In November 2019, the Department of Home Affairs introduced two new regional visas. These being:

  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 491) visa; and
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 494) visa.

These visas have subsequently replaced:

  • Skilled Regional (Subclass 489) visa; and
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) visa.

The visas have been introduced to boost growth in regional areas of Australia. Due to the limitations now present within the TSS (Subclass 482) scheme, and the limited pathways to permanent residency, the benefit to the introduction of these visas is twofold.

  1. Those applicants in occupations that cannot apply for permanent residency via the traditional pathways, now have an opportunity to do so; and
  2. The scheme is intended to populate and stem growth in regional areas of Australia.

The regional areas include the majority of Australia, except for Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane and other large populated areas of the country.

As with all Australian visas, it can sometimes be difficult to understand all the particulars required. We’ve broken down the essential requirements for you in this article.

Subclass 491:

This pathway is sponsored by an Australian state and is points-based. There are four stages:

  1. Obtain a positive skills assessment;
  2. Submit an Expression of Interest to SkillSelect;
  3. Select a State in order to be nominated; and
  4. Once invited, submit a visa application to the Department of Home Affairs.

Similar to other General Skilled Migration visas, this application is points-based and this is claimed via the Expression of Interest application. Applicants may claim points based on age, English language ability, work experience, qualifications, relationship status and more.

The Subclass 491 will result in a five-year visa, within which the holder must reside in a designated regional area working in their occupation. After three years holding the visa, an avenue to permanent residency will become available.

Subclass 491:

This pathway is employer-sponsored through a regional Australian business. Occupations available are on a certain list and has once again opened the gateway for Marketing Specialists, Hairdressers, Recruitment Consultants, Cooks and more to obtain permanent residency.

This avenue is also a four-stage process, which includes:

  1. Obtain a positive skill assessment;
  2. Sponsoring business obtains approval from their local Regional Certifying Body;
  3. Sponsoring business submits a nomination application of the applicant; and
  4. Applicant submits a visa application.

Once more, the Subclass 494 visa will be granted for a five-year period with an avenue to permanent residency available after three years. A Subclass 494 visa holder is required to live and work for their regional employer for three years before becoming eligible for the permanent visa.

Should you like your eligibility assessed for a Subclass 494 or 491, please don’t hesitate to contact Unite Migration today. We offer free 15-minute consultations whereby we can discuss your ability to meet the criteria.