Regional Skilled Subclass 491 & 191 Visa

Subclass 491 and 191 Regional Skilled Visa Australia 

Are you considering moving to Australia for work? The 491 and 191 Visa might be your ticket! These visas are designed to help skilled workers and their families settle in designated regional areas of Australia.

The 491 visa allows you to live, work, and study in these designated regions for up to 5 years. Once you’ve been there for at least three years, you can apply for the subclass 191 visa, which grants permanent residency. Let’s delve into the details of these visas and how they can pave the way for your Australian dream.

Subclass 491 and 191 Regional Skilled Visa Australia 2

Subclass 491 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa

To apply for the Subclass 491 visa, you must either: 

  • Receive a nomination from a state or territory government agency.
  • Be sponsored by an eligible family member.

You must also fulfil the following criteria:

Application Process

    Here’s the application process for the Subclass 491 Visa under the State/Territory Nomination Stream:

    1. Skills Assessment: Complete a skills assessment to demonstrate your skill level in your chosen occupation.
    2. Expression of Interest (EOI): 
    • Submit your expression of interest (EOI) for Australia skilled immigration via SkillSelect, and increase your 491 visa points as much as possible to maximise your chance of invitation.
    • When invited, submit your state/ territory nomination application to demonstrate that you meet the additional requirements prescribed by the state/ territory government agency.

    (Note: Each state and territory government agency has specific criteria for selecting nominees. It’s recommended to contact the respective state or territory agency directly to learn more about their nomination procedures and requirements.)

    • Once your state/territory nomination is approved, you will be invited to apply for a Subclass 491 from DOHA.  

    3. Application Submission: Upon receiving an Invitation to Apply, submit your final, complete application for approval by the Australian Government. You must apply for the visa within 60 days of receiving your invitation.

    The Subclass 491 visa application process for the family sponsor stream is very similar to the state/ territory nomination stream: 

    1. Skills Assessment
    2. EOI
    3. Visa Application

    Your sponsor must meet the following criteria:

    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • Be a resident in a designated area of Australia.
    • Hold Australian citizenship, permanent residency, or be an eligible New Zealand citizen.
    • Qualify as your eligible relative or your partner’s eligible relative if your partner is also applying for this visa.

    An eligible relative can include:

    • Parents
    • Children or step-children
    • Siblings, including adoptive and step-siblings
    • Aunts, uncles, and their equivalents
    • Nephews, nieces, and their equivalents
    • Grandparents
    • First cousins

    The Department of Immigration must approve your sponsorship before granting the visa.

    Benefits of 491 Visa

    The 491 visa comes with some great perks:

    • Your application may get processed faster because the government is encouraging people to live in regional Australia.
    • It encourages people to stick around in regional areas, make friends and join the community. Plus, you get access to Medicare.
    • Applicants for the 491 visa can earn more points.

    Fees for 491 Visa

    Here’s a breakdown of the fees (in AUD) for the 491 visa:

    • For the main applicant: $4,640
    • For each additional applicant aged 18 or older: $2,320
    • For each additional applicant under 18: $1,160

    Subclass 191 Skilled Regional (Permanent Residence) visa

    Transitioning from the provisional 491 visa to the permanent 191 visa is a significant milestone for applicants seeking permanent residency in Australia. Here’s what you need to know:

    • After completing three years on the 491 provisional visa in a regional area, applicants can apply for the 191 visa. This transition signifies a move from temporary visa status to permanent residency in Australia.
    • Starting from June 2023, the Subclass 191 visa no longer demands a minimum income requirement. This adjustment eases the financial burden for applicants transitioning to permanent residency.

    The application fee for the 191 visa granting permanent residency is AUD475.00 for the holder of subclass 491 visa.

    Subclass 491 and 191 Regional Skilled Visa Australia 1


    Why should I choose a 491 visa (State/Territory Nomination) over a 190 visa?

    A common question we keep getting: why should I apply for Subclass 491 if it’s the same process as Subclass 190

    Indeed, The main difference between the 491 and 190 visa lies in their residency status – 190 leads to permanent residency, whereas 491 is a provisional visa leading to permanent residency after 3 years. However, there are compelling reasons to consider the 491 visa, especially for the state nomination stream.

    • Subclass 491 visa gives you an additional 15 points on your EOI. This is 10 more points than the Subclass 190 visa. With the highly competitive Australian skilled immigration program, every single point matters and 15 points will make a huge difference in your EOI ranking. For example, for Western Australia state nomination, 491 visa Perth EOIs will always receive the invitation first because it has higher points by nature.
    • And Subclass 491 typically offers a broader range of eligible occupations compared to Subclass 190. Moreover, 491 will generally have easier criteria compared to 190 visas. Eg: In Western Australia, some occupations do not require employee contracts compared to subclass 190 visas for the same occupation.

    All these factors give you a better chance at securing an invitation to apply for a visa, which is the ultimate goal. This is why a Subclass 491 visa could be the hidden gem for your Australian PR journey.

    Subclass 491 and 191 Regional Skilled Visa Australia 1

    VEVS Global is here to help

    Whilst VEVS Global is based in Perth, Western Australia, and has a strong record in assisting clients with WA state nominations, our 491 and 191 visa clients have successfully obtained nominations from all regions of Australia under the guidance of the VEVS Global visa team. 

    VEVS Global’s service offerings include but are not limited to:
    • Skills assessment preparation and lodgement
    • Strategising, preparing for, and managing EOI, including professional advice on how you can increase 491 visa points
    • Review clients’ circumstances in detail against all possible state/territory nominations, thus maximising chances of receiving state nominations.
    • Ensure to review client documents for both 491 visa requirements and 191 visa documents required; prepare and lodge the visa application accordingly.
    • Post-lodgement services such as s56 Request for Further Information and liaising with case officers to achieve the best possible outcome.

    VEVS Global’s work does not just stop with Subclass 491 visa approval. Monitoring plans will be put in place to contact our clients regularly. This ensures compliance with all Subclass 491 visa conditions can be met, and any other Subclass 191 visa requirements can be addressed as early as possible. The goal is to make our clients’ lives as easy as possible and provide a one-stop service during their challenging Australia PR application process.