are granted the 491 visa, you need to live, work and study in the designated regional area for at least three years.
If you do not comply with the conditions of your visa:
- your visa, and those of any accompanying family members, may be cancelled
- you may not meet the requirements to apply for permanent residence.
What are the costs associated with applying for the 491 visa?
We have outlined the fees that are most likely to be incurred in Australian Dollars. Fees quoted below are for general skilled visa applications (Subclass 189/190/491) visas. Fees can increase without notice, so the fees can vary at the time of application.
- Our fees start from – $3,999 (Visa Premium Service) + GST (as applicable)
- Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Visa Application fees – $ 4,045 (for primary applicant), $2,020 (for each secondary applicant over 18), $1,015 (for each secondary applicant under 18)
- Skills Assessment Application fees – $300 to $1,200 for most occupations
- IELTS or PTE Academic – IELTS $340 + $34 (GST if applicable) or PTE $340
- Medical Examination fees – as applicable
- Police Clearance Certificate: $ 20 per person (average)
- Regional area nomination fees – may be applicable
- Translations/Certifications – as applicable
- Credit card processing fees for DHA – as applicable
You should allow at least AU$5,000 – AU$6,000 for a single applicant and at least AU$9,000 – AU$10,000 for a family of four (two adults and two children) excluding our fees.
How long will the 491 visa process take?
There are a range of different factor that determine how long it takes for the 491 visa to be granted. The skills assessment application process can take 10 days to a few months depending on the skills assessing authority. The 491 visa application for points tested visas should take 7 to 8 months to process after you lodge your application. The processing time is for applications that have been submitted after receiving the Skill Select EOI (Expression of Interest) invitation to apply. Depending on your occupation and points you can receive an invitation to apply in a few days or several months. Invitations to apply are issued to applicants who have lodged and EOI and who have the highest points in their particular occupation. For visa processing times please refer to the information on the Department of Home Affairs website for https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-processing-times/global-visa-processing-times#
How we can help you?
Better Life Migration can assist you with the whole process from start to finish. This would include calculating your points score, preparing and lodging the skills assessment, state sponsorship, expression of interest and visa applications. We can also provide useful insights on how you can improve your points score and increase your chances of being invited to apply for the visa.