Subclass 491

Subclass 491: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

The 491 visa is a temporary visa for skilled workers and their families to live permanently in designated regional areas of Australia. This visa can allow you to apply for permanent residency through the Subclass 191 visa pathway.

With this visa, you can:

  • Live and study/work full time in the designated region of Australia for 5 years.
  • Apply for Medicare
  • Sponsor your relatives to come to Australia
  • Bring your Immediate family with you to Australia permanently.
  • Apply for Citizenship once eligible.

Subclass 491 - Visa Eligibility

To be eligible for a Subclass 491 Visa, you must: 

You must be under 45 when the Department invites you to apply for the visa.

You can still apply for the visa if you turn 45 after the Department invites you.

Your nomination occupation must be on the combined list of eligible skilled occupations for a Skilled Regional (subclass 491) visa.

You can only apply for this visa if the Department invites you.

To do this, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to let the Department know that you would like to apply for the visa. After you have submitted an EOI, the Department will rank you against other applicants for an invitation.

For your application to be valid, you must have a valid skills assessment at the time of invitation from a relevant skills assessment body.

Generally, you must have obtained your skills assessment three years before the date of your invitation.

Delegates of the Minister will now accept a suitable skills assessment for an applicant’s nominated skilled occupation which has been obtained within the 60 day invitation period.

When you submit your EOI in SkillSelect, you will be given an indicative point score. If you do not obtain a score of 65 points, you will not be invited to apply for this visa.

At the time of invitation, you must have at least competent English.

You and family members aged 16 years and over who apply for the visa with you must meet the Department’s health and character requirements.

You must be nominated by the Australian State or Territory Government agency or sponsored by a relative to qualify for this visa.

You will receive an invitation to apply from the State government if you have scored enough points.

Alternatively, indicating that an eligible relative will be your sponsor can enable you to receive an invitation to apply.

Steps to apply for a 491 Visa

Processing Times for Subclass 491 Visa

75% of applications are processed in 28 months

90% of applications are processed in 30 months

28 months
30 months

Something else ?


    We are happy to answer
    any queries you may have

    What are the eligibility criteria for Subclass 491 - Family sponsor?

    Your sponsor must be:

    • 18 years old or older
    • usually resident in a designated area in Australia. 
    • be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
    • be your eligible relative or your partner’s eligible relative if your partner is also applying for this visa
    Which family members can sponsor you for a Subclass 491 visa?

    An eligible relative can be:

    • a parent
    • a child or step-child
    • a brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step-brother or step-sister
    • an aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle
    • a nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step-nephew or step-niece
    • a grandparent, or
    • a first cousin
    How does Subclass 491 and 189 differ?

    Subclass 491 is a temporary visa that enables you to stay in a designated regional area of Australia. In contrast, Subclass 189 is a permanent residency visa allowing you to stay in any part of the country.

    Do I need to be in Australia to apply for the visa?

    You can either be in Australia or overseas when you apply for a Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa.

    Can I apply for Subclass 491 directly?

    No, you must receive an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs through the SkillSelect portal to apply for a Subclass 491 visa. 

    Do I have to pay extra for dependents with less than Functional English?

    You might have to pay an extra charge (second instalment) for any applicant 18 years old or older who has less than functional English.

    The second instalment charge for family members is AUD4,885.

    How long can I stay in Australia with this visa?

    This is a temporary visa. It lets you stay in Australia for 5 years, and you can apply for permanent residency after 3 years from the visa grant date if you meet Subclass 191 eligibility criteria.

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