Whats Changed in New Skilled Worker Regional Subclass 491 Visa Replacing Subclass 489 Visa?

Whats Changed in New Skilled Worker Regional Subclass 491 Visa Replacing Subclass 489 Visa?

The Australian government has announced some crucial changes in its immigration programs and visa categories in the last few months. Luckily, this time around, most of these changes were positive form the applicants perspective. From November 16, 2019, the DHA (Department of Home Affairs), Australia will introduce two new skilled regional provisional visas, moreover, a new permanent visa pathway will also open from November 2022. Now, talking about the key rule changes, two of them have been the talk of the town for quite some town now, i.e.

  • Changes in Australias Skilled Immigration Points System and
  • Replacement of Subclass 489 visa by new Skilled Regional Subclass 491 visa

Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa is the popular skilled visa under General Skilled Migration(GSM). It is a temporary visa allocated by the Australian government for 4 years. Also, read- Subclass 489 to Subclass 491 Visa- Latest update on the Transitional Arrangements Lets find out more details about the key changes that the new subclass 491 visa will bring: Key features of New Skilled Worker Regional Subclass 491 visaHere are the key changes new Subclass 491 visa shall bring:

  • The new Subclass 491 visa overtakes the Skilled Regional (Provisional) subclass 489 visa.
  • The time frame needed to live and work in regional Australia, to be eligible for PR will rise from 2 years to 3 years (visa validity period will also rise from 4 years to 5 years).
  • Access to a bigger number of eligible occupations (over 500)
  • Priority processing of applications (no detail provided).
  • Rise in extra points awarded for state nomination or family sponsorship (10 to 15),
  • 10 points-for having certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)qualifications
  • 10 points for applicants who do not have a spouse or de facto partner
  • 5 Points-for applicants with a spouse or de facto partner who has competent English
  • Definition of regional Australia will be extended and streamlined to include all areas of Oz except the big cities, i.e. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth. The key change here is that Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast will now be eligible.

What will not change?

  • Candidates need to be nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member living in regional Australia.
  • Candidates will still require meeting the overall points test, age, English language, skills assessment, and character and health requirements.

Who is Eligible to Apply for New 491 visa?

The nomination from State or Territory requirements is likely to remain the same which are in place right now for the 489 visa. However, there are a few things which can improve your chances, i.e.

  • An immediate family member staying in the State or Territory - presently available in Tasmania and South Australia.
  • Graduation or presently working in the relevant Australian states.

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