Recently for PR in Australia immigration process, Subclass 491, a newly launched Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa has replaced the Skilled Regional visa (Subclass 489).
On 16th November 2019, a new Subclass 491 visa has been introduced by the Australian Department of Home Affairs that allows the skilled workers to live and work in the Australian regional areas and later they can apply for Permanent Residency (PR).
Many might not know that Australian regional area consists of the whole of Australia other than Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
What are the Benefits of 491 Visa?
As a point tested visa, Subclass 491 offers you several benefits. With this visa-
- You are eligible to stay in Australia for up to 5 years.
- You can stay and work in any regional or designated area of Australia.
- You can travel multiple times to and from Australia until the validity of the Subclass 491 visa.
- You can also include your family members in the visa application.
- If you are eligible, you can further transit to permanent residency in Australia.
- The Australian government provides incentives to the new immigrants to stay longer in the Australian regional or designated areas.
- Applicants of 491 visas get more points in comparison to other visa holders.
What are the Requirements to Apply for 491 Visa?
To be eligible for Subclass 491, you are required to-
- Have your age between 18 and 45.
- Must have a positive suitable skill Assessment at the time of your invitation for an occupation listed on the state or regional list.
- Fulfil good health and character requirements.
- To be either nominated by the Australian government or your eligible family members or relatives will sponsor you.
- Score minimum of 65 points in the skilled migration test.
- Have a competency level English skills or higher (minimum 6 points in IELTS).
- Not have any visa cancelled or prior application refused.
- Payback your debt to the Australian government, if you or your family members have owned any money from the government.
Steps for Application Process
Step#1. The visa application process starts by submitting the Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect to the Australian government to let them know that you are interested in applying for Subclass 491.
Step#2. After submitting your EOI, it will be stored in SkillSelect and is valid for two years.
Step#3. You also need to gather all the required documents to favour the claim made by you in EOI.
Step#4. Later, you’ll receive an invitation to apply if you are granted the 65 points or above. After that, you can start your application. You’ll have only 60 days to apply which will be started from the date of your invitation.
Step#5. Once you have completed all the necessary application process, you will get a notification of your received application. Also, government officials will notify you if you are granted your visa.
What is the Processing Time and Fees for 491 Visa?
Well, there is no standard processing time defined for Subclass 491 visa. However, it depends on how fast you complete all the processes of visa application.
Additionally, there is no cost associated for Expression of Interest (EOI). However, for the main application, you need to shell out AUD 4,045.
What Happened to the Existing 489 Visa Holders?
If residents are having 489 visas or who have lodged for 489 visas before 16th November 2019, they can continue their PR pathway journey via Subclass 887.
Finally, once you get the Subclass 491 visa, it will remain for three years after which you’ll be eligible to apply for Australian Permanent Residency (PR) status.