Australia is currently home to over 660,350 Indian residents, establishing the Indian community as the third-largest migrant group in the country. Australia’s appeal as a desirable destination for living, studying, and working is attributed to factors such as low pollution levels, robust economic growth, and breathtaking natural landscapes. To pursue educational and career opportunities in Australia, individuals must meet various entry requirements, including obtaining a visa. One such visa option is the Skilled Regional Visa, commonly referred to as the 491 Visa Australia, which enables you and your family to reside in Australia for a maximum period of 5 years. In this article, we will delve into the comprehensive details concerning the 491 Visa Australia.
This Blog Includes:
- What is the 491 Visa Australia or Subclass 491?
- 491 Visa Australia: Eligibility Requirements
- 491 Visa Australia: Application Process
- Document Checklist
- 491 Visa Fee
- What is the Score I Need to Pass the Points Test?
- What is the 489 Visa Australia?
- 489 & 491 Visa Australia Eligibility
- 491 & 489 Visa Processing Time
- 489 Visa Australia Points
- New Zealand Skilled Occupation List
- May I Remain in Australia for a Longer Period of Time?
What is the 491 Visa Australia or Subclass 491?
Australian Visa offers various types of visas, each tailored to meet specific individual needs and requirements. Among these is the Skilled Work Regional Visa, officially known as Subclass 491 Visa, which is designed to facilitate skilled migrants in residing, studying, and working within designated regional areas of Australia. For the purpose of skilled immigration, the term “regional Australia” encompasses the entirety of the country, excluding the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Notably, this definition now encompasses regions such as the NSW Central Coast, Gold Coast, Perth, Newcastle, and Wollongong.
Under the Subclass 491 Visa, you and your family are granted the privilege to work, study, and live in Australia for a duration of 5 years. Additionally, this visa permits multiple entries and exits from Australia during its validity period. Furthermore, it provides an avenue to apply for Permanent Residency, offering a pathway to secure your long-term stay in Australia.
491 Visa Australia: Eligibility Requirements
It is important to check the terms and conditions before starting the visa application process. Here are some of the crucial 491 Visa Conditions:
- Be invited to apply, nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative
- Have an occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list
- Have a successful skills assessment for the occupation
- Score 65 points or more
- Be aged under 45 years before you’re invited to apply
- Have a competent level of English
- Satisfy the health and character requirements
- Don’t owe the Australian government any money
- No history of visa cancellation or a previous application refused
491 Visa Australia: Application Process
After being invited for 491 Visa Australia you will have to apply within 60 days. Here are the steps to apply for the visa:
- Visit the official website and log on to your skill-select account.
- Select the ‘Apply for Visa’ tab and create your Immi Account
- Fill in all the required personal, academic and other details
- Upload the scanned copy of all the mandatory documents
- Submit the application fee and finish the application process
Here we have provided the document checklist for 491 Visa Australia
- Documents for relationship status, marriage etc.
- Character Certificate
- Skill assessment and English proficiency documents
- Need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
- Sponsorship Documents include proof of citizenship, residential proof and a certificate of relationship
- Government ID proofs
491 Visa Fee
With SkillSelect, there is no fee for submitting an expression of interest. A profile may be created and updated as often as desired without incurring any fees.
However, the application for the primary applicant costs AUD $4,240 (INR 2.25 L) once you’ve been nominated and decide to apply (check the updated cost here). Additionally, there is a fee of AUD $4,240 (INR 2.25 L) for each adult family member who applies for the visa alongside you. Use the Visa Pricing Estimator to receive a ballpark figure for the price of your visa. Please be aware that the estimate ignores the second instalment and additional expenses.
Tests of English proficiency, health examinations, police certifications, and biometrics are among the additional fees.
What is the Score I Need to Pass the Points Test?
