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Australia Subclass 491 Visa: Eligibility, Documents, Process, and more!

Australia Regional Skilled Visa (Subclass 491) November 2019 onwards, the Regional skilled visa under visa subclass 489, a temporary visa, was replaced by the Regional skilled visa under visa subclass 491.

With Australia being the top destination for foreign nationals today, the Subclass 491 is a blessing! Immigrants are being welcomed to Australia’s beautiful landscapes with open arms. You can now work, settle, and become a resident of Australia for 5 years with the help of this Visa. Read along.

What is a Subclass 491 visa?

The new skilled work regional 491 visa((Subclass 491 Visa) is a provisional visa that enables all skilled workers to live, pursue education, and work in appointed areas of Australia and their families. This visa is valid for a tenure of 5 years.
The applicant for this visa has to be either state nominated or sponsored by an eligible family member who is a permanent resident in Australia.

What are the eligibility criteria for applying for a 491 visa?

For becoming eligible for a 491 visa, you need to meet the following criteria:

    • You need to get nomination from region or a relative.
    • Need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
    • Need to have a competent English
    • Need to have a good health and character
    • Need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
    • Need to receive an EOI nomination invitation email in response
    • Your age should be under 45 years.
How many points do you need to apply for the 491 visas?

Getting a minimum of 65 points is the eligibility criteria for getting invites for the application process. Scoring more points gives you an upper hand over other applicants.

How to earn 65 points?

As mentioned above, for immigrating, you need to earn 65 points on Australia’s points test system.

The points are dependent on the following factors:

Factor Points
Age (lesser than 45 years) 30 Points
Educational background 15 Points
Work experience in the country as well as abroad 15 Points (Outside Australia)

20 Points (In Australia)

Proof of proficiency in English by IELTS 20 Points

Other than these factors, some changes have been made to the skilled migration points, which will likely affect the Visa Subclass 491.

The changes in the point system are:

  • 15 points are allotted for an applicant with state or provincial Government nomination or sponsorship from a family member who is permanently residing there.
  • 10 points are allotted for an individual with educational qualifications in certain specific branches of Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Technology.
  • 10 points if your partner successfully undergoes skill assessment and language competency tests.
  • 5 points if your partner has language proficiency.

Based on the points system priority wise invitation application for state nominations is as follows:

  • Applicants with a skilled partner or a single applicant are top priorities.
  • Applicants with partners who may not have skills but are competent in English are second priorities.
  • Applicants with partners who have no skills and no language competency are last priorities.

What are the documents required for visa subclass 491?

You need to provide all the supporting documents for the information provided in your EOI:

  • Passport
  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Language Competency Report

For applicants between the age of 18-23, there is a requirement for the following documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Evidence for financial dependency
  • Adoption papers (case specific)

Applicants above the age of 23, but are still dependent on their parents because of some physical impairment or cognitive issues.

There is a requirement of the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Evidence for financial dependency
  • Adoption papers (case specific)
  • Medical reports addressing the condition of the applicant

The following are the documents associated with your claims on EOI that you need to provide:

  • Skill Assessment
  • Language Assessment
  • Australian skilled employment
  • Education Qualification (as per Australian standards)
  • Specialist education
  • Study in regional Australia
  • Partner skills
  • Work experience in Australia

If you have a sponsor, then your sponsor needs to provide the following:

  • Age proof (18 years and above)
  • Declaration by your sponsor
  • Proof of being an eligible relative
  • Permanent residency proof

What is the total expense involved in the application for visa 491?

The Skilled work Regional visa subclass 491 has an application cost of AUD 4115 for the primary applicant. For each subsequent entrant of eligible family members, there is a separate cost involved.

Let us now take a look at the prices involved in the application process:

Applicant Fees Factor AUD
Primary Applicant Subclass 491 4115
Reliant 18 years and above Subclass 491 2055
Reliant 18 years and below Subclass 491 1030
For each applicant and dependent Biometrics 60
Medical Test 350
Police Clearance Certificate Depends

What is the processing time for visa subclass 491?

There is no specific time for processing the application of visa 491. But the regional application processes are given more priority.

How to apply for the Regional skilled visa subclass 491?

There are multiple steps involved in applying for a subclass 491 visa starting right from checking if your occupation is a part of the Skilled Occupation List, collecting your documents, getting your skill assessed, to applying for your visa.

Let’s go through the whole process one step at a time:

Step 1: Skilled Occupation List

Check whether your designated profession is in the Skilled Occupation List published every year by the Australian Government.

Step 2: Skills Assessment

Get your skill-set evaluated by the respective Australian organizations.

Step 3: Points System

The Australian Government follows a points system for visa application. The minimum score for these assessments that you need to get an invitation is 65 points.

Step 4: Expression of Interest

Apply by writing an Expression of Interest (EOI) addressed to the Department of Home Affairs using Skill Select. Skill Select carefully assesses those 65 points, after which you can start applying.

Step 5: Supporting documents submission

The Department of Home Affairs asks you to apply for candidacy, post your EOI gets accepted. You need to submit your supporting documents within 60 days. It’s better to collect your supporting documents from beforehand.

You need to submit these documents by applying on Immiaccount. You also need to pay the necessary fee, all within a time limit of 60 days.

Step 6: Checking application status

After your application is received, you will receive an e-mail—login to your ImmiAccount to check the status of your application.

Important: Every applicant has to go through some medical examinations and biometric scans.

Step 7: Getting accepted

After your visa gets approved, expect to get an email with your visa grant number, the start date of your visa, and visa terms and conditions. If you need any help with the visa application or get stuck on any step, do not forget to contact us.

How long can you stay with visa subclass 491?

You can stay for 5years with a visa in subclass 491 in Australia. There is no extension given to the Skilled Regional visa. However, after the 3rd year, if you would like to continue living there, you can start applying for a PR visa after three years of fulfilling the necessary conditions.

Related FAQs

What are the benefits of being a permanent resident of Australia?

Here’s a list of benefits you get after becoming an Australian citizen:

  • A life-long opportunity of living and earning a livelihood in Australia.
  • Pursue higher education in Australia.
  • Enroll in the Australian Government health scheme.
  • Your spouse also gets to apply as a primary applicant.
  • Under the sponsorship, your family members or eligible relatives can also become permanent residents as subsequent entrants.
How to convert your subclass 491 visa into a PR visa subclass 191?

You can easily convert the visa 491 into permanent residency visas in subclass 191 and become an Australian citizen if you:

  • Need a valid visa in visa subclass 191
  • Have resided in regional Australia for at least three years.
  • Have a full-time work experience of a minimum of one year in Australia.
  • Meet the pre-levied requirements of character and health by the Australian Government.
  • Have made arrangements or paid back your outstanding debts to the Australian Government.
  • Have earned AUD 53900 or more per annum for three consecutive years.

Once you have completed all these requirements, you can apply to work regionally in Australia, live there with your family, and transition your provisional visa to a temporary visa.

What are some of the notable changes between subclass 489 to subclass 491?

Since the shifting of the Skilled Work Regional visa in subclass 491 from visa subclass 491, both the subclasses have undergone considerable change.

The key points of difference are as follows:

Staying period

If your visa is under subclass 491, you will get to stay for five years, whereas if your visa is under subclass 489, you get to stay for four years.

Permanent visa

For visa subclass 491, you have to apply for the subclass 191 PR visa.

For visa subclass 489, you have to apply for the subclass 887 PR visa.

Processing time

Visa subclass 489 usually has a processing time of 4-9 months. There is no standard time which has been set yet for processing in a visa subclass 491.

Allotted time for a permanent visa

If your visa is in subclass 491, then you will get three years for permanent visa application. If your permission is in subclass 489, you will get two years for the PR visa application.

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