Visa 491 allows visa holders to stay in Australia for 5 years from the date of grant of your visa; live, work and study in a designated region of Australia; travel to and from Australia as many times as you want, while the visa is valid and apply for permanent residence, if eligible, through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) – which commences on 16 November 2022.
For applicants to be eligible for 491 visa they need to;
- be nominated to apply by a state or territory government agency, or an eligible relative must sponsor you
- have an occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list
- have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
- be invited to apply
- satisfy the points test
Benefits of Applying for a 491 visa
So, what are the benefits of applying for a 491 visa you might ask? This visa replaces the previous 489 visa and has some changes namely the residency and employment requirements for applicants to transition to a 191 visa. The Australian migration pathway is always changing especially with the government prioritising regional visas.
As many readers will be aware that the 189 and 190 pathways have become tougher with only limited spaces available for this visa stream. Furthermore, with many applicants being on high points the chances for one waiting for an extended period of time to be invited is significantly higher. Also, there is possibility that you may never be invited. It might also make financial sense to apply for the 491 visa then to apply for a student visa or other temporary visas.
As previously mentioned, the visa is a pathway for you to apply for a permanent visa. After 3 years of meeting certain requirements you can then apply for a permanent visa.
491 visa applications are given higher priority in terms of processing times so that the possibility of your visa being granted quickly is really high. Please visit the Immigration website for current processing times.
Common questions about 491 visa
What are the conditions of 491 visa?
- The visa holder lives and works in a regional area for the three-year period
- Ability to move between regional areas during the duration of the three-year period
- Must earn an annual salary and taxable income of $53,900 per annum for the three-year period to be eligible to apply for 191 visa
Do I get Government Benefits?
Yes, some of the benefits are access to Medicare, access to free government education and waiting time for other social benefits start from the day of the 491 visa grant.
Do I need to work in my nominated occupation after the visa 491 grant?
No, you can work in any occupation. Keep in mind you will need to have earned $53,900 for 3 years in order to meet the requirements for the permanent 191 Visa.
To start your journey towards a 491 visa you might need to relocate to a regional area and meet the nominating state’s requirements and eligibility criteria. Contact our team of expert migration agents to find out your suitability as we have helped many applicants apply for this visa and set them towards the path for a permanent visa to Australia.