This is a provisional visa. It is for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional Australia.
With this visa you can
- With this visa you can
- Stay in Australia for 5 years from the date we grant you the visa
- Live, work and study in a designated region of Australia
- Travel to and from Australia as many times as you want, while the visa is valid
- Apply for permanent residence, if eligible, through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) – which starts on 16 November 2022.
- You can’t apply for other permanent visas until you have held your subclass 491 visa for 3 years.
Designated regional area
You and all members of your family unit, who are also holders of the visa, will need to live work and study in a designated regional area of Australia.
Your nomination must not be withdrawn, or you will not be granted the visa.
Pathways to Permanent Residence
If eligible, you will be able to apply for permanent residence through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) – which starts on 16 November 2022.
Unless you have held your subclass 491 visa for 3 years, holders of the subclass 491 visa can’t:
- Make a valid application for a subclass 820 (Partner) visa
- Be granted any of the following visas:
- Subclass 132 (Business Talent)
- Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme)
- Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional))
- Subclass 189 (Skilled (Independent))
- Subclass 190 (Skilled (Nominated))
- Subclass 858 (Distinguished talent)
How long you can stay
This is a temporary visa. You can stay in Australia for 5 years from the date we grant your visa.
You can't stay in Australia longer by extending this visa. Explore your visa options
- You can include members of the family unit in your application. You can:
Family members who apply for the visa must meet our health and character requirements.
Family members not accompanying you to Australia might also need to meet our health and character requirements.
If your partner or dependent children are not included in this application, tell us the reason why (for example, they already hold Australian citizenship or are a permanent resident).
- include them when you submit your visa application
- add a dependent child after you submit but before we decide on your visa application.
- From AUD 4,115 for the main applicant.
- There is also a charge for each family member who applies for the visa with you.
- To work out what your visa will cost uses the Visa Pricing Estimator. The estimator does not take into account the second instalment or other costs.
- You might have to pay an extra charge for any applicant 18 years old or older who has less than functional English. This charge is called the second instalment. Pay it only when we ask you to. We ask for the charge only if we are going to grant the visa.
- The second instalment charge for family members is AUD 4,890.
- The Visa Pricing Estimator does not include the second instalment or other costs. You might also have to pay other costs for health checks, police certificates and biometrics
- You can be in or outside Australia, but not in immigration clearance when you apply for the visa and when we decide on your application.
- If you apply in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a subclass 010 bridging a visa, a subclass 020 Bridging B visa or a subclass 030 Bridging C visa, otherwise your application will not be valid.
We assess applications on a case-by-case basis, and actual processing times can vary due to individual circumstances including:
- 90% of applications: 14 months
- whether you have lodged a complete application, including all necessary supporting documents
- how quickly you respond to any requests for additional information
- how long it takes to perform required checks on the supporting information provided
- how long it takes to receive additional information from external agencies, particularly in relation to health, character, and national security requirements
- You can travel out of Australia and return as many times as you want while the visa is valid.
- The time you spend outside Australia does not extend the visa.
Be invited to apply
- You can only apply for this visa if we invite you to.
- Submit an expression of interest (EOI) in SkillSelect to let us know you would like to apply for the visa.
- Indicate if an eligible relative is going to sponsor you for this visa or if you want a state or territory government agency to nominate you.
Be nominated or sponsored
- You must be either nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or indicate that you will be sponsored by an eligible relative. See below for more information.
- Submit an expression of interest (EOI) for the visa to get an estimate of your points score.
- If you score enough points, state and territory government agencies can see your EOI and might nominate you for the visa.
- If you indicate in your EOI that you will be sponsored by an eligible relative the Department may invite you to apply for a visa in an invitation round.
Be able to score 65 points or more
- The subclass 491 is a points-tested visa.
- When you submit your EOI in SkillSelect you will be given indicative points score based on the claims you have made.
- If you do not obtain a score of 65 points you will not be invited to apply for this visa.
- If we do invite you to apply for the visa, your invitation will state the number of points that you must score when we assess your application for grant of the visa (this score may be higher than 65 points, depending on your claims in the EOI).
- When you lodge your application you must provide evidence supporting your claims.
Have a suitable skills assessment
- For your application to be valid, you must declare that you have a suitable skills assessment at time of invitation.
- You will need to provide a copy of this skills assessment with your application.
- For medical and legal practitioners, we also accept the following as proof of a skills assessment:
- Full or unconditional or general medical registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
- Conditional specialist registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. This only allows you to practise in your specialty. You need no further training or supervision
- Admission to practice law in the relevant state or territory
- Your skills assessment must have been obtained in the 3 years before the date of your invitation. If the assessment was for a shorter period, that period must not have passed.
- If your skills were assessed on the basis of a qualification you got in Australia when you held a student visa, the qualification must be from studying a course registered on CRICOS.