The Department of Home Affairs has recently announced that the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will be replacing the current 489 visa in November 2019.
The new subclass 491 visa will have a lot of the same features of the current 489 subclass however, some differences will include a visa validity period of 5 years and the imposition of conditions which will enforce the government’s intentions that visa holders live, work and study only in regional areas, which for NSW will now include all regions outside of Sydney (Hunter and Illawarra regions will be awarded regional status) for at least the first three years.
The NSW Government has been awarded a fixed allocation of nominations for the 2019-20 and is in the process of distributing these positions across the participating Regional Development Authorities in NSW who currently deliver this aspect of the NSW Skilled Migration Program to provide regional employers with access to skilled talent. Please keep reviewing individual RDA website for more details over the coming weeks but please also be mindful that RDA offices have limited resources.
The skilled migration points test will change from November 16, 2019. The changes will affect subclass 491 applicants as well as applications for other skilled migration visas that have not been assessed at that time. The new points details are:
- 15 points for nomination by a State or Territory government agency or sponsorship by a family member residing in regional Australia, to live and work in regional Australia
- 10 points for a skilled spouse or de facto partner
- 10 points for certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications
- 5 points for a spouse or de facto partner with ‘competent English’
- 10 points for applicants without a spouse or de facto partner.
A new NSW Priority Skilled Occupation List is in development and will be announced shortly.