Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) | AECC

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) 491 visa

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What is Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) 491 visa?

Australia has emerged as the preferred choice for international migrants, making the Subclass 491 visa a true advantage. The warm embrace extended to immigrants in Australia allows them to enjoy the nation's stunning landscapes. This visa offers an incredible opportunity to work, establish roots, and gain residency in Australia for a duration of 5 years. Continue reading to learn more about its benefits.

The Subclass 491 visa provides an opportunity for skilled workers to reside in a regional area of Australia for a maximum of five years. To be eligible for this visa, individuals must receive an invitation after submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI).


Benefits of the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) 491 visa

  • Residing, working, and studying in Australia for a period of up to five years
  • Including immediate family members in the visa application
  • Pursuing educational opportunities in Australia
  • Having the possibility to transition to permanent residency, provided eligibility criteria are met
  • Nomination or sponsorship is a prerequisite for obtaining this visa. Applicants must either be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or be sponsored by an eligible relative.

State Nomination and Eligibility

  • Be invited to apply:  To apply for the Subclass 491 visa, you must receive an invitation from the Australian government. Start by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect, indicating whether you have an eligible relative sponsoring you or if you seek nomination from a state or territory government agency.
  • Be nominated or sponsored: To be eligible for the Subclass 491 visa, you need to either be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or have an eligible relative willing to sponsor you. Start by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to get an estimated points score. If you score enough points, state and territory government agencies can consider your EOI for nomination. Alternatively, if you indicate in your EOI that you have an eligible relative sponsoring you, the Department may invite you to apply for the visa during an invitation round.
  • Be of eligible age: Applicants must be under the age of 45 to receive an invitation to apply for the visa. However, if you turn 45 after receiving the invitation, you can still proceed with the application. It's important to note that if you turn 45 before receiving the invitation, you will not be invited to apply for the visa.
  • Have a suitable skills assessment: To ensure the validity of your application, it is essential to declare that you possess a suitable skills assessment at the time of invitation. A skills assessment obtained within the 60-day invitation period is now accepted by delegates of the Minister. The skills assessment must have been obtained within three years prior to the invitation date. If the assessment was conducted for a shorter period, that period should not have expired. If your skills assessment was based on a qualification obtained in Australia while holding a student visa, the qualification must be from a CRICOS-registered course.
  • Be able to score 65 points or more: In order to be eligible for a Subclass 491 visa, applicants must go through a points-based system. When submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect, they will receive an indicative score derived from their information. A minimum point level of 65 is needed in order to qualify for an invitation to apply. In some cases, though, an invitation may require a higher points threshold based on what was declared in one's EOI. Therefore, it is essential that all supporting evidence for any given claim is submitted upon delivery of application papers.
  • Meet English language requirements: To be eligible for an invitation, you must possess at least Competent English proficiency level. Additionally, if any family member aged 18 years or older is applying for the visa with you, they must either demonstrate functional English proficiency or pay a second instalment visa application charge.
  • Meet the skills requirement: Your occupation must be on the combined list of eligible skilled occupations for a Skilled Regional (subclass 491) visa.
  • Meet health requirements: You and any family members who apply for the visa with you must meet the health requirements. If requested, family members not accompanying you to Australia might also need to meet the health requirements.
  • Meet character requirement: You and family members aged 16 years and over who apply for the visa with you must meet the character requirements. Family members not accompanying you to Australia must also meet the character requirement.
  • Have paid back your debt to the Australian government.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.
  • Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused. The applicant's immigration history will be taken into consideration during the visa application assessment process. It is important to note that eligibility for the visa may be affected if the applicant has a history of visa cancellations or refusals.

Points Test and Skill Assessment

Points Test:

To assess an individual's eligibility for a Subclass 491 visa, Australia implemented a points-based system. This evaluation process takes into account age, English language skills, educational qualifications, work experience, and any other relevant criteria. By awarding points in these areas it helps to determine whether or not someone has what it takes to contribute to their local economy and effectively settle down in an area outside of metropolitan cities. To be accepted for this visa applicants must meet a minimum threshold of 65 points.

