Skilled Work Regional Visa

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The Skilled Work Regional Visa Subclass 491 was introduced by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) on 16th November, 2019, replacing the previous visa Subclass 489. This visa allows skilled workers to live and work in a designated regional area of Australia for up to 5 years.

State/Territory nomination for this visa provides you with 15 additional points to help meet the Department of Home Affairs points test pass mark of 65 points.

If anyone is nominated by the State or Territory Government for this visa, s/he must live in that State/Territory for the period of the entire visa. S/He will be able to lodge a Subclass 191 Visa application if s/he has lived and worked in a regional area for three years and should have minimum salary of $53,900 per annum. Once a permanent residence visa is granted, s/he can live anywhere in Australia. You cannot start living anywhere in Australia before Subclass 191 Visa is granted.

If s/he wish to apply for this SC 491 visa, s/he must first obtain a positive skills assessment from his/her nominated occupation, and then lodge an Expression of Interest & State or Territory nomination application. If this is successful, s/he will be invited to lodge a visa application.


At the time that you are invited to apply for this visa, you must:

1. Be under 45 years of age
2. Nominate an occupation that is included on the relevant Occupation List (MLTSSL)
3. Lodge an EOI and receive an invitation
4. Meet the points test pass mark of 65 points
5. Be sponsored by a relative living in a designated area or State/territory
6. Have Competent English or higher depending on the points you have
7. Meet health and character requirements.

This option requires sponsorship by a relative or State/Territory Government


The Subclass 491 visa provides the holder with temporary residency in Australia, with conditions.

1. The holder can live, work and study in a specified region of Australia for 5 years from the visa grant date
2. The holder can travel freely to and from Australia while the visa is valid
3. The holder may have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency through the Permanent Residence Skilled Regional Visa Subclass 191, which will commence on 16 November 2022.


Anyone can either be onshore or offshore to apply for this visa. If he/she is onshore, he/she needs to have a valid visa before applying for this or a bridging visa A, B or C. Once applied, he/she will be given a bridging visa until the decision of your file comes up, allowing him to stay in Australia until then.

Duration and Conditions

This is a 5-year provisional visa allowing him and his/her dependents to live, work or study in any regional or low populated areas. The approved regional areas vary depending on whether s/he is sponsored by a relative or by a State or Territory Government:

State or Territory Government: s/he can only lives in a Regional or Low Population Growth Area Relative: S/He can live in a Designated Area



Anyone who wishes to apply for this visa MUST first be INVITED to lodge an application by the Department of Immigration. In order to qualify for an invitation, you must lodge an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI), which sets out how you meet the requirements for this visa.


The first step that we will take is to conduct an initial assessment of your eligibility for this visa. This involves reviewing your qualifications, work experience, English language and other circumstances, to establish whether or not you are likely to meet the relevant requirements.

As part of this initial eligibility assessment, we will consider which MLTSSL occupation(s) you are likely to be able to nominate, and whether or not you are potentially eligible for a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for that occupation.

We will then provide you with informed and comprehensive advice about your ability to meet the minimum standards that the Department of Immigration requires migrants to fulfil, in order to qualify for an invitation to apply for this visa.

Note: Our initial assessment of your eligibility does not guarantee that you will (or will not) in fact obtain a positive skills assessment, or be issued an invitation to apply for this visa. In particular, whether or not the Department of Immigration issues you with an invitation will depend upon how your points test score compares to the scores of other potential applicants, and whether or not the Department of Immigration deems your nominated occupation to be required in Australia.


Should our initial assessment indicate that you are eligible for a positive skills assessment and EOI, we will prepare your skills assessment application.

For each skilled occupation listed on the MLTSSL, the Department of Immigration has specified an assessing authority that may carry out skills assessments for that occupation. Only a skills assessment conducted by the relevant assessing authority will be accepted by the Department of Immigration in support of an EOI. We will provide you with a full list of the information and documents required to support your application. When you have provided the necessary details and documents, along with the required assessment fee, we will lodge your application with the applicable skills assessing authority.


Once you have received a positive skills assessment from the skills assessing authority, we will prepare and lodge your EOI. Although you do not need to provide supporting documents at this stage, you MUST be able to provide evidence that the information supplied in the EOI is correct at the time that you are invited to apply for the visa.

You will subsequently receive a result and points score from the Department of Immigration, which is used to rank you against other applicants who have lodged EOIs for this visa. The ranking is based partially on whether or not your occupation is a skill that Australia requires at the time your EOI is assessed. If your EOI is successful, you will be invited to lodge a visa application.

Note: The Department of Immigration retains an EOI for 2 years from the date that it is lodged. During this time, your EOI can be updated if any of your circumstances change (e.g. you obtain a new qualification or skills assessment). If your ranking changes during this 2-year period, based on either your changing circumstances or Australia’s changing skill needs, you may be issued with an invitation to apply for the visa at that point in time.


Once the Department of Immigration has invited you to apply for this visa, we will prepare and lodge your visa application within the specified time frame, together with all of the documents that support the information that you provided in your EOI. This includes your skills assessment, English language test results, qualifications, work references and all other required documents. Should your visa application be approved, you will be granted a permanent visa. You may be either in Australia or overseas when your visa is granted.


Main applicant and all of the family members must meet health requirements.

You must be of good character.
You might be asked to provide police certificates for each country you have lived in for 12 months or more, over the last 10 years (calculated immediately before the time the visa application is lodged), since turning 16 years of age.

Police Certificate is valid for 12 months for the immigration purpose.
If you have a substantial criminal record, you cannot pass the character test. For example, You have been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison.

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for the visa and when a decision is made.

You must have repaid, or have arranged to repay, any outstanding debts to the Australian government.

You might not be eligible to apply for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia.


Base Application Charge: AUD 4,045
Additional Applicant Charge 18 And Over : AUD 2,025
Additional applicant charge under 18 : AUD 1,010


6-12 Months.
PLEASE NOTE: The actual time taken by the Department of Immigration to approve an application and grant a visa varies from case to case depending upon an applicant’s particular circumstances, and the amount of supporting information that the Department requires.