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Do You Qualify For The New Skilled Regional Australia Visas?

Do You Qualify For The New Skilled Regional Australia Visas?
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Please note that the Australian immigration law is updated regularly and that YouEnrol is not authorised to provide immigration assistance. It is our priority to ensure that our blog posts and articles are kept up-to-date and we will continue to work on it to make sure you are given the right information. If you have any questions please contact us at [email protected] and we will be happy to help you with more information or to connect you with a migration agent if needed. You can also visit the Department of Home Affairs website for more information.

In a recent development, the Department of Home Affairs announced that it will introduce two new skilled regional provisional visas effective from 16th November 2019.

These new visas will serve as a pathway to getting permanent residence through the subclass 191 visa from November 2022.

The two new visas are the subclass 491 and 494. The 491 visa supersedes the 489 visa while the 494 supersedes the 187 visa.

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa:

What has changed?

  • Supersedes the SkIlled Regional (Provisional) subclass 489 visa
  • To be eligible for permanent residency, applicants will need to live and work in regional Australia for a period of three years. This has increased from two years.
  • The visa will now be valid for a period of five years. It used to be four years.
  • The number of eligible occupations has now increased to 500
  • Introduction of priority processing of applications
  • Applicants now get 15 points for state nomination of family sponsorship. This used to be 10 points. Points for partner skills is now 10 points instead of 5 points. Points for selected STEM occupations increased from 5 to 10 points. Unmarried applicants or those without defacto partners now get an extra 10 points.
  • The meaning of regional Australia has been simplified and expanded to include all areas of Australia excluding metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth. This means that now Newcastle, Wollongong and Central Coast in New South Wales are now eligible areas.

What remains the same?

  • Applicants will still need to be nominated by a State or Territory government or they must be sponsored by an eligible family member that resides in regional Australia.
  • The requirements for points test, age, English language, skills assessment, character and health are still the same.

Am I eligible for the new 491 visa?

You still need to meet the nomination requirements for the different State and Territories.

Although there are some variations between these requirements, you can increase your chances of being eligible by the following:

  • Be a graduate of one of the institutions in the relevant State or Territory. This is currently applicable in South Australia, Tasmania, ACT (PhD), Northern Territory, Western Australia, and Queensland (Masters or PhD).
  • Be currently employed in the relevant State or Territory. This is applicable in South Australia, Tasmania, ACT, Northern Territory, Victoria, and Queensland.
  • You must have an immediate family member that lives in the relevant State or Territory. This is applicable in South Australia and Tasmania.

One important thing to note under this new visa rule is that applicants will now need to wait longer to get permanent residency.

So it might be a good idea that if you are currently eligible for the 489 visa, you should think about applying now before the new 491 visa kicks in.

To be eligible for permanent residency, applicants will need to live and work in regional Australia for a period of three years. This has increased from two years.

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) subclass 494 visa:

What has changed?

  • It supersedes the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Permanent) subclass 187 visa.
  • It is no longer a direct permanent residence visa. It is now a provisional visa which requires applicants to first live and work in regional Australia for a period of three years before they can be eligible.
  • It has two visa streams, which are – Employer Sponsored and Labour Agreement.
  • There are more eligible occupations under this visa – about 700.
  • Introduction of priority processing of applications
  • The meaning of regional Australia has been simplified and expanded to include all areas of Australia excluding metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth. This means that now Newcastle, Wollongong and Central Coast in New South Wales are now eligible areas

What remains the same?

  • Applicants will still need to be nominated by an employer based in regional Australia.
  • The requirements for points test, age, English language, skills assessment, character and health are still the same.

Am I eligible for the new 494 visa?

The important issue here is that applicants need to get an employer based in regional Australia that is willing to employ them for three years and also able to act as a sponsor for the purpose of migration.

It is the employer’s responsibility to submit the application and initial advice from a Regional Certifying Body is still required.

The meaning of regional Australia has been simplified and expanded to include all areas of Australia excluding metropolitan areas

The Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) subclass 191 visa:


This is a new visa that can be obtained via pathways from the 491 or 494 visas. It is similar in the way it operates to the Skilled Regional visa (subclass 887).

The visa will take effect from November 2022 as a pathway from the 491 and 494 visas, which is when those visa holders will be able to start applying for permanent residence.

Am I eligible for the 191 visa?

To be eligible for this visa, you will need to have the provisional 491 of 494 visas. You also need to be able to show that you have lived and worked in regional Australia for a minimum of three tears.

The subclass 191 visa is a new visa that can be obtained via pathways from the 491 or 494 visas.

YouEnrol is also able to help and advise you further on steps you can take to achieve your study and career goals as an international student in Australia.

Do not hesitate to book an appointment with us for a free no obligation discussion where we help you to get started on your journey to studying in Australia the right way.

Request A Free, No Obligation Consultation

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