491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

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Project Introduction

From 16th November, 2019, the Skilled Regional Visa (subclass 489) was officially replaced by the new Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491). The 491 visa is similar to the original 489 visa and is a temporary visa valid for 5 years.

After the 491 visa application is successful, the holder and his family need to live, work and study in remote areas for at least three years. During the working period, the annual working income is required to be no less than the minimum tax standard, which is currently AUD 53,900 (data on 16th November, 2019), and then you can apply for a 191 permanent residence visa (will be online on 16th November, 2022).

The definition of remote areas in Australia is broad, and most areas are remote areas. After the introduction of the new 491 visa, the definition of remote areas has been simplified, that is, all other Australian areas except QLD Brisbane, VIC Melbourne and NSW Sydney belong to “remote areas” under this new definition.

Project Advantages

Can apply for permanent residency after living in remote areas of Australia for 3 years within 5 years and working to meet the working income
Suitable for applicants whose language, work experience and other factors do not reach the EOI score of 190 state-sponsored skilled immigrants
The following types of family members can be included in the application: spouse, de facto and same-sex partners, and dependent children. Other dependent family members: such as a financially dependent parent who lives with you
Freedom to work, work in any occupation and with any employer that meets the work and residency conditions attached to the visa
Enjoy a wide range of basic Australian benefits

Application requirements

You can only apply for this visa if you are invited. Submit an expression of interest (EOI) to let us know you would like to apply for the visa. After you have submitted an EOI, you will be ranked against other intending applicants and might be invited to apply for the visa.
You must be either nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or indicate that you will be sponsored by an eligible relative. See below for more information. Submit an expression of interest (EOI) for the visa to get an estimate of your points score. If you score enough points, state and territory government agencies can see your EOI and might nominate you for the visa. If you indicate in your EOI that you will be sponsored by an eligible relative the Department may invite you to apply for a visa in an invitation round.
For your application to be valid, you must declare that you have a suitable skills assessment at the time of invitation. You will need to provide a copy of this skills assessment with your application. Your skills assessment must have been obtained in the 3 years before the date of your invitation. If the assessment was for a shorter period, that period must not have passed. If your skills were assessed on the basis of a qualification you got in Australia when you held a student visa, the qualification must be from studying a course registered on CRICOS.
You must be aged under 45 when we invite you to apply for the visa. You can still apply for the visa if you turn 45 after we invite you to apply. If you turn 45 after you submit your EOI but before we invite you to apply, you will not be invited to apply.
When you submit your EOI in SkillSelect, you will be given an indicative points score based on the claims you have made. If you do not obtain a score of 65 points you will not be invited to apply for this visa. Your invitation will state the number of points that you must score when assessing your application for grant of the visa (this score may be higher than 65 points, depending on your claims in the EOI).
At the time of invitation, you must have at least competent English.
Your occupation must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
You and any family who apply for the visa with you must meet our health requirement. If requested, family members not accompanying you to Australia might also need to meet our health requirement.
You and family members aged 16 years and over who apply for the visa with you must meet our character requirement. Family members not accompanying you to Australia must also meet the character requirement.
If you or any family members (including those who do not apply for the visa with you) owe the Australian Government money, you or they must have paid it back or arranged to pay it back.
If you are 18 years of age or older, you must: have read, or had explained to you, the Life in Australia booklet and confirm you will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws when you sign or accept the Australian Values Statement.
You might not be eligible for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia.

Application Process

Before submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI), ensure that you have undertaken a positive skills assessment and qualify for the Skills Migration Program by taking a "score test".
Submitting an Expression of Interest: To apply for subclass 491, you will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect.
Receive a state nomination: The state or territory must approve a regional nomination in order to receive an invitation letter.
Applying for a visa: After receiving a visa invitation from DIBP, you will have 60 days to submit a visa application. No invitation means ineligible to apply.