Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) and Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored visas

The Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) and Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored visas will be introduced from 16 November 2019. These are points tested skilled assessment migration visa which requires either employer or state government nomination, or sponsorship by an eligible family member who is settled in a designated regional area.

  • The validity period for either visa is five years.
  • Holders of either visa will be work in a nominated position within any designated regional area.
  • Condition 8579 will be imposed on both visas to enforce the government’s intention that that visa holders live, work and study only in regional areas and, if employer sponsored, only in the nominated position.
  • A new permanent visa, the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa will be introduced in November 2022. To meet the requirements of the permanent visa, applicants must have held a subclass 491 or 494 visa for at least 3 years, have complied with the conditions on that visa and have met minimum taxable income requirements.
  • The Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) Visa and the Subclass 489 (Skilled Regional (Provisional)) Visa (subclass 489) will close to new applicants from 16 November 2019. Transitional arrangements will be put in place for applications which have been lodged and are undecided at that time.
  • New points test thresholds for both the subclass 489 and 491 visas 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 qualifications;
    • 5 points for a spouse or de facto partner with ‘competent English’; and
    • 10 points for applicants without a spouse or de facto partner.
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