Skilled Work Regional Visa 491
Skilled Regional Provisional Visa
There are no standard processing times available for this pathway
With this visa, you can
- stay in Australia for 5 years
- live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia
- travel to and from Australia as many times as you want, while the visa is valid
- apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time your visa is granted
- be nominated to apply by a state or territory government agency, or an eligible relative must sponsor you
- have an occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list
- have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
- be invited to apply
- satisfy the points test
With this visa you can
- stay in Australia for 5 years from the date we grant you the visa
- live, work and study in a designated region of Australia
- travel to and from Australia as many times as you want, while the visa is valid
- apply for permanent residence, if eligible, through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) – which starts on 16 November 2022. You can’t apply for other permanent visas until you have held your subclass 491 visa for 3 years.
Designated regional area
- You and all members of your family unit who are also holders of the visa, will need to live work and study in a designated regional area of Australia. Your nomination must not be withdrawn, or you will not be granted the visa.
Pathways to Permanent Residence
- If eligible, you will be able to apply for permanent residence through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) – which starts on 16 November 2022.
- Unless you have held your subclass 491 visa for 3 years, holders of the subclass 491 visa can’t:
- Make a valid application for a subclass 820 (Partner) visa
- Be granted any of the following visas:
- Subclass 132 (Business Talent)
- Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme)
- Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional))
- Subclass 189 (Skilled (Independent))
- Subclass 190 (Skilled (Nominated))
- Subclass 858 (Distinguished talent)
How long you can stay
This is a temporary visa. You can stay in Australia for 5 years from the date we grant your visa.
You can’t stay in Australia longer by extending this visa. Explore your visa options
You can include members of the family unit in your application. You can:
- include them when you submit your visa application
- add a dependent child after you submit but before we decide on your visa application.
Family members who apply for the visa must meet our health and character requirements.
Family members not accompanying you to Australia might also need to meet our health and character requirements.
If your partner or dependent children are not included in this application, tell us the reason why (for example, they already hold Australian citizenship or are a permanent resident).
From AUD4,045 for the main applicant.
There is also a charge for each family member who applies for the visa with you.
To work out what your visa will cost use the Visa Pricing Estimator. The estimator does not take into account the second instalment or other costs.
You might have to pay an extra charge for any applicant 18 years old or older who has less than functional English. This charge is called the second instalment. Pay it only when we ask you to. We ask for the charge only if we are going to grant the visa.
The second instalment charge for family members is AUD4,890.
The Visa Pricing Estimator does not include the second instalment or other costs. You might also have to pay other costs for health checks, police certificates and biometrics
You can be in or outside Australia, but not in immigration clearance when you apply for the visa and when we decide on your application.
If you apply in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a subclass 010 Bridging A visa, a subclass 020 Bridging B visa or a subclass 030 Bridging C visa, otherwise your application will not be valid.
We assess applications on a case-by-case basis, and actual processing times can vary due to individual circumstances including:
- whether you have lodged a complete application, including all necessary supporting documents
- how quickly you respond to any requests for additional information
- how long it takes to perform required checks on the supporting information provided
- how long it takes to receive additional information from external agencies, particularly in relation to health, character, and national security requirements
You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.
Learn more about conditions for this visa.
You can travel out of Australia and return as many times as you want while the visa is valid.
The time you spend outside Australia does not extend the visa.
We will digitally link your visa to your passport. You will not get a label in your passport.
Be invited to apply
You can only apply for this visa if we invite you to.
Submit an expression of interest (EOI) in SkillSelect to let us know you would like to apply for the visa.
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.
Be nominated or sponsored
You must be either nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or indicate that you will be sponsored by an eligible relative. See below for more information.
Submit an expression of interest (EOI) for the visa to get an estimate of your points score.
If you score enough points, state and territory government agencies can see your EOI and might nominate you for the visa.
If you indicate in your EOI that you will be sponsored by an eligible relative the Department may invite you to apply for a visa in an invitation round.
Nomination by an Australian state or territory government agency
If you are nominated for the visa, we will invite you to apply. All state and territory government agencies have their own criteria for deciding who they will nominate.
Contact the state or territory agency directly to find out more about their nomination process and what they want from you.
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Sponsorship by an eligible relative
Your sponsor must be:
- 18 years old or older
- usually resident in a designated area of Australia
- be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
- be your eligible relative or your partner’s eligible relative if your partner is also applying for this visa
An eligible relative can be:
- a parent
- a child or step-child
- a brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step-brother or step-sister
- an aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle
- a nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step-nephew or step-niece
- a grandparent, or
- a first cousin
We must approve your sponsorship before you can be granted a visa.
Be this age
You must be aged under 45 to be invited to apply for the visa.
You can still apply for the visa if you turn 45 after we invite you to apply.
If you turn 45 after you submit your EOI but before we invite you to apply you will not receive an invite.
Have a suitable skills assessment
For your application to be valid, you must declare that you have a suitable skills assessment at time of invitation.
You will need to provide a copy of this skills assessment with your application.
For medical and legal practitioners, we also accept the following as proof of a skills assessment:
- full or unconditional or general medical registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
- conditional specialist registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. This only allows you to practise in your speciality. You need no further training or supervision
- admission to practice law in the relevant state or territory
Your skills assessment must have been obtained in the 3 years before the date of your invitation. If the assessment was for a shorter period, that period must not have passed.
If your skills were assessed on the basis of a qualification you got in Australia when you held a student visa, the qualification must be from studying a course registered on CRICOS.
Be able to score 65 points or more
The subclass 491 is a points-tested visa.
When you submit your EOI in SkillSelect you will be given an indicative points score based on the claims you have made. If you do not obtain a score of 65 points you will not be invited to apply for this visa.
If we do invite you to apply for the visa, your invitation will state the number of points that you must score when we assess your application for grant of the visa (this score may be higher than 65 points, depending on your claims in the EOI).
When you lodge your application you must provide evidence supporting your claims.
To check how points can be awarded refer to the points table.
Have this level of English language
At the time of invitation, you must have at least Competent English.
Information about family members 18 years old or older
If a family member 18 years or older is applying for the visa with you, either:
- they must have functional English or
- they must pay a second instalment visa application charge
Meet the skills requirement
Your occupation must be on the combined list of eligible skilled occupations for a Skilled Regional (subclass 491) visa.
Meet our health requirement:
You and any family members who apply for the visa with you must meet our health requirement. If requested, family members not accompanying you to Australia might also need to meet our health requirement.
Meet our character requirement
You and family members aged 16 years and over who apply for the visa with you must meet our character requirement. Family members not accompanying you to Australia must also meet the character requirement.
Have paid back your debt to the Australian government
If you or any family members (including those who do not apply for the visa with you) owe the Australian Government money, you or they must have paid it back or arranged to pay it back.
Sign the Australian values statement
If you are 18 years of age or older, you must:
- have read, or had explained to you, the Life in Australia and
- confirm you will respect the Australian way of life obey Australian laws when you sign an Australian Values Statement
Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused
You might not be eligible for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia. Check if visa cancellation affects your eligibility.
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