Skill Assessment:

Eligibility for the Subclass 491 visa requires a positive skill assessment from the corresponding assessing authority for an applicant's nominated occupation. This assessment verifies that they have adequate qualifications, skills and experience necessary for work in Australia within their designated vocation. It is worth noting that every profession has its own assessing authority which appraises an individual’s credentials and professional history against the benchmarks established for that line of work. Furthermore, it is crucial that applicants guarantee their assessments are current when filing for the Subclass 491 visa as these skill assessments have a limited expiration date.


Application Process for Visa Subclass 491

Step 1:   Before you apply

  • You must submit an expression of interest (EOI) through SkillSelect.

Step 2:  Gather your documents

You will need to provide documents to support the claims you make in your EOI and show you meet the other visa criteria.

  • Provide accurate information
  • Identity documents
  • Relationship documents
  • Character documents
  • Competent English documents
  • Partner documents
  • Dependants under 18 documents
  • Dependants over 18 documents
  • Skills assessment documents
  • Expression of interest (EOI) documents
  • Sponsor documents
  • Nomination documents

Step 3:  Apply for the visa

When you have your invitation you can apply online. You can be in or outside Australia and you will have 60 days from the date of your invitation to apply for the visa.

  • Provide accurate information
  • Apply for this visa online in ImmiAccount

Step 4: After you apply

The Department of Home Affairs will notify applicants once their application has been received. If a bridging visa is granted, applicants will receive an official notification regarding the visa grant.

Status updates will be provided throughout the application process to keep applicants informed of the progress and any additional information required.

Regarding travel plans after submitting the application, applicants are advised to review any specific instructions or restrictions through their ImmiAccount.

Step 5: Visa outcome

If the visa application is granted, the applicant will receive the following information:

  • Visa Grant Number: The unique identification number assigned to the granted visa.
  • Visa Start Date: The date on which the visa becomes valid and the applicant can start using it.
  • Visa Conditions (if applicable): Any specific conditions or restrictions attached to the granted visa. These conditions must be adhered to by the visa holder.

In the case of visa refusal, the Department will provide the applicant with the following information:

  • Reason for Refusal: The detailed explanation outlining the reasons for the visa refusal.
  • Review Rights: Whether the applicant has the right to request a review of the decision. The available avenues for review will be specified.

It is important to note that if the visa application is refused, the application charge will not be refunded.

Do you find it tiring to arrange all these documents on your own? If you contact AECC, our experts can ease the entire process for you!

Visa Conditions and Duration

The Subclass 491 visa allows individuals and their families to stay in Australia for a duration of up to five years. It is important to note that this visa does not have an extension provision. However, after fulfilling the necessary conditions for three years, individuals who wish to continue living in Australia can apply for a Permanent Residency (PR) visa. This PR visa provides a pathway to obtain permanent residency status. By meeting the required criteria, such as maintaining a regional residence, meeting income thresholds, and complying with visa conditions, individuals can pursue the PR visa option and secure their long-term residency in Australia.

Pathway to Permanent Residency


Once the Subclass 491 visa is granted, the visa holders and their eligible family members can live, work, and study in a regional area of Australia. The visa is valid for up to five years and provides a pathway to permanent residency through the Subclass 191 visa, which is expected to be available from November 2022.

To be eligible for the Subclass 191 visa, visa holders must meet certain requirements, including:

  • Holding a valid Subclass 491 visa for at least three years.
  • Earning a minimum taxable income threshold for three years while holding the Subclass 491 visa.
  • Complying with the conditions of the Subclass 491 visa, including living, working, and studying in a regional area.
  • If the Subclass 191 visa requirements are met, visa holders and their families can apply for permanent residency in Australia. This visa category provides an opportunity for skilled workers and their families to establish their lives in regional areas, contributing to the economic development and growth of those regions.

The Subclass 491 visa is designed to provide a gateway for skilled workers and their families to gain temporary residency status across regional areas of Australia. This visa seeks to bridge any gaps between skill shortages and bolster local development. It allows holders to live, work, and study for a period of five years throughout specified regions within the country. After satisfying the minimum conditions over three years, they can decide whether to apply for Permanent Residency (PR). Although it is important that applicants take into account considerations such as occupation nomination, skills assessment, and state or territory nomination; taking this route provides them with an ideal opportunity to contribute positively towards regional Australia while enjoying all associated advantages from this kind of temporary visa category.


Want to know more about Subclass 491? Contact AECC for expert guidance on your visa journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 491?

The Subclass 491 visa is a regional visa that allows skilled workers and their families to live and work in designated regional areas of

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