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Skilled Work Regional (Provisional Subclass 491 Visa

This is a new provisional or temporary visa. It is a point-based visa intended for highly skilled professionals who wish to live, work, study, and settle in designated regional or low population growth areas of Australia, or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area in Australia. With this visa, you can also bring your family members to Australia to study and work in the chosen regional area. It allows you to stay in regional areas of Australia for 5 years. A visa holder must live and work in a specified regional area and fly to and from Australia multiple times during that period.

The offshore Skilled-Regional Sponsored Subclass 475 visa and the onshore Subclass 487 visa were superseded by the Skilled Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa, which was later replaced by the Subclass 491 Visa, the new provisional Skilled Work Regional Visa.

After two years of living and working in a regional or low population growth area on this visa, individuals can apply for the Skilled Regional Subclass 887 visa, which offers them lawful permanent residency in Australia. Please note that only those living and working in the areas noted on the Australia Regional or Low Population Growth Areas table below are eligible to apply for legal permanent residence on the Skilled Regional Subclass 887 visa.

Moreover, the visa will be valid for 5 years, but there will be stringent compliance monitoring procedures to determine that the primary applicant and their family members solely live, work, and study in a designated regional area. If eligible, you will be able to apply for permanent residence through the Permanent Residence (Subclass 191 Skilled Regional visa) after three years of getting a Subclass 491 visa, which starts on November 16, 2022. You must have met all of the requirements of your visa and present three years of tax assessment letters demonstrating tax liability over a specific threshold.

The Benefits of South Australia's State Sponsorship

The 190 state sponsorships in South Australia provide the following benefits:

  • You are permitted to work and study while residing in a certain region of Australia
  • You will have 5 years from the day your visa was issued to stay in Australia
  • You may identify your occupation by searching through extensive occupation listings such as MLTSSL, STSOL, and Regional.
  • Skilled subclass 491 visas are given priority processing by the Department of Home Affairs.
  • You can fly from and to Australia as long as you hold as valid 491 visa.
  • As a 491 visa holder, you are entitled to seek and apply for permanent residency in Australia, if eligible.

Subclass 491 Visa Eligibility Requirements

Australia requires the following qualifying conditions for the subclass 491 visa:

  • You must obtain the highest possible score on the 491 visa point exam, despite the fact that the eligibility score is 65 points.
  • To get an 'invitation to apply' for a subclass 491 visa, you must be under the age of 45 years old.
  • Your occupation must be listed on the "Combined Skilled Occupation List," which comprises the "Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List" (MLTSSL) and the "Short-term Skilled Occupation List" (STSOL). It may also be placed on the regional list.
  • In terms of English language abilities, you should have fluent English and be able to demonstrate it by passing any of the following English language tests:
  • A minimum of 6 in each band (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.
  • Minimum 13, 21, 12, and 18 in each band (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) on the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT).
  • A minimum score of 50 in each band (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) on the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
  • A minimum grade of B in each band (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) on the Occupational English Test (OET)
  • A minimum score of 169 in each band (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) on the Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) test is required.
  • Note: Any of the foregoing examinations must have been completed within three years of the 491 visa application date. Furthermore, if you are applying for a 491 provisional visa along with a family member who is 18 years or older, that individual must demonstrate functional English or have paid the second installment of the 491 visa application fee.

  • You must affirm that you have a suitable skills evaluation from the relevant authority. Nonetheless, understanding the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation and preparing for it ahead of time is important because the assessment of the occupation and experience takes a long time and may differ between authorities. It is best to have the evaluation completed sooner, preferably three years before the date of the invitation, and to keep a copy of it.
  • If you are an overseas student graduate and have finished your studies in Australia, you can apply for a 491 visa if you have completed your degree, certificate, or trade qualification from a CRICOS-recognised tertiary institution in a relevant state or territory.
  • This skilled subclass 491 provisional visa requires a state or territory nomination or family member sponsorship. It should be noted, however, that meeting the 491 nomination conditions does not constitute governmental sponsorship. To be granted a visa under nomination, you must also meet the Department of Home Affairs' subclass 491 regional visa requirements.
  • If you wish to be nominated by a state or territorial agency, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and earn enough points to be chosen.
  • If you are sponsored by a relative, you must provide proof that he or she is:
  • 18 years old
  • typically, a resident in an assigned or designated regional area of Australia
  • a permanent resident (PR) of Australia, an Australian citizen, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
  • your eligible relative or your partner’s eligible relative in case your partner is also included in the application.
  • NoteA parent, a kid, a brother or sister (can be adopted or step-one), an uncle, an aunt (may be adopted or step-one), a nephew, a niece (can be adopted or step-one), a grandparent, or a first cousin are all suitable relations for this reason.

