The 489 Visa

Immigration information is subject to change. Please contact a migration agent for your visa enquiries!

Table of Contents

    Corazon Jasa

    Written: January 30, 2024

    Updated: January 31, 2024

    14 min read

    489 visa

    Please note that the 489 Visa has now been replaced by the 491 Visa, please click here to know more

    Even though it’s December 2023 now and the subclass 489 doesn’t accept new applications anymore, its story is still important to tell. New visas have taken its place but aim for similar things – helping skilled folks move to regional areas needing their talents.

    Understanding how the subclass 489 worked can give us great insights into what life in regional Australia offers: beautiful spaces, friendly towns and growing industries needing skilled hands like yours! Let’s unpack everything about this journey; read on – there’s so much more ahead!

    Key Takeaways

    • The Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 Visa lets skilled workers live and work in regional Australia. You need to have skills that match the jobs needed in these areas.
    • There are three pathways to get this visa: Invited Pathway, Extended Stay Pathway, and Subsequent Entry Pathway. Each has different rules, so you must pick the right one for you.
    • To get this visa, you must meet age, skills, English language ability, health, and character requirements.
    • While on a subclass 489 visa, stick to living and working only in certain regional areas.
    • Family can join on the Subclass 489 Visa too if they follow all steps correctly.

    Understanding the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 Visa

    The Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 Visa is a pathway for skilled workers to live and work in regional Australia. It offers numerous benefits, but also comes with certain restrictions that applicants should be aware of before applying.

    Basic Eligibility

    You must meet certain criteria to apply for the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489). Your skills and work experience are key. You need a qualification in a profession on Australia’s skilled occupation list.

    Also, you should have an invitation to apply based on your points test score.

    To get this visa, you also need good English language abilities. You take tests to prove it. Ensure all your identity documents like birth certificates or passports are correct and up-to-date.

    If you tick these boxes, you’re on track for living and working in regional Australia!

    Benefits and Restrictions

    Holding a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa, subclass 489, opens doors to becoming an Australian permanent resident. It’s your ticket to experience life in regional or low-population growth areas where the air is fresher and communities are tight-knit.

    With this visa, you can take steps towards long-term stability in Australia by working towards permanent residency via the Subclass 887 visa.

    But remember, there’s a catch—you’re tied to specific regions for four years. This means city dreams have to wait as you embrace country living and contribute to local economies.

    Your family must stick with you too; they can’t live outside designated areas while on the 489 visa. Embrace these conditions and regional Australia will welcome you with open arms!

    Pathways to Obtain the Subclass 489 Visa

    If you’re looking to obtain the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 Visa, there are three main pathways to consider: the Invited Pathway, Extended Stay Pathway, and Subsequent Entry Pathway.

    Each pathway has its own set of requirements and eligibility criteria that applicants must meet in order to successfully obtain the visa. Understanding these pathways is crucial for navigating through the application process successfully.

    Invited Pathway

    The Invited Pathway is a popular route to get the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 Visa. It starts with an Expression of Interest and leads to living in regional Australia.

    • Check you meet the basic requirements before you start.
    • Submit an Expression of Interest through the online SkillSelect system.
    • Score well on the Skilled Migration Points Test – you need enough points to stand out.
    • Wait for an invitation from a state or territory government before applying for the visa.
    • Have your skills assessed by an Australian authority related to your occupation.
    • Prove your English ability, ranging from functional to competent levels.
    • Prepare necessary documents, such as identification and proof of your skills.
    • Apply within 60 days once invited – this deadline keeps the process moving smoothly.
    • Gather evidence of good health and character to meet visa standards.

    Extended Stay Pathway

    You may have already started your journey in Australia and want to extend your stay. The Extended Stay Pathway lets you live and work in regional areas longer.

    • Apply if you hold a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489).
    • Show that you’ve lived and worked in a regional or low population growth area.
    • You need to prove this for at least two years before applying.
    • Provide evidence like bills, rent agreements, or employment contracts.
    • Apply for a new Subclass 489 visa to get more time in Australia.
    • Your family can join you on this pathway.
    • Ensure all family members meet health and character requirements.
    • Keep an eye on the expiry date of your current visa while applying.
    • Use this time to prepare for permanent residency later on.

    Subsequent Entry Pathway

    The Subsequent Entry Pathway helps your family join you in Australia. If you hold a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa, they can come live and work with you.

    • Family members must apply separately for this pathway.
    • Eligible family includes your partner, your children, and other dependent relatives.
    • The visa lets them stay in regional Australia for up to four years.
    • To apply, they need to provide proof of their relationship to you. This could be a marriage certificate for spouses or birth certificates for children.
    • They must meet health and character requirements set by the Department of Immigration.
    • Your family members can study, work, or both in regional areas while on this visa.
    • They should have functional English or provide evidence of English language ability.
    • Applicants need an Australian sponsor or a state/territory nomination just like the primary visa holder.

    Nomination and Sponsorship Process

    To obtain the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 Visa, you will need to go through a nomination process by an Australian State or Territory Government Agency. Additionally, you may also be sponsored by an eligible relative in Australia for this visa.

    Let’s explore these processes in detail to help you understand how to secure your visa.

    Nomination by an Australian State or Territory Government Agency

    You need a nomination from an Australian state or territory to get the Subclass 489 visa. This step is vital to start your journey to regional Australia.

    • Check if you qualify for a Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa by looking at the skills needed in different states and territories.
    • Explore the lists specific to each region, like NSW Subclass 190 Skilled Occupation List or Queensland Skilled Occupation Lists (QSOL).
    • Complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect online and show why you should be nominated.
    • Your EOI must score high enough on the points test – factors include age, work experience, and English language ability.
    • A state or territory government agency reviews EOIs and invites those who meet their criteria.
    • After receiving an invitation, submit additional documents to prove your qualifications for