The 491 Visa is the new provisional visa for skilled migrants to live and work in regional Australia. It replaced the previous 489 Visa and comes with a pathway to permanent residency via the subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa.
The main advantage of this visa is that it allows you to gain permanent residency in Australia within 5 years of obtaining the visa. You can also take up employment, study at any institution in Australia, enroll in the public health system Medicare, and sponsor family members to move here, as well as travel to and from Australia.
However, it is important to note that the Federal Government retains ultimate responsibility for managing the migration program, and the allocation of places across the various visa streams. It is therefore important to check eligibility criteria carefully and gather all required documentation before applying for the visa.
Regional Australia Beckons: Exploring the Benefits of the 491 Visa
There are two streams for this visa – State Nomination and Family Sponsored. The Family Sponsored stream allows you to bring your spouse or de facto partner, children under the age of 18, and dependent parents to Australia as a part of your application, provided they meet certain income and residence requirements.
The State Nomination stream offers you the opportunity to receive a nomination from a specific state or territory in Australia and is subject to additional requirements such as occupation being on the relevant list, English language capability, and other factors. Nomination from a state or territory government can give you up to 15 extra points in the Points Test, helping you reach the minimum score quicker.