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Details for sub class 491:

Transitioning from visa subclass 489 to the new visa subclass 491

The Department of Home Affairs (‘Home Affairs’) has announced a new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) to replace the current Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489).

The new subclass 491 visa will commence on 16 November 2019, and the subclass 489 visa will cease at 11.59 pm on 15 November 2019.

In order to support the transition from the 489 visa to the new 491 visa, WA Migration Services has established the below timeline to ensure adequate processing of applications. If you would like to receive WA State nomination under a 489 visa you will need to ensure you meet the dates outlined below.

During this time all WA State nomination applications under a 489 visa will be priority processed.

Note: The Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) is not affected by this change and WA Migration Services will continue to issue invitations and process applications under this subclass as per normal.

What are the changes from visa 489 to visa 491?

Priority processing

Home Affairs will give priority to the processing of 491 visas.

Regional residency

The 491 visa holder and their families will be required to live and work in a regional area for three years before becoming eligible to apply for a permanent visa.

Increased points system

Applicants for the new 491 visa will have access to more points to count towards the minimum 65 points required by the Commonwealth Government for the General Skilled Migration stream.

Nomination by state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member to reside and work in a specified/designated area. 10 + 5 = 15
A Master’s degree by research or a Doctorate degree from an Australian educational institution that included at least two academic years in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field. 5 + 5 = 10
Partner skill qualifications


5 + 5 = 10

Key features of visa subclass 491:

  • 14000 places to be allocated each year.
  • A wide range of occupations are eligible (over 500)
  • Age limit is set at 45 years
  • Visa to be granted for 5 years
  • Must live and work in regional areas for at least 3 years before being eligible for PR
  • Regional area is mainly anywhere except metropolitan Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth
  • The applicant should be earning a minimum wage of $ 53,900 per annum for three years (concessions may apply)
  • Visa holder is allowed to move from one regional area to another
  • PR pathway available through visa subclass 191 that will commence from 16 November 2022
  • Visa is available for an application fee of $4,045 and the partner fee is set at $2,025.

*Rules can be changed as per Australian immigration. www.homeaffairs.gov.au

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