491 Visa Requirements, Processing time & Points Test

Skilled Work Regional

491 Visa enables skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia.

The Skilled Work Regional

The Skilled Work Regional Visa – Subclass 491 replaces the 489 visa on the 16th of November 2019.

It’s one of the General Skilled Migration together with

Skilled Independent Subclass 189

Skilled or Subclass State Nominated 190

It’s originally a temporary visa that may lead to PR. It’s not employer sponsored and requires you to commit to living and working in a regional area.

YouTube video

491 Visa Application Process

Here’s a simplified process for General Skilled Migration. In case of questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Check Your Eligibility

Before you submit Expression of Interest (EOI) make sure you hold a positive skill assessment and are eligible for The Skilled Migration Program by taking the Points Test.

Submit an EOI

To apply for the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) you are required to submit an Expression Of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect.

Receive Regional Nomination

States or Regional Areas must approve your Regional Nomination for you to receive an invitation to apply for the visa

Apply for Visa

After receiving an invitation to apply for the visa from the DIBP, you will have 60 days to lodge a visa application. Without an invitation you are not eligible to apply.


Check requirements


Submit your EOI


Receive Nomination


Wait for invitation


Apply for Visa

491 Visa Requirements

Before applying for the visa it is important to ensure you meet the requirements for the visa.
This includes:

You hold a Positive Skill Assessment for an occupation on the State or Regional List

You are currently aged between 18 – 45 years old

You have Competent English or higher (6 minimum in IELTS or holder of approved passports)

You have received a nomination by a Region or State to apply for the visa

You meet health and character requirements

You meet the pass mark in the skilled migration points test – currently 65.

Submit Your Expression of Interest (EOI)

Like any General Skilled Migration visa, the 491 is a points-tested. This means that you will need to submit an EOI and total at least 65 points. On the EOI you will receive points for things like:

  • Your Age
  • Your Education Qualifications
  • English Level
  • Work Experience
  • Relationship Status
  • Regional Nomination
  • + Many more,

Please note if you receive regional nomination you will receive an additional 15 points. You can check out your points by taking the points test.

Receive Regional Nomination

In addition to totalling the required points, you still need to be nominated by:

  1. a designated regional area of an Australian state or territory, or
  2. an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area of Australia

On the Expression of Interest you will need to state if you intend to work in any state or regional area. The visa holder will apply to be nominated to work in a profession that is listed on the State or Regional Occupation List. If there is a shortage of individuals skilled to work in that particular profession, the State or regional area may choose to nominate a visa holder to fill these roles.

Please note each state and region has different requirements for nomination. Some States and Regions will require you to lodge a separate application after submitting an expression of interest. Other states and regions do not accept applications and will only contact you with an invitation to apply. If you do not receive an invitation to apply for state nomination, you cannot apply for the visa.

It could be useful to review the individual state or territory websites listed below to see which professions are required and the requirements for regional nomination.

Wait for invitation

Once you have submitted the State or Region Nomination Application you will then need to wait to receive an invitation to apply. Generally speaking it takes roughly 2 – 8 weeks to receive an invitation to apply for the visa.

Apply for Visa

Once you have received an invitation to apply for the visa, you will then be able to lodge the visa application through your (or your migration agents) immigration portal. You have 60 days to lodge the visa from receiving the invitation.

When lodging the application you will need to provide documentation supporting your work experience, education and personal documentation.

Please note if you do not receive an invitation to apply for the visa from the Department of Home Affairs, you cannot lodge the visa.

Visa Application Fee

$4,770 AUD

**Plus credit card payment fee if paying by credit card
**The price is correct as of the 1st July 2024, and is subject to change. For further information on current visa fees refer to the Home Affairs Website

Note: Visa applicants can apply both in Australia and overseas. However in order to apply from within Australia, visa applicants must be on a substantive or appropriate bridging visa.

Book a Migration Consultation

We have a ton of information on our site about various visa options and FAQs that answer most of our visitors’ questions, but if you’re still not sure where to start or you need a personalised step by step walkthrough, then schedule a call with one of our Registered Migration Agent.

Simply follow the link below and you’ll be able to pick the date & time that fits your schedule.

Schedule time with me
If you’re having any trouble booking your consultation then don’t hesitate to contact us either via info@pathwaytoaus.com or by calling us 0755 265 900


Frequently Asked Questions

In case you don’t find an answer to your question, feel free to consult with one of our agents.

Where are the designated regional areas?
Designated regional areas will include every where in Australia except Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
How does the 491 visa lead to permanent residency?

The 491 is a five-year visa. This visa may allow you to apply for the permanent residence through the Subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional). In order to apply for the permanent visa you will need to meet the following requirements:

  1. You have lived, worked or studied in the designated regional area for at least three years, whilst holding a 491 visa, and
  2. You can show earnings of at least $53,900 annually for three years. If you have a partner included in your 491 application, only one of you needs to show the three years of annual salary (through tax returns) at or above $53,900. Your partner can be the main applicant for the 191 visa if they can demonstrate meeting this requirement.
Do I need to receive an invitation to apply for the 491 visa?

Yes you must have your nomination approved in order to apply for this visa. If you do not have a nomination approved by either a state or regional area, or an eligible family member, you cannot apply for this visa.

If I am older than 45 can I apply for the 491 visa?

If you are older than 45 you cannot apply for the 491 visa. Perhaps you could consider the 482 visa or DAMA if you are looking for PR.

Is the 491 visa permanent?

The 491 visa is a temporary or provisional visa. However if you work in the area for 3 years you may be able to transition onto the permanent 191 visa.

Can I apply for another visa if I hold the 491 visa?

In order to stop visa holders from moving to other areas after receiving the 491 visa, immigration has placed restrictions on what visas you can apply for when holding the 491 visa.

491 visa holders cannot the lodge 491 vis holders will not be able to lodge the 189, 190, 186 or 820 visas + many more.

If I have not worked in the regional area for 3 years, can I still apply for PR?

If you do not work in the regional area for 3 years, you do not meet the requirements to apply for the 191 permanent visa. You may be able to move to another regional area.

Can I include family members on the 491 visa?

You should be able to include anyone in your family unit on the 491 visa (your spouse/partner and dependent children).

What jobs can I apply for on the 491 visa?

Each state or regional area has a specific list of jobs that will allow you to apply for the 491 visa. You would need to check the individual state or regional lists to find the list of occupations in demand in that area.

How many points do I need to apply for the 491 visa?

You will need a minimum of 65 points to submit an expression of interest. If your occupation is in high demand in the state or regional area, this may be enough to get an invitation. It all depends on how in demand your occupation is and how many other applications the state has received.

How long does the 491 visa take to process?

The current visa processing time for the 491 visa is undetermined as it is a new visa. To check current processing times please refer to immigration process times.

Do I have to be paid a certain amount on the 491 visa?

If you want to move onto the permanent 191 visa you or your partner must earn at least $53,900 annually for three years. If your partner earns more than $53,900 they can be the main applicant for the 191 visa.

Do I have to be in Australia to apply for the 491 visa?

You can apply for the 491 visa from inside or outside Australia.

Do I need an employer to sponsor me for a 491 visa?

You do not need an employer to sponsor you for the 491 visa. However many regional or state may require you to work and live in a state for nomination approval.

Why would I apply for the 491 visa, if I can apply for the 190 visa?

If you receive an invitation to apply for the 190 or 189 visa, then apply for these visas. These are permanent visas. Applicants apply for the 491 visa, if they do not receive an invitation for the 190 or 189 visa.


In case of questions, feel free to reach out to one of our experienced Registered Migration Agents.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Contact details

Give us a call

Australia: 0755 265 900
Argentina: (11) 7368 - 8134
Fiji: (679) 922 3842
Philippines: 63 968 363 5296
United Kingdom: 02039 483 865

Send an email


Gold Coast Office

2242 Gold Coast Highway,
Mermaid Beach, QLD, 4218

UK Office

5 Merchant Square
London, W2 1AY, United Kingdom
(By Appointment Only)

491 Visa Australia | Requirements, Points & Processing Time was last modified: July 1st, 2024 by PTA