On the points test, you must receive at least 65 points. Your appropriateness is determined by this exam using details like your age, English proficiency, degree of employment in your industry, and educational background. Extra points are awarded for things like:
- An extra 10 points for a skilled partner or single applicant
- 5 points for a spouse that’s competent in English
- 15 points for State or Territory government nomination
- 15 points for family member sponsorship if they reside in a regional area
- STEM occupations get an extra 10 points (Master by Research or PhD required)
- 10 points for a partner who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- You must be nominated by a state/territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative (an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible NZ citizen).
What is the 489 Visa Australia?
The other popular type of Australian visa is 489 Visa Australia. It helps skilled migrants settle down in Australia with their spouses and family for study and work purposes. Moreover, it is valid for 4 years and allows you to travel to and from Australia as many times as you want during this period. If granted, you might be able to apply for the Skilled Regional (Permanent) Visa (subclass 887).
489 & 491 Visa Australia Eligibility
Every skilled worker planning to apply for a 489 and 491 Visa Australia has to meet the entry requirements. The requirements are different for the main applicant and subsequent applicants:
Main Applicant Requirements
- Nominated to apply by a state or territory government agency, or should be sponsored by a relative
- An occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list
- Suitable skills assessment for the occupation
- Applicant must be invited to apply
- Fulfill the point test
Subsequent Applicant Requirements
- Among the members of the family unit of a subclass 491 visa holder
491 & 489 Visa Processing Time
The waiting time to receive an invitation for the Australian Permanent Resident (PR) visa is intricately tied to your ANZSCO job code and the cumulative points you’ve amassed through the Australian immigration points system for the Skilled Visa Class.
Applicants who manage to accumulate a total of 65 points or more stand a strong chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA). It’s worth noting that individuals with over 70 points have a realistic shot at receiving an invite, but this scenario can fluctuate with each subsequent month or draw, which typically occurs on the 11th day.
The duration of the wait to secure an ITA varies, ranging from a minimum of one month to potentially up to twelve months, depending on the occupation. Additionally, it’s crucial to understand that the processing clock for Australian PR begins ticking once the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) extends an invitation for your SkillSelect Expression of Interest (EOI) and you’ve settled the requisite processing fee.
For example, let’s consider Software Engineers (Occupation Code: 261313) who amass a total score of 75 points. They are advised to brace themselves for a wait of more than 8 months to receive their permanent resident invite from the Australian Government under the Subclass 189 Visa. Following the invitation, another 8-9 months may be necessary to obtain the Permanent Visa grant from the Australian Government.
Also Read: Why Study in Australia?
489 Visa Australia Points
In order to apply for the 489 & 491 Visa Australia, the applicant must have a valid score or points. The points are evaluated based on different criteria:
- English Language Skills
- Skilled Employment Experience
- Educational Qualifications
- Specialist Educational Qualifications
- Australian Study Requirements
- Professional Year in Australia
- Credentialled Community Language
- Study in Regional Australia
- Partner Skills
- Nomination or Sponsorship
Also Read: Best Student Cities in Australia
New Zealand Skilled Occupation List
Click here to download the New Zealand Long-term Skill Shortage List.
May I Remain in Australia for a Longer Period of Time?
If you want to stay longer than five years from the date the visa is granted, you must apply for a new visa because this one cannot be extended. You and your family members who are in possession of this visa are required to work and attend school in specific Australian regional areas. Your visa will not be issued if your nomination is withdrawn.
Also Read: How to Study MBBS in Australia?
The Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa is a 4-year provisional visa which requires holders to live and work in a regional area to obtain permanent residence. To qualify, you would need to be sponsored by either a relative living in a designated area or a State or Territory Government.
The visa allows you to stay for four years before you become eligible for permanent residency.
The processing time for this visa is approximately 3-4 weeks, no fast-tracked or priority processing will be available.
The 494 visa is a provisional visa which means it does not grant immediate permanent residency.
This is your go-to guide for Skilled Regional Visa-Australia. Are you planning to apply for this visa but not sure where to start? Contact our experts and counsellors at Leverage Edu and start your dream of studying abroad today!