Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa Subclass 491

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 491

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.

How do I qualify for a Skilled Work Regional Subclass 491 Visa?

To be eligible to apply for a Skilled Work Regional Subclass 491 Visa, applicants must be skilled in an occupation on a state or territory occupation list.

To qualify for a Skilled Work Regional visa, applicants must also be sponsored by either a relative living in a specific designated area, or by a State or Territory Government.

Sponsorship by a relative living in a designated area:

Applicants can apply for a Subclass 491 visa if they are sponsored by a relative living in a Designated Area.

The relative must be:

  • An Australian citizen, permanent resident or Eligible New Zealand Citizen
  • Related to the applicant as either a:
    • Parent
    • Brother or sister
    • Uncle or aunt
    • Nephew or niece
    • First cousin
    • Grandparent

Sponsorship must first be approved you can be granted a visa.

Nomination by a State or Territory Government

Applicants for a Subclass 491 visa must be issued with a nomination by their chosen state or territory. Requirements are dependent on the relevant state or territory, as well as the following application process. Some states, for example, may require a separate application for state nomination through their website, whereas some may require applicants to declare they are seeking nomination in their EOI. A registered migration agent will be able to advise on this detail.

Applicants must pass a skills assessment in their chosen occupation prior to receiving an EOI invitation.

Additional Requirements

Applicants for the visa must be under 45 years of age, and meet health, character and English language requirements.

Whichever eligibility pathway applicants choose, either via Sponsorship from a Relative in a Designated Area or Nomination by State or Territory Government, all applicants must also meet a minimum score on a points test.

Once meeting the points test, applicants will then need to successfully complete a migration skills assessment outcome in their chosen occupation. The steps required to complete this step will vary depending on your chosen occupation, and your registered migration agent will be able to assist you with this step as part of the overall visa application process.

What this visa allows you to do:

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

  • The holder can live, work and study in a specified region of Australia for 5 years from the visa grant date
  • The holder can travel freely to and from Australia while the visa is valid
  • 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.

How do I apply for the Skilled Work Regional Subclass 491 Visa?

There are 2 stages to the Skilled Work Regional Visa application process:

Expression of Interest (EOI)

Applicants can lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) for this visa, through SkillSelect. If they receive an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs, applicants can then proceed to apply for the visa, in the given time frame.

Applicants for the 491 visa must also be issued with a nomination by their chosen state or territory, or via family sponsorship.

Once invited to apply for a 491 visa, applicants must lodge their application within 60 days. It is therefore important that applicants have all of the required documentation prepared to lodge as soon as possible, once receiving an invitation.

Note: there is no guarantee of invitation once submitting an EOI. As the SkillSelect system is designed to fill Australia’s current skill shortages, there is a quota for each appropriate occupation on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) who are invited in each quarter-yearly.


To be eligible to apply for the Skilled Work Regional Visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet 65 points in the points test
  • Be skilled and experienced in an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List
  • Complete a positive Skills Assessment test
  • Demonstrate minimum ‘competent’ English language ability
  • Be less than 45 years of age
  • Meet health and character requirements

Visa Charges

The government charges for visa applications can be found here.

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