This is a provisional visa. It is for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional Australia.
The Subclass 491 is a points-tested visa. You must lodge an expression of interest through Skillselect and be invited to apply for this visa When you lodge your EOI, you must indicate if an eligible relative is going to sponsor you for this visa or if you want a state or territory government agency to nominate you.
You must have a minimum of 65 points to lodge an EOI. Points are allocated for a range of factors including age, English language ability, qualifications Australian study, Australian and overseas work experience To work out your points score refer to the points calculator
The Department has a revised points system for the 491 visa so you have new ways to earn additional points
- 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 specific areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – STEM). This change is driven by the importance of STEM skills to Australia’s ongoing innovation and economic success
- 10 partner points, if one of the following apply:
- You have a skilled partner who is under 45 years of age, has a positive skill assessment in a job on the same shortage list as you and has Competent English; or
- You are single; or
- You have a partner who is an Australian permanent resident or an Australian citizen
- 5 points if your partner can demonstrate Competent English. The partner can be over 45 years of age and does not need to work in a skilled occupation
Additionally, the raking order for invitations will change. The new ranking order will be as follows:
- Applicant with a skilled partner OR applicants without a partner
- Applicant with a partner who can demonstrate Competent English (but does not have the skills for skilled partner points)
- Applicant with a partner who is ineligible for either competent English or Skilled partner points
Applying for permanent residency
The 491 is a five-year visa. You can apply for Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) visa when the following criteria is met:
- You have lived, worked or studied in the designated regional area for at least three years, whilst holding a 491 visa, and
- You can show earnings of at least $53,900 annually for three years. If you have a partner included in your 491 application, only one of you needs to show the three years of annual salary (through tax returns) at or above $53,900. Your partner can be the main applicant for the 191 visa if they can demonstrate meeting this requirement.
Subclass 491 visa holders must take note of the following:
Subclass 491 visa holders cannot lodge certain visas until they have held a 491 visa (and met its conditions) for three years. This includes skilled PR visas (189 and 190), business visas (124, 132 and 188), employer nominated PR visa 186 and the onshore partner visa (820).