The 491 visa, which is the new points-based visa introduced by Australia replacing 489 visa, is part of the changes that are set to take place in Australia migration in the coming few months.
Introduction of 491 visa: Phases
The new 491 visa was introduced replacing the 489 visa, which was phased out in November 2019. September 10, 2019, was the last day for the States and Territory governments in Australia to nominate and issue invitations to applicants for the Subclass 489 visa. The applicants invited to apply for a Subclass 489 visa were given time to submit the applications till 15th November 2019. From 16th November 2019 onwards, applicants are allowed to lodge Expressions of Interest for the new Subclass 491 visa. From this date, state and territory governments are allowed to nominate and issue invitations for 491 visa.
Who are eligible for 491 visa?
The 491 visa, a points-tested visa, aims to promote migration to the regional areas of Australia. Those with an eligible skilled occupation, nominated by a state or territory or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area may apply for 491 visa. These requirements are similar to the older 489 visa. By regional areas, it means all of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Relevant features of 491 visa
The 491 visa allows eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in the designated regional areas of Australia for a period of five years. After three years, 491 visa holders may apply for the Australian Permanent Residence visa.
The applicants interested in obtaining a 491 visa must first submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) in SkillSelect. They must either be nominated by an Australian state or territory or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area. Those who are found to be eligible will be invited to apply for the 491 visa.
To be eligible to apply for 491 visa, a person must have:
- A relevant occupation on a skilled occupation list
- A suitable skills assessment done for the occupation
- Pass the points test
- Age below 45 years
- Sufficient level of English language proficiency
- Submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect
- Be nominated by a state or territory government or sponsored by an eligible relative
- Meet the health and character requirements for Australia migration.
Regional migration is likely to take centre stage in Australia in the coming years and the government is taking several concrete steps to promote the same. To make the most of this opportunity, make sure that you meet all the requirements for Australia regional migration. Start your journey by getting advice from the expert Australia migration consultants of CanApprove Immigration Consultancy.