The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 491 allows nominated skilled workers and their families who are eligible to work, study and live in regional areas of Australia that are designated. This provisional visa allows applicants to stay in Australia for 5 years and must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government or a family member from one of the regional areas in Australia should sponsor them.
The visa subclass 491 holders can apply for a permanent residency visa once they complete 3 years of stay in Australia. The subclass 491 visa has replaced the 489 visa and was introduced on November 16, 2019. It is crucial to know the 491 visa requirements before you apply.
Requirements for visa subclass 491
1. Get invitation to apply
To apply for this visa, you must get an invitation to submit EOI (expression of interest) through SkillSelect to let the authorities know that you intend to get a 491 visa.
You should also let the government know if you have an eligible relative who is ready to sponsor you or if you intend to be nominated by a state or territory government agency.
2. Get nomination or sponsorship
- Submitting an Expression of Interest would enable you to get an estimate of the points you get. When you score high points, your EOI will get noticed by state and territory government agencies and you might get nominated.
- If you state in your EOI that you will get sponsorship from an eligible relative, you may get an invitation from the department to apply for the visa.
When you get a nomination for the visa, you will be invited for a visa application. Every state and territory government agency has their own set of rules to nominate the applicants. To know more about the nomination process, you should contact the state or territory agency directly.
3. Age requirements
Your age should be within 45 years to get an invitation for the visa. Even if you turn 45, you can still lodge a visa application after receiving the invitation. If you attain the age of 45 after submitting EOI but prior to receiving an invitation, you will not be invited.
4. Positive skill assessment
Having a suitable skills assessment at the time of invitation is mandatory for your application to be valid. A copy of the skill assessment must be provided at the time of lodging the visa subclass 491 application.
The following things are accepted as proof of skill assessment for medical and legal practitioners.
- General medical registration (full or unconditional) issued by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
- Specialist registration (conditional) issued by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency which allows someone to practice in their specialty.
- Permission to practice law in the state or territory that is applicable
You must get a skill assessment done immediately before 3 years from your invitation date. For assessments which are of shorter duration, the validity must not have expired.
Skills which are assessed on the basis of qualifications earned in Australia with student visa, make sure the course is registered with CRICOS.
5. Points test
Since 491 visa is a point based visa, you will be given points when you submit EOI through SkillSelect based on the information you have provided. If you score less than 65 points, you will not get an invitation for applying for the visa.
When you receive an invitation to apply for the visa and when the application is assessed for visa approval, the number of points required is mentioned in the invitation. Sometimes the required score may be more than 65 based on your declaration in the Expression of Interest. All your declarations must be supported by evidence when you lodge your visa application.
6. English language skills
You must qualify in Competent English or equivalent.
You must score at least 6 in each module of the IELTS. Other equivalent English language tests are also accepted such as TOEFL IBT, OET, PTE and CAE.
Make sure that at the time of submission of the visa nomination application, the result of the English test is valid for at least 12 weeks. However, citizens of the UK, USA, Canada, NZ and Republic of Ireland are not required to prove English language skills.
7. Occupation requirements
Your profession must be enlisted in the eligible skilled occupations list.
8. Health requirements
You and your family members whether they are accompanying you or not must meet the health requirements.
You must not suffer from any disease or medical condition that:
- involves considerable healthcare service expenditure to the Australian population
- limits Australian citizens and permanent residents from accessing healthcare and community services that are not readily available
The reports of the health examinations are verified by MOC (Medical Officer of the Commonwealth)
9. Character requirements
The character requirements must be met by you and your family members (aged 16 years or more) who apply for visa subclass 491 and also by members not travelling to Australia. You must possess a good character for staying in Australia.
You may need to provide:
- Police certificate
- Military certificate
- Form 80 personal details for assessing character
- Character statutory declaration
- Letter of good conduct issued by an employer
You may not succeed in character test if you have criminal record, have escaped from immigration detention, committed offense, associated with a criminal group and trafficking.
10. Repay debt to the Australian government
Any debt to the Australian government must be paid back by you and your family members.
11. Signature on Australian values statement
If you are aged 18 or more, you must read about Life in Australia and confirm that you will respect it and abide by Australian laws when signing the Australian Values Statement.
12. No previous record of visa cancellation or refusal
Your 491 visa may not be granted if your visa was cancelled or refused earlier when you were in Australia.
Get in touch with Migration Agent Perth if you require any assistance or if you have any query. They are specialized and experienced when it comes to immigration laws and can provide superior service.