How to immigrate to Australia through subclass 491 Visa?
The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 491 is a key pathway to Australia and a part of Australia's most popular General Skilled Migration program. It is points-tested skilled visa that allow skilled foreign workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia for up to 5 years.
It's popular among applicants who are interested in migrating to any regional area of Australia and have either a State or Territory government nomination or a sponsorship from a relative who is living in regional Australia as a PR holder or a citizen.
The Subclass 491 is a temporary visa designed to help employers in regional Australia recruit and retain immigrants with required skills in high demand occupations as per Australia's labour market needs
As a Visa Subclass 491 holder:
- You can live, work and study in any designated regional area of Australia with your family members for up to 5 years
- Sponsor your parents, grandparents, sibling (brother or sister), aunt and uncle are other eligible relatives for Australia PR
- You can qualify to apply for Australia PR Visa after completing 3 years through Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191), which is expected to commence after 16 November 2022
- You get an access to over 500 new occupations
- You can travel to and from Australia multiple times until the visa is valid
- You can enroll for Medicare
Visa Subclass 491- Eligibility Criteria
In order to qualify and apply under Visa Subclass 491, you must:
- Submit an EOI via Skill Select
- Nominate occupation mentioned under regional SOL (skilled occupation list)
- Have a suitable skills assessment done for your nominated occupation
- Score minimum points, i.e. 65 currently
- Age below 45 years at the time of invitation
- Have at least competent level of English at the time of invitation
- Get a nomination from a state or territory government or sponsorship from a relative living in designated regional area
- Get an invitation to apply by Department of Home Affairs (DHA)
- Meet Australia's health and character requirements
- You and your dependents must prove your commitment towards living, working and studying in a designated regional area of Australia
Nomination or Sponsorship Obligations
For State or Territory Government Nomination, each State & Territory Government in Australia has an occupation list in areas where they have shortage of skilled labor. The requirements are specific and are different from DHA's requirements in terms of work experience, English language ability and specialized skills. Therefore, it is important for you to confirm State/Territory criteria before submitting your application.
While, for applicants under family sponsored pathway can nominate occupations under MLTSSL and the sponsor has to be a resident of Australia who is living in a designated regional area. Also, a sponsor must age at least 18 years, be an Australian citizen, PR holder, or an eligible citizen of New Zealand and be an eligible relative like, parents, children, nephew/niece, siblings, grandparents, etc.
Application Process for Australia immigration through Visa Subclass 491
Step 1- Get your skills assessment done by a regulatory body, so that the DHA can be sure about your skill level in the nominated occupation at the time of invitation. Your skills assessment must be done within past 3 years before the date of invitation, otherwise DHA will not accept your skills assessment.
Step 2- Satisfy points requirement and obtain minimum 65 points or above on the points test to qualify for this visa, otherwise you'll not qualify to submit the EOI.
Step 3- Submit an expression of interest (EOI) before you apply through Skill Select from within or outside Australia to let the DHA know you want to apply for visa subclass 491. If you satisfy the point requirement, a state or territory government will nominate you for this visa and send you an invitation to apply.
Step 4- If you score enough points as per the individual skill select invitation round and there are visa places allocated for your nominated occupation, the DHA may invite you to apply.
Step 5: Receive an invitation to apply for visa and submit your complete and final visa application within 60 calendar days. Please note, receiving an invitation to apply does not mean that you are guaranteed above visa approval.
Step 6- Apply for the visa and prove that you can meet the points requirement on your invitation, which include proving the claims you have made in your EOI and can meet all other eligibility requirements of visa subclass 491
Step 7- Gather all the supporting documents as an evidence of all the claims you made in your EOI and show that you meet the criteria. Documents include, Identity documents, Relationship documents, Character documents, Skills Assessment Report, Expression of interest (EOI) documents, sponsorship documents (if applicable), Nomination documents (if nominated), translated copies of non-English documents, declaration Form, employment offer (if any) , English language test result, etc.
Step 8- Apply for the visa online in Immi Account along with your documents and visa application charges.
Step 9- Wait for visa outcome no matter whether you are in or outside Australia, once DHA takes a decision on your visa application, they'll inform you in writing. If your visa is granted, the DHA will provide you a visa grant number, date your visa starts and visa conditions (if any).
Transition to a permanent visa
If you have resided in Australia as a Subclass 491 Visa holder for up to 3 years, then you can qualify to apply for Australia PR Visa through Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 Visa, which will commence from November 2022.
In order to applying for PR visa, you must:
- Live in regional Australia for minimum 3 years as a Visa 491 holder
- Been employed for minimum 3 years in regional Australia
- Show earnings of minimum $ 53,900 for past 3 years in regional area of Australia
- Meet all the visa conditions & obligations
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