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August 24, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About the 491 Visa for Australia: Eligibility, How to Apply, and Key Benefits

One of the ways for skilled international students to approach permanent residency in Australia is by securing a skilled work regional (Provisional) visa or the 491 visa. There are two types of skilled work regional (Provisional) visa, one is for the Main applicant and the other is for a Subsequent entrant. As the name suggests the main applicant is a skilled worker who wants to live and work in regional Australia and the latter is a member of the family unit of someone who holds a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491). 

So, this visa allows skilled workers as well as their family members to reside in the regional areas of Australia to study, live and work.  491 visa holders can apply for a PR after three years from the visa grant date.

What are the eligibility criteria for the 491 Visa?

Given below are the eligibility criteria for the 491 skilled work regional visa: –

  1. The visa holders can be nominated by either state government agencies or territory government agencies.
  2. Visa holders can apply for the 491 visas under the sponsorship of an eligible relative.
  3. Skilled personnel that have a relevant occupation that is mentioned on the skilled occupation list
  4. People who have a successful skills assessment for relevant job roles
  5. Visa holders that score more than 65 points.
  6. Applicants who are proficient in English and have scored well in IELTS or any other language proficiency exams.
  7. Visa holders who meet the health as well as character requirements.
  8. Applicants who do not owe any kind of monetary debt to the Australian government.
  9. Applicants who have a zero history of visa cancellation or a record of past application refusal. 

How to apply for the 491 regional visas?

  1.   Applicants need to ensure that they are equipped with the following mandatory requirements before they start their application process: –
  • Email response as well as an invitation for Expression of Interest submission.
  • Belonging to the age group of 18-45 years.
  • English proficiency test results.
  • Nomination from either a relative, Australian state or territory government agency  
  • Submission of Expression of interest.
  • Good character and Certification of health.
  • A minimum point of 65.
  1.   The following documents are required based on age groups as well as sponsorships: –
  • For applicants with a sponsor: –
    • Permanent residency proof
    • Declaration by the sponsor
    • Proof of age or Birth Certificate
    • Eligible proof of relative.
  • For applicants within the age group of 18-25: –
    • Proof of age or Birth certificate
    • Passport
    • Financial Dependency proof
    • Adoption Papers (if required)
  • For applicants who are dependent either financially or due to health issues and belong to the age group above 23 and for the 491 family-sponsored visa requirements: –
    • Proof of education
    • Qualifications
    • Employment records in Australia
    • Skill Assessment
    • Regional Australian study
    • Language Assessment
    • Skill and Language assessment of partner (If applicable)
  1.   The following documents are required for Expression of Interest: –
  • Language Assessment
  • Skilled Employment as per Australian standards
  • Skill Assessment
  • Educational Qualifications as per Australian Standards
  • Study regional skills
  • Specialist Education
  • Partner skills
  • Records of work experience in Australia
  1.   Applicants need to ensure that their occupation is on the list of skilled occupations. The list of skilled occupations plays a crucial part in determining the sanctioning of the 491 visas.
  2.   A skill assessment test needs to be conducted by relevant authorities to ensure whether a candidate fits the requirements.
  3.   It is essential for all applicants to score a point of 65 or above.
  4.   Applicants need to submit their EOI to the Australian Department of Home Affairs. After this, the department will thoroughly analyze the documents sent in by the applicants along with their points.
  5.   The Department of home affairs accepts the application after accepting the Expression of interest. Applicants need to submit all their documents within two months or 60 days to ensure a smooth process.
  6.   Applicants can then pay the charges and submit their documents after their application is completed through Immi Account.

What does the 491 Visa offer to its holders?

  • The 491 visa is initially a skilled work regional provisional visa subclass 491 which offers its holders a chance to reside as well as work in regional Australia for 3 – 5 years.
  • The visa holder will be allowed to live, work and study in areas that are designated to them according to their visa conditions by Australian authorities.
  • Under this visa, all designated regional areas of Australia apart from metropolitan and urban areas like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are considered for skilled worker migration.
  • Visa holders can apply for any job or choose to work under any employer as long as the residence conditions of the visa are met.
  • It allows its holder several travel rights. Thus, they can travel to and from Australia according to their wishes and as long as their visa is valid.
  • Holders can also apply for permanent residency through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191)three to four years after their visa has been granted.

What are the expenses involved with the application process for the skilled work regional visa 491?

The main applicant for the regional visa 491 will be charged AUD 4,640.00. Additionally, there will be a fee for each family member applying for the visa along with you.

For any applicant aged 18 or older with less than functional English, there might be an additional charge known as the second instalment charge, which amounts to AUD 4,890. This charge is only payable upon request, and it is levied if the visa is going to be granted.

To determine the total cost of your visa, you can use the Visa Pricing Estimator. However, please note that the estimator does not factor in the second instalment charge or other expenses such as health checks, police certificates, and biometrics, which may also apply.

Thus, securing a 491 visa can be of immense help for international students planning to reside in Australia after their higher education. If you require more information regarding educational options or PR, contact a reliable education consultant. It can be difficult and overwhelming to match all processes related to applying for a visa and get all things done in a timely manner. Our Australia migration agents will help make your journey to Australia easier and add value to your experience. They will be able to assess your current situation and provide you with an authentic plan to pursue your dreams to study and make a living in regional Australia.