Many skilled workers find employment in regional Australia. As the cost of housing in regional areas is lower than in major cities of Australia. The living expense in the regional areas is 30% to 50% lower than Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Therefore, people choose to work there.
For this purpose, Australia offers 491 visa to skilled overseas employees to work in regional Australia. So, let’s discuss the 491 visa benefits for skilled workers in Australia.
What is a Skilled Work Regional Visa?
Skilled Work Regional Visa 491 is for overseas skilled employees who want to work in regional Australia. 491 visa is a temporary visa. It allows skilled workers to live, study and work in Australia for 5 years. The cost of visa 491 starts from AUD 4,115 for the main applicants.
Visa 491 is based on a points test. You must score at least 65 points to be invited to apply for a Skilled Work Regional Visa. You must be sponsored by the Australian state/territory government to be eligible for visa 491. If you’re sponsored and meet the visa criteria, Home Affairs will invite you to apply for a 491 visa.
491 Visa is a provisional visa for skilled employees and requires applicants to score 65 in the points test.
Your occupation must be available on the relevant skilled occupation list. You’re also required to provide a suitable skills assessment for your occupation. If you’re under 45 years of age so, you’re welcome to apply for visa 491.
The Department of Home Affairs has set this age limit. If you’re above 45, you can’t apply for visa 491 in Australia.
How Can I Be Eligible for Skilled Work Regional Visa 491?
You can be eligible for a Skilled Work Regional Visa if you meet its requirements. Home Affairs will invite you to apply for visa 491 to satisfy its eligibility criteria.
So, if you want to be eligible for visa 491, you must:
- Submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) to let Home Affairs know that you want to apply for a 491 visa.
- Have been invited by the Department of Home Affairs to apply for a 491 visa
- Be sponsored or nominated by the Australian state/territory government agency.
- Be under 45 years of age when Home Affairs invites you to apply for visa 491
- Have a suitable skills assessment according to your occupation
- score at least 65 points in the points test
- Have at least competent English
- Have the occupation available on the eligible skilled occupations for a Skilled Regional 491 visa.
- Meet the health and character requirements. Your family member who applies with you also has to meet these requirements.
- Not owe debts to the Australian Government. Or you must have arranged to pay all debts back.
- Not have had a visa refusal before
- Sign the Australian Values Statement if you’re 18 years old or above. It’s to verify that you’ll respect Australian laws and their way of living.
What are Skilled Work Regional 491 Visa Benefits?
The Australian Government provides various benefits to 491 visa holders. Skilled international employees can fulfill their dream to work in Australia with visa 491.
Once you obtain a Skilled Work Regional Visa, you can:
- Stay in regional Australia for 5 years
- Study and work in the designated regional area of Australia
- Travel to and from Australia as many times as you want until your visa is valid
- Apply for PR in Australia after 3 years from the date you’re granted with 491 visa
Skilled employees can only obtain the 491 visa benefits if they satisfy the visa requirements. In case you need assistance to meet the criteria for visa 491, you can easily contact us.
How Can I Get PR after 491 Visa?
After 3 years from the date of your 491 visa, you can apply for permanent residency in Australia. You can apply for PR in Australia through the Skilled Regional 191 Visa, which will begin on November 16, 2022. The applicant must hold a visa 491 for 3 years before applying for permanent residence.
Getting PR in Australia is one of the significant 491 visa benefits for skilled employees. However, 491 visa holders are not eligible to apply for a few Australian visas.
These visas include:
- Business Talent Visa 132
- Employer Nomination Scheme 186
- Business Innovation and Investment Visa 188
- Skilled Independent Visa 189
- Skilled Nominated Visa 190
- Distinguished Talent Visa 858
Visa 491 Processing Time 2022
Currently, the average processing time for this visa is as follows:
- 75% of all visa applications for Visa 491 (state nominated stream) take six months, and 90% take eight months.
- Approximately 75% of all visa applications for 491 (family sponsored stream) take nine months, and 90% take ten months.
There are some factors that can vary the processing time of each individual application. Among them are that
- The applicant’s specific circumstances and the quality of the application were presented to the Department of Home Affairs.
- If applicants send in their visa application with all the proof you need to back up their claims.
- How quickly does the applicant reply to the questions or request more information? How long will it take for the government agencies to get your extra information about your character, health, and national security needs?
The average application is processed much faster and smoother when it has been well prepared.
Want to Apply for 491 Visa? – Final Thoughts
Australia is home to world-class academic institutions and high living standards. It provides multiple job opportunities to skilled international employees. Australia offers 491 Visa which is best for skillful workers from overseas.
More articles about visa 491:
- Queensland Open Borders for Subclasses 491 and 190
- NSW State Nomination 491- Skilled visa Criteria
- Subclass 491 Visa Conditions – Skilled Work Regional Visa Australia
I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.
Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.