The Complete Guide to 491 Visas: Everything You Need to Know and More
Australia’s Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) is designed to encourage skilled workers to live and work in regional areas of Australia. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the 491 visas, including its benefits, eligibility criteria, and how to apply.
What is a 491 Visa?
The 491 visa is a points-tested visa that allows skilled workers to live and work in regional areas of Australia for up to 5 years. To qualify for a 491 visa, applicants must meet the points threshold, have a positive skills assessment, and be sponsored by an eligible family member, state, or territory government.
Benefits of a 491 Visa
Here are some of the benefits of applying for and receiving a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) in Australia:
Live and Work in Regional Australia: The 491 visa provides a pathway to live and work in regional areas of Australia. This can provide you with access to job opportunities, a supportive community, and a more relaxed pace of life.
Pathway to Permanent Residency: By meeting the requirements of the 491 visa, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Skilled Regional (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 191).
Sponsorship Opportunities: The 491 visa requires sponsorship by an eligible family member or state or territory government. This can provide you with additional support and assistance as you settle into your new life in Australia.
Work and Study Rights: 491 visa holders have the right to work and study in Australia. This can provide you with opportunities for career growth and advancement and access to world-class education.
Health Care Benefits: Australia has a world-class healthcare system, and 491 visa holders have access to Medicare, Australia’s public healthcare system.
Priority Processing: 491 visa applications are given priority processing by the Department of Home Affairs, which can reduce the processing time for your application.
Eligibility for a 491 Visa
To be eligible for a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491), you must meet the following requirements:
Age: You must be under 45 years of age at the time of application.
Occupation: You must nominate an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list for the visa subclass.
Skills Assessment: You must have a positive skills assessment for your nominated occupation.
English Language Proficiency: You must demonstrate your English language proficiency by achieving the required score on an approved English language test.
Points Test: You must score at least 65 points on the points test, which is used to assess your eligibility for the visa. Points are awarded based on factors such as age, education, work experience, English language proficiency, and other criteria.
Sponsorship: You must be sponsored by an eligible family member or state or territory government.
How to Apply for a 491 Visa
Here are the steps you need to take to apply for a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491):
Choose Your Occupation: The first step is to choose an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list for the 491 visa subclass.
Check Eligibility Criteria: Once you’ve chosen your occupation, you must check the eligibility criteria for the 491 visa subclass. This includes meeting the age requirements, English language proficiency, skills assessment, and points test requirements.
Secure Sponsorship: You must secure sponsorship by an eligible family member or state or territory government.
Gather Required Documentation: You must gather the required documentation, including a skills assessment, English language proficiency test results, and other supporting documents.
Submit Your Application: Once you’ve gathered all the required documentation, you can submit your application online through the Department of Home Affairs website.
Wait for a Decision: After submitting your application, you’ll need to wait for a decision from the Department of Home Affairs. The processing time for a 491 visa can vary depending on a range of factors, including the complexity of your application and the number of applications being processed at the time.
Costs of a 491 Visa
The cost of a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) can vary depending on a range of factors, including the type of sponsorship and whether you are applying alone or with dependents. As of March 2023, the cost for a 491 visa application ranges from AUD 4,045 for the main applicant to AUD 8,150 for a family application with two or more applicants.
Number of 491 Visas Issued
The number of Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visas (Subclass 491) issued in Australia varies from year to year. In the 2021-2022 financial year, a total of 11,200 places were allocated to the 491 visa subclass.
State Nomination for a 491 Visa
One of the key ways to secure a 491 visa is through state or territory nomination. Each state and territory in Australia has its own list of eligible occupations and requirements for nomination. By securing state or territory nomination, you may be able to receive additional points towards your visa application and have a greater chance of success.
The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) is a great option for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional areas of Australia. By meeting the eligibility criteria, securing sponsorship or state/territory nomination, and submitting a strong application, you can increase your chances of success in obtaining a 491 visa.
We provide guidance and support throughout the 491 visa application process, helping you navigate the complexities and achieve your migration goals.
Flexibility & Control
Each year, the Australian federal and state governments review the 188 visa programme to ensure it delivers the best possible outcomes for Australia. Where deemed necessary changes are introduced without advanced notice. State governments open and close the investor visa stream within their respective jurisdictions as deem necessary to meet the local economic objectives.
That said, once an investor secures an invitation to emigrate (State Nomination), any future changes to the emigration policy will not affect their case.