The regional 491 visa is a provisional visa and is aimed at skilled workers and their families who wish to live, work and study in Regional Australia for 5 years.
As the holder of the regional 491 visa, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence visa after three years.
491 visa requirements
Applicants for this visa must be nominated by:
• A government agency of an Australian state or territory or,
• Be sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area and invited to apply for the visa, upon submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) on SkillSelect.
• You must be under 45 years of age.
• You must have a qualifying occupation on the Australian In-Demand Occupation List (MLTSSL).
• You must have a competent level of English.
• You must have a positive skills assessment relevant to your nominated occupation (accreditation)
• Obtain the minimum score (65 points) in the eligibility test at the time of the invitation.
• You must meet medical and character requirements.
491 visa processing time
There are no standard processing times available for this visa, as the Department of Home Affairs evaluates each application, so processing times may vary depending on the case:
• If you submit a complete application, including all supporting documents.
• If you respond to any request for additional information quickly.
• The time it takes for the necessary checks on the supporting information provided.
• The time it takes to receive additional information from outside agencies with health, character, and national security requirements.
491 visa fees
The cost of this visa is $4,045 AUD for main applicants. If a family member is included, an additional fee may be paid for any applicant over 18 years of age who has a less functional level of English. This charge is called a second payment and has a cost of $4,890 AUD
You will also have to consider other types of expenses such as health checks, police certificates and biometrics data.
491 visa checklist
Here is a subclass 491 checklist of the documents that you should attach with your application:
• Identity documents (passport).
• Skills assessment report.
• English language test results.
• Qualified employment documents.
• 2 passport-size colour photos.
• Documents to prove your academic degree.
• Documents to demonstrate the Australian study requirement and that you studied in a regional area of Australia (if applicable).
• Documents to prove your partner’s qualification, skills and command of the English language.
• Relationship documents.
• Sponsor documents.
• Documents of expression of interest (EOI).
• Documents to prove your marital status
• Certificate of character issued by the police.
• Health screening.
• Letters of reference from your employers.
• Any other document requested by the Australian authorities.
• All documents required for the 491 visa must be in English or their translations must be attached. The documents you send must be certified copies of the original documents.
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family sponsored visa 491 requirements
You and all members of your household who are also visa holders will need to live and work in a designated regional area of Australia.
Please note that for family sponsorship for the regional 491 visa in Australia, your occupation must be on the MLTSSL list. And your sponsor must:
• Be over 18 years.
• Be a resident in a designated area of Australia.
• Be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.
• Be an eligible relative of yours or your partner.
• An eligible relative can be:
A parent, son or stepchild, brother, foster brother, stepbrother, uncle, adoptive uncle, stepmother, nephew, adoptive nephew, grandfather. The sponsorship will need to be approved before you can be granted a visa.
491 visa occupation list
Your occupation must be on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills list to apply for the 491 visa in Australia.
It is essential to have a proper skills assessment. For your application to be valid, you must present a copy of your evaluation at the time of the invitation.
Your skills assessment must have been obtained in the 3 years before the invitation date. If the evaluation was for a shorter period, it should not have passed. If your skills were assessed based on a qualification that you obtained in Australia when you had a student visa, the qualification must be for studying a course registered in CRICOS.
491 visa to permanent residency
If you are eligible, you can apply for permanent residence through the Skilled Regional visa (subclass 191- Permanent Residence), which begins on November 16, 2022.
You must have had a subclass 491 or 494 visas for at least 3 years, have met the visa conditions. You must show earnings of at least $53,900 per year for three years. Your partner can also be the primary applicant for the 191 visa if they can demonstrate these criteria.
By having the 491 visa for 3 years, you will not be able to:
• Make a valid application for a subclass 820 visa (partner)
Receive any of the following visas:
• Subclass 132 (Entrepreneurial talent)
• Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Plan)
• Subclass 188 (Innovation and business investment (provisional)
• Subclass 189 (Qualified (Independent)
• Subclass 190 (Qualified (nominated)
• Subclass 858 (distinguished talent)
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