491 VISA (SKILLED WORK REGIONAL VISA) – PROVISIONAL

As part of the Prime Minister’s announcement on 20 March 2019, two new provisional skilled visas will be introduced to entice skilled migrants to work in Regional Australia, and they will be able to apply for permanent residence after having lived and worked in Regional Australia for 3 years.

The definition of ‘designated regional area’ will be revised from 16 November 2019 to include all of Australia, except the cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Perth.

One of these visas is the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (491) visa. The occupations list for Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa applicants will be expanded to more than 500 occupations, and visa applications will be given priority processing.

General application criteria

Primary applicants for this visa

  • can either
    • apply as an independent applicant, or
    • be nominated
  • by a State or Territory government, or
  • by a family member residing in a designated regional area, and
  • must have lodged an expression of interest (EOI) and have received an invitation to apply , and
  • must submit an application online within the prescribed period, and
  • may be either in or outside Australia at time of application and at time of decision, and
    • if in Australia at time of application, must hold either
      • a substantive visa, or
      • bridging visa A (010), B (020) or C (030), and
    • at time of invitation to apply,
    • must be aged under 45, and
    • must have at least ‘competent English’ ,
    • must nominate a prescribed skilled occupation, which is consistent with that specified in the invitation to apply , and
  • must have received a suitable skills assessment for their occupation, and
  • if the applicant’s qualifications were obtained in Australia whilst on a student visa, the applicant must have studied in a registered course, and
  • must pass the points test,
    • which must be no less than that specified in the invitation to apply,

 

Nomination requirements

Visa applicant can

  • apply as an independent applicant, in which case no nomination requirement would apply,

OR

  • be nominated by a State/Territory government, and
  • the nominating State/Territory has not withdrawn the nomination,
  • An applicant for this visa would need to meet the nomination criteria of the sponsoring State/ Territory, for example
    • Occupations on the State/Territory skilled occupations list,
    • Suitability and transferability of occupation, qualifications and skills to the needs of the State/Territory labour market,
    • Demand for the particular occupation, skill and expertise in the State/Territory,

OR

  • be sponsored by an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, and
  • The sponsor must
    • be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen,
    • be usually resident in a designated regional area,
    • be aged at least 18,
    • be usually resident in a ‘designated regional area’,
    • be related to the main applicant or the partner of the main applicant as a
      • Parent,
      • Child or stepchild [including adopted child, as defined in the Migration Act],
      • Brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, adoptive brother or adoptive sister,
      • Uncle, aunt, step-uncle, step-aunt, adoptive uncle or adoptive aunt,
      • Nephew, niece, step-nephew, step-niece, adoptive nephew or adoptive niece,
      • Grandparent,
      • First cousin, and
    • also sponsor each member of the family of the main applicant who is also applying for this visa, and
  • Following grant of the 491 visa,
  • the 491 visa will be valid for 5 years temporary stay in Australia,
  • the applicant (and any accompanying family member) must all be committed to live, work and study in a designated regional area for 3 years.
  • During this 3 year period, they would not be permitted to apply for the following visas:
    • Distinguished Talent (124 and 858),
    • Business Talent (132),
    • Employer Nomination (186),
    • Business Innovation & Investment (188),
    • Skilled Independent (189),
    • Skilled Nominated (190), and

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