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.
Skilled Independent Subclass 189
Skilled or Subclass State Nominated 190
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.
Receive Regional Nomination
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.
491 Visa Requirements
Before applying for the visa it is important to ensure you meet the requirements for the visa.
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.
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?
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:
- You have lived, worked or studied in the designated regional area for at least three years, whilst holding a 491 visa, and
- 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.
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In case of questions, feel free to reach out to one of our experienced Registered Migration Agents.
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