  • You and your family members must meet the health and character prerequisites and have appropriate documentation as proof.
  • If you or a member of your family owe the Australian government money, it must be paid back or agreed upon.
  • You are eligible only if you are invited to file a 491 visa application.

Apart from the points mentioned above, the 491 visa has a few other requirements.

  • Such as notifying the immigration authorities of any change in the visa holder's residence address, phone number, email address, passport data, and so on, within 14 days of the change occurring.
  • The 491 visa holder is not permitted to stay and work in Australia except in a designated regional area.
  • If the Minister requests it, the 491 visa holder is expected to disclose employment details, education, and personal information in writing within 28 days.
  • Finally, a 491 visa holder is required to attend interviews if the Minister requests them in writing.

Steps to Apply for a Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 491)

You may submit your 491 visa application by following the procedures outlined here.

  • You must meet the basic 491 visa eligibility criteria, which include a state or territory government nomination or eligible family member sponsorship, along with a suitable skills assessment, competent English abilities, and a high score on points-based tests.
  • It is important to submit an "EOI" (Expression of Interest) and notify the state or territory as well as the Department of Home Affairs of the type of visa you want to apply for.
  • The applicant needs to provide the supporting documents for the claims made in EOI to apply for a subclass 491 Visa, which are required for evaluation of the application.
  • The processing of your EOI for an Australia subclass 491 visa takes some time, and you must wait until you receive an "invitation to apply".
  • On receiving an “ITA-Invitation to Apply”, you need to prepare, file, and submit your visa application within 60 days with all the required evidence.
  • If you are granted a subclass 491 visa, you will be informed of the 491 visa grant number, the visa starting date, and conditions, if any.

Processing time of Subclass 491 Visa

The processing time for a subclass 491 provisional visa is 6 to 8 months. If any papers are required, the case officer (CO) will contact you within three months. It all depends on how quickly you can submit it in order for your Australia 491 visa to be processed. When your pending 491 visa application is re-entered into the system, you should anticipate the 491 visa being granted in 2-3 months.

Furthermore, the processing time for subclass 491 visa applications is determined on an individual basis; hence, the real 491 visa processing time varies depending on the following factors:

  • Whether you have properly completed and submitted the 491 application online form and filed it with all the required supporting documents.
  • Whether you could obtain extra information on your character (police clearance certificate) or health (medical clearance certificate) from a third party and provide it on time.
  • Your promptness in responding to any clarifications or further information requests.
  • The availability of slots in immigration programs for subclass 491 visas

Australian States or Territories Sponsoring Subclass 491 visa

Below are the Australian States or Territories

  • The Northern Territory (NT)
  • New South Wales (NSW)
  • Queensland (QLD)
  • South Australia (SA)
  • Tasmania (TAS)
  • Victoria (VIC)
  • Western Australia (WA)


The subclass 491 provisional regional visa allows you to reside and work in a specific region of Australia. As a temporary visa, it requires a state or territorial nomination or sponsorship from a qualifying relative. You must have your occupation included on the extensive skilled occupation lists, including those for the specific region, as well as meet all of the other qualifying requirements outlined above.

If you qualify, the Australia 491 skilled regional visa leads to a permanent resident visa subclass 191 visa. It also allows you to reside and work in regional Australia for a period of five years from the day the visa is issued.

Receiving an invitation to apply for a skilled work regional 491 visa requires successfully submitting an EOI and performing well on the points-based exam. Nonetheless, the invitation round for the skilled labour regional (provisional) 491 visa is held once a month and is prioritised by the Department of Home Affairs.

If you wish to settle in regional Australia on a subclass 491 visa, you've come to the correct spot. Simply complete the quick enquiry form and send it to us; we will contact you and schedule a meeting with you.

The application process for an Australia 491 visa is similar to that of other points-based visas in that you must fill out a 491 visa application online form and validate it with the relevant documents. You can seek the assistance of an authorised immigration consultant who can provide you with professional services. At VIAVIFA, we are familiar with the 491 visa procedure and use a methodical and straightforward approach, which increases the probability of obtaining a 491 regional visa. And, we ensure that we work closely and keep a transparent approach with you at every step of the visa process to avoid any mistakes.

To begin with, it is best to schedule a free consultation with one of our specialist immigration consultants, who will assess your situation and advise you on the best skilled visa to apply for. If any difficulties arise, we can identify and resolve them at an early stage.

Some of the aforementioned requirements must be met within the three years prior to submitting the application. If not, we may assist you in organizing them. Our knowledge and experience in the industry have helped us to assist our customers in successfully submitting a subclass 491 visa application, as well as handling any legal proceedings.