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What is Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 491)?
Skilled Regional Subclass 491 Visa has replaced the Skilled Regional Subclass 489 Visa as of November 2019. The Subclass 491 Skilled Visa is a provisional, point-tested permanent resident visa stream that invites skilled professionals who have been sponsored by an eligible relative, Australian state or Territory government in regional Australia. Candidates will have to submit an expression of interest to apply for permanent residency under this program. Once they receive an invitation for this visa via SkillSelect, candidates will have 60 days time to submit their full application. This provisional subclass 491 visa is valid for 5 years and allows visa holders to:
- Study and work in Australia
- If eligible, after 3 years can transition to permanent residency
Candidates can only apply for this visa if they receive an invitation from Australia’s SkillSelect. In order to receive an invite, candidates must:
- Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
- Have an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list (SOL)
- Be nominated by a family member, Australian state or Territory government
- Complete a successful skills assessment for the relevant occupation
- Meet the English language requirements
- Be less than 45 years of age
- Pass the medical and character requirements
- Score at least 65 in the points assessment
Factor-based Points Assessment
Your profile submitted in the Expression of Interest (EOI) will be awarded points based on the following criteria:
Candidates must be between 18 and 45 years old to be eligible to apply for this visa.
English language skills
Candidates must prove that they have at least competent level of English to apply for this visa. They can earn more points if they can show their English level is proficient or superior, by taking one of the accepted tests (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, OET).
Candidates will receive points for the highest qualification that is of a recognized Australian standard only.
Specialist education qualifications
Candidates can earn a further 10 points if they received a postgraduate research degree (masters or doctorate) from an Australian educational institute after at least 2 academic years of study in the following fields:
Australian study requirement
Applicants can be awarded an extra 5 points if they meet the Australian study requirements, which states:
- -They must have a degree, diploma or trade qualification that required at least 2 academic years of study, or
- -Must have more than 1 eligible educational credential, totaling at least 2 years of study
- -The educational credential must be awarded by an Australian educational institution.
Study in regional Australia
To be eligible for the 5 points under this criteria, candidates must:
- -Meet the Australian study requirement (defined above)
- -Have received the educational qualification, whilst physically located in a designated regional area
Professional year in Australia
To be eligible for the 5 points under this criteria, candidates must have completed a professional year in Australia in computing, accounting or engineering, provided by one of the designated organizations.
Skilled work experience
Candidate’s occupation must be in the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations. They can earn points if they were employed under their nominated skilled occupation (or closely related occupation) for the periods listed in the table below, within the last 10 years.
Credentialled Community language
To be eligible for the 5 points under this criteria, candidates must hold a recognized community language credential at a paraprofessional/certified provisional level or above.
The candidate’s spouse or common-law partner may be eligible to earn points for this visa application if they meet the age, language skills and skill criteria requirements. Applicants can be awarded up to 10 points if they prove their spouse/partner:
- - is under 45 years old
- - has competent level of English
- - has been assessed by an assessing authority and their nominated skilled occupation is listed under the SOL
- - is an applicant for this same visa subclass and is not an Australian permanent residence or citizen
Candidates will earn an additional 5 points if they received an invitation to apply for this Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 190) and the sponsor (relative or a state or territory government) has not withdrawn the nomination.
Submitting accurate and valid documents are one of the most important aspects of a successful Subclass 491 Visa application. Refer to the checklist below containing the documents needed. Please note this is a non-exhaustive list.
* Documents for dependents will be required, if applicable. Reference letters for each employment
Cost & Processing time
The processing time for the Skilled Nominated Visa is approximately 12 months.
The Skilled Nominated visa cost can vary based on age and number of dependents that are included in the application:*All fees are quoted in USD
Note: There can be additional factors adding to the cost like Spouse's English test, Medical assessment, etc. The fee can change without any prior notice.