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SUBCLASS 491 Skilled Work Regional (provisional) Visa

491 Skilled Work Regional (provisional) Visa

What is the subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa?

This new subclass 491 provisional visa will replace the subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa on 16 November 2019, for the purpose to assist regional Australia to nominate the eligible skilled workers to reside in a designated regional area. Like the 489 visa, 491 visa can be nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area.

What parts of Australia are Designated Regional Areas?

It is intended that the designated regional areas will include all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Therefore, the areas include Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast will also be classified as designated regional areas.

The feature of this visa

This visa enables eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years. Visa holders will be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence visa after three years.

Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • – have a relevant occupation on a skilled occupation list;
  • – have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation;
  • – satisfy the points test;
  • – be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation;
  • – have Competent English;
  • – submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect;
  • – be nominated by a state or territory government agency or be sponsored by an eligible relative;
  • – be invited by the Department of Home Affairs to apply, and
  • – meet public interest criteria including health and character requirements.


Pathway to permanent residence

Holders of this visa are eligible to apply for a subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa if:

  • – they have earned a minimum taxable income($53,900) for each of three years as the holder of a regional provisional visa; and
  • – they have complied with the conditions of the regional provisional visa; particularly the requirement to live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia.


Dependent children are required to study in a designated regional area in order to meet visa conditions.


The Subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa will commence in November 2022.


What Visa Conditions Associated with This Visa

There are a number of new conditions associated with this visa. Conditions 8578, 8579, 8580 and 8581 must be imposed.

The conditions require visa holders to:
– live, work and study only in a designated regional area of Australia;

– to notify Immigration of a change to their residential address, contact details, passport details, the address or addresses of an employer of the holder and the address of the location of a position in which the holder is employed; and

– to provide information and evidence relating to their location if requested to do so; and, if requested in writing by the Minister to do so, attend an interview at a place and time, or at a time, and in a manner, specified in the request.


New Points Allocated to Skilled Visa from November 2019

As the 189 and 190 Skilled Visas, the 491 visa is also a points-tested visa.

The new points will be allocated to ALL Skilled Visas as below.

  • 15 points for nomination by a family member or a regional part of a state or territory
  • 10 points for Masters or PhD level Australian qualification in specific areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – STEM). Currently, only 5 points allocated to the applicant with this qualification.
  • 10 points, if one of the following apply:
  • a. the applicant is single; or
  • b. the applicant has a skilled partner who is under 45 years old, obtains a positive skill assessment in a job on the same shortage list as the applicant(5 points) and has Competent English(5 points); or
  • c. the applicant has a partner who is an Australian permanent resident or an Australian citizen.
FactorDescriptionCurrent PointsNew Points
Nomination/sponsorship (where required)Nomination by state or territory government (visa subclass 190 only)5
Nomination by state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member to reside and work in a specified/designated area10+5 = 15
AgeNot less than 18 and under 2525
Not less than 25 and under 3330
Not less than 33 and under 4025
Not less than 40 and under 4515
English language ability: The test must be undertaken no more than 36 months before invitation to apply for the visa.Proficient English10
Superior English20
Skilled employment: A maximum of 20 points can be awarded for any combination of skilled employment in and outside Australia.Outside Australia: employed in nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation
•        For period totalling at least 36 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation5
•        For period totalling at least 60 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation10
•        For period totalling at least 96 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation15
In Australia: employed in nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation
•        For period totalling at least 12 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation5
•        For period totalling at least 36 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation10
•        For period totalling at least 60 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation15
•        For period totalling at least 96 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation20
Qualifications: Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or other doctorate of a recognised standard20
At least a bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution or other degree of a recognised standard15
Diploma or trade qualification completed in Australia10
An award or qualification recognised by the assessing authority in the assessment of the skilled occupation10
Australian study requirementAt least one degree, diploma or trade qualification from an Australian educational institution that meets the Australian study requirement5
Specialist Educational QualificationA Master degree by research or a Doctorate degree from an Australian educational institution that included at least two academic years in a relevant STEM field.5+5 = 10
Other factorsAccredited in a community language5
Study in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area (excluding distance education)5+5 =10
Partner skill qualifications5
Partner with competent English but not eligible for Partner skill qualifications points05
Single applicants (no partner)010
Professional year in Australia for at least 12 months in the four years before the day applicants are invited to apply5

NOTES:STATES WILL STOP ACCEPTING NEW NOMINATIONS OF SC489 BEFORE 10 SEPTEMBER 2019.

 

**Australian Parliament proposes to amend the relevant Acts to ensure that holders of the new provisional skilled regional visa will have access to government services in line with the current arrangements applicable to permanent residence visa holders. The purpose is to ensure that provisional skilled regional visa holders are not disadvantaged comparing to holders of permanent skilled visas available for people to work in metropolitan areas.**