Skilled Work Regional Visa

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) – Subclass 491 visa is a new & enhanced GSM points tested provisional visa which commenced on 16th November 2019. It offers a pathway to Permanent Residence. It was designed to address labour shortages in regional areas of Australia by encouraging greater skilled migration to Regional Australia.

It is for overseas skilled workers, who have been nominated by a state/territory government or sponsored by an eligible relative, to live, work & study in a Designated Regional Area of Australia for 5 years from the date of grant of the visa. The nominated visa applicants must have skills in a particular occupation and other attributes that will contribute to the Australian economy, and must meet all threshold requirements.

Occupational Ceilings do not apply if you are state or territory nominated.

Some criteria to be met by prospective visa applicants are as follows :

  • You must be under 45 years old to apply for this visa.
  • The occupation you nominate must be available on one of the relevant Skilled Occupation Lists, and be exactly related and/or closely related to your work experience.
  • You must satisfy the “Points Test”. Here, the significance of an Australian education cannot be overemphasized enough. A qualification from an Australian educational institution could be highly beneficial when you apply for any General Skilled migration visa because of the extra points that you could score on the “Points Test”, which in turn enhances your chances of being invited to apply for this visa. Added to this is the fact that when you get your skills assessed by a skills assessing authority (which is mandatory for this visa), an Australia qualification is more likely to be recognized as being equivalent to an Australian standard than an overseas qualification. Just an Australian qualification could grant you extra points in each of the following categories :
    1. Any Educational Qualification
    2. Australian Specialist Educational Qualification
    3. Australian Study Qualification
    4. Australian Professional Year Qualification
    5. Study in a Designated Regional Area in Australia

    Each of the above categories have their own eligibility criteria, which can be confusing at times. Contact us to know if you can get extra points for any of the above categories & how you can maximize your points and hence enhance your chances of being invited for this visa.

  • Due to recent changes in the Skilled Migration program –
    1. Spouses/partners of visa applicants can also add to your points in the Points Test, depending on their skills & English Language proficiency.
    2. You can also get extra points if you are single or if you are married to an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Visa applicants must note the fact that merely passing the points test is no guarantee that you will be invited to apply for this visa. Contact us to know your chances of getting an invitation for this visa.
  • You must have your skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation. Please note that skills assessing authorities have their own criteria, which is distinct from the DHA criteria. The assessing authority must positively assess that your skills are suitable for your nominated occupation. It is only then that you can move to the next step of your visa application process.
  • You must lodge an application for state/territory nomination or be sponsored by an eligible relative, satisfy all eligibility requirements set by the relevant state/territory & be successfully nominated for this visa by that state or territory government. All state/territory governments have their own criteria for deciding who they will nominate. The Department will only invite you to apply for this visa if you are nominated by a State/Territory government or have been sponsored by an eligible relative.
  • You must file an “Expression of Interest (EOI)” to let the Department know that you wish to apply for this visa.
  • You must be INVITED to apply for this visa.
  • You & some of your family members must meet the English Language Requirement.
  • You & your family members must meet the Health Requirement.
  • You & your family members must meet the Character Requirement.
  • Eligible family members can be included in your visa application or can apply subsequently upon you being granted a visa.
  • Eligible family members you include in your visa application must meet the Secondary criteria for this visa.
  • You can apply while you are in or outside Australia. If you are in Australia, you must be the holder of a Substantive visa or a Bridging visa.
  • You must live, work and study only in specified regional areas of Australia.

Some of the Rights of Subclass 491 visa holders are as follows :

  • They can work in ANY occupation & for any employer as long as you satisfy the work & residence conditions attached to this visa
  • They can work in specified Regional Areas of Australia
  • They can bring eligible family members with them to Australia. Eligible family members can work & study
  • They can stay in Australia for a period of 5 years from the date of grant of the visa
  • They can travel to & from Australia as many times as they want while their visa is valid
  • They are afforded the same workplace rights as Australian workers
  • If eligible, you may apply for a Permanent Residence visa

In our almost 20 years of providing immigration assistance for Australian migration prospects, we have observed innumerable instances of the “Department of Home Affairs (DHA)” website being used as the primary source of providing immigration advice to prospective clients. Persons interested in migrating to Australia must note that the DHA website is useful in that it contains a great deal of explanatory material about visas. However, it does not distinguish between legislation & formal policy. There are critical factors relevant to each visa which can only be found in legislation. At times, even some basic relevant factors can be absent on the DHA website & your reliance on it to file a visa application can seriously jeopardize your chances of success. Experienced legal expertise in ever-changing Australian migration law is a prerequisite to succeeding in your migration goals.

Contact us to –

  • Determine your eligibility
  • Understand the laws & policy applicable to your situation
  • Prepare & submit a decision-ready application
  • Meet your migration goals