Skilled Work Regional- 491 Visa (provisional)
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The skilled work regional subclass 491 visa is a provisional visa that replaced the subclass 489 visa on 16 November 2019. Very similar to a subclass 489 visa, the subclass 491 visa is for applicants who are sponsored by a designated regional area within an Australian state or territory; or sponsored by an eligible family member in the designated regional area.
This subclass 491 visa allows skilled and qualified workers and their families to live, work and study in Australia's designated regional areas for up to five years. After completing three years, the visa holder will be eligible to apply for the permanent visa.
To apply for this visa the main applicant must at time of application achieve the pass mark on a points test (see below), be under 45 years, meet English language criteria and have a positive skill assessment test.
WHAT ARE THE PROVISIONS IMPOSED ON 491 VISA?
The following provisions have been levied:
- Visa holders should only live, work, and study in or move between any designated regional area. **
- Holders of a subclass 491 visa will have limitations on applying for any other visa in Australia, except the Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)). This can only be applied for once the applicant has completed three years in a designated regional area (unless exceptional circumstances apply).
**Regional areas are described as ALL areas except for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Visa holders can work in any occupation and will comply with the conditions of employment and residency attached to their visa.
what are the skilled migration changes?
There were changes to the skilled migration points test from 16 November, 2019.
Additional points are available to help enable applicants to achieve the pass mark more easily for this visa. These changes are as follows:
- 15 points for nomination by a State or Territory government office or sponsorship by a family member living in Australia's regional area.
- 10 points for Masters or PhD in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
- 10 points for a skilled spouse or de facto partner. In this case, your partner has to be below 45 years of age, possess a positive skill assessment, and demonstrates competent English.
- 10 points for an applicant who is single or has a de facto partner, or has a spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- 5 points for a partner who can demonstrate ‘Competent English’. In this particular case, the partner can be over 45 years and does not need to work in a skilled occupation.
The amended points method will apply to all skilled migration visas.
WHAT IS THE RANKING SYSTEM TO APPLY FOR A 491 VISA?
Applicants are prioritised through a ranking system for this visa. There are three rankings allotted for an invitation to apply for skilled work regional visa. The first rank is for an applicant with a skilled partner or without a partner. Second rank is for an applicant who does not qualify for skilled partner points but has competent English. The third rank is for an applicant with a partner who has neither competent English nor skilled partner points.
what happens to 489 visa holders and those who applied for 489 visa before 491 visa introduction?
All the current 489 visa holders and those who have applied for 489 visa before the introduction of 491 visa will have a PR pathway through 887 visa.
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