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Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa Subclass 491

The subclass 491 visa is a provisional residency visa available to skilled workers who are willing to live and work in a designated regional area. It is available both to skilled workers who are already living and working in Australia as temporary residents, and to those living outside Australia.

What does this visa allow you to do?

Once a 491 visa is granted the visa holder can remain in a designated regional area of Australia for up to five years, with a permanent residency pathway available after three years. Dependent family members may be included and must also live, work and study in a designated regional area.

Who can apply for the Subclass 491 visa?

The 491 visa can be applied for from within or outside of Australia. Applicants within Australia must hold a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B or C.

How do I qualify for a Subclass 491 Visa?

To be eligible for this visa, applicants must be skilled in an occupation on the relevant State Government Occupation List and be nominated by that State OR be skilled in an occupation on the MLTSSL and be nominated by an Eligible Family Member.

Whether you are applying on the basis of a State nomination or a Family Member nomination, all applicants must meet a minimum score of 65 points on a points test.

Applicants must also meet the following criteria:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 44
  • Have Competent English or higher, and their dependent family members over 18 years of age have at least Functional English
  • Hold a positive skill assessment in the nominated occupation
  • Meet health and character requirements

How do I apply for a subclass 491 visa?

An applicant can lodge an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect and be invited to submit a visa application by the Department of Immigration.

An applicant for a 491 visa must be issued with a nomination by their chosen state or territory, or obtain family sponsorship. Once you are invited to apply for your 491 visa, you must lodge your application within 60 days. For this reason, it is very important that you have all required documentation prepared to lodge as soon as possible after receiving the invitation.

Common Scenarios

I have calculated my own points and believe I meet the pass mark

One of the most common pitfalls of this visa type occurs when applicants calculate their points without consulting a migration agent, and accidentally over-inflate these points. Due to departmental restrictions on what can and cannot be counted, this is a very easy mistake. Lodgement of a visa application whereby the points claimed cannot be sufficiently evidenced, will result in a visa refusal. Seeking the advice of a registered migration agent or immigration agent can prevent this from occurring.

My occupation is subject to an “Occupational Ceiling”

Although the “pass mark” for the points test is 65 points, some occupations will require higher points in order for the applicant to be invited. For example, Accountants will require significantly higher points.

Our Services

TSS assists visa applicants and their employers throughout these applications, identifying the correct occupation for the individual application and navigating the complexities associated with each. We provide advice and application management from start to finish to ensure the best possible migration outcome. We also assist with the skills assessment process where applicable.

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