The Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional visa is a provisional General Skilled Migration visa which requires holders to live, work, and study in a regional area of Australia. Once certain residence requirements have been met, holders can apply for a permanent Regional visa.
In order to qualify for a Subclass 491 visa, you would need to:
Once you are invited to apply for a skilled visa, you must lodge your application within 60 days, otherwise the invitation lapses. Accordingly, it is very important that you have all required documentation prepared to lodge as soon as possible after receiving the invitation.
Each State and Territory Government publishes a list of occupations in short supply in their area. There may be specific requirements in terms of work experience, English language ability, or specialised skills which differ to the requirements for the Department of Immigration. It is very important to check the State/Territory requirements before commencing with an application.
Applicants through the family sponsored pathway can only nominate occupations on the MLTSSL. The sponsor must be usually resident in a designated regional area of Australia, and be:
You can either be in Australia or overseas when you apply for a Subclass 491 Visa.
In order to lodge from within Australia (i.e. onshore), you would need to hold a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B or C visa. Upon lodging an onshore application, you would automatically receive a bridging visa allowing you to remain in Australia during processing of your visa application.
You can include the following types of family members in your application:
It is possible to include partners and dependent children to a submitted application if for some reason they cannot be included at the time of lodgement.
The visa is a provisional (temporary residence) visa, allowing applicants to remain in Australia for up to 5 years from the date of grant. Visa holders will have access to Medicare, as well as full work rights.
The Subclass 491 visa is subject to a condition requiring all visa holders to live, work, and study in regional Australia. Applicants through the State/Territory nominated stream would also be expected to reside in the State or Territory which nominated them for the visa.
If you are outside Australia when the visa is granted, you and your family members will need to enter Australia for the first time prior to expiry of your health and police clearances.
It is possible to apply for a permanent Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa after living and working in a regional area for at least 3 years. Applicants must meet certain income requirements, and be able to prove their residence in regional Australia for the 3-year period.
Applicants should also note that there are restrictions on applying for other permanent visas, such as the 189, 190, or 820 Partner visa until they have held the 494 for the three year period.