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Home Australia Immigration Australia Skilled Work Regional Visa Subclass 491

How to Apply for Visa 491?

Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional Visa is a new introduction by the Australian Department of Home Affairs that will replace the visa 489 on 16 November 2019. This is a points-tested visa for applicants sponsored by an Australian State or Territory Government or an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area of Australia. A total of 14,000 places are allocated this year for visa 491 by The Department of Home Affairs.

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What are Regarded as “Designated Regional Areas” of Australia?

The designated areas of Australia are any part of the country excluding Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne. Just like the visa 489, the regions of Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast will be designated regional areas.

This visa may be only applied for by holders of the new Subclass 491 and Subclass 494 Visa. The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman states, “The new subclass 491 visa replicates many existing general requirements for permanent residence, and most other visas, including security, health and character requirements.”

What are the Eligibility Requirements for Visa Subclass 491?

Applicants applying for visa Subclass 491 must meet the below mentioned requirements to become eligible for visa subclass 491:

  • You must be under 45 years of age at the time of visa lodgment
  • You must have a positive skill assessment
  • You must have decent English language score
  • You must have relevant full-time work experience in a nominated occupation listed on relevant SOL List Australia
  • You must agree to live and work in a regional area for at least five years. You must live, work and study only in regional areas and if employer sponsored then only in nominated position.
  • You may move only between the designated regional areas
  • You must agree to complete at least three years in a designated regional area to become eligible for applying different visa categories.
  • You must meet health and character requirements

After residing in Australia for at least three years on Subclass 491 or Subclass 494 and have complied with the conditions on that visa and have met the taxable income requirements, you will be eligible to apply for Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa.

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How Will be Points Given For The Subclass 491 Visa?

Australia immigration department follows a point based system of immigrating the skilled applicants and therefore, this new visa subclass 491 will be no different. In fact, there is a revised points system introduced by the department for the 491 visa that will let you earn extra points towards overall Australia PR Points score:

With the new Australia PR point system, you will get:

  • 15 points for a nomination from family or regional part of a state/territory
  • 10 points for Masters or PhD level Australian qualification in specific areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics- STEM)
  • You will be awarded 10 points if any of the requirements are met:
    1. You have a skilled partner or spouse with under 45 years of age having positive skill assessment in an occupation on the same demand list as you and Competent English; or
    2. You have a de facto partner or spouse; or
    3. You are single
  • You will be awarded 5 points if your partner can demonstrate competent English

The other Australia Points requirement will be on the basis of age, qualification, work experience, language ability as they were under visa 489 and other skilled visas.

When Will You Be Invited For Visa Subclass 491?

The Australian Immigration department will give preference in the following hierarchical order:

  • Preference will be first given to the applicants having skilled partner or applicant without a partner
  • Second preference will be given to the applicant having a partner with competent English (do not have the skills for skilled partner points)
  • Third preference will be given to the applicant with a partner who is ineligible for either competent English or Skilled partner points
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How Can 491 Visa Leads to Permanent Residency of Australia?

The visa subclass 491 is a five-year visa and as discussed above after meeting the eligible requirements you can access permanent residence through the subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (skilled regional) )
when the following requirements are met:

  • You have live, worked or studies in a designated area for at least 3 years on a visa 491
  • You have the earnings of at least $53,900 for three years.

If you’ve already applied for visa 489 before the change then in such a case you will continue to have a PR pathway through visa subclass 887.

How Can Aptech Global Assist You With New Complications of Australian Immigration?

Any new visa subclass introduction or change in visa categories/ point system can be little tricky and daunting task. To compress the trickiness and easy understanding of the process, contact the visa and immigration experts of Aptech Global by filling the Australia Immigration Assessment Form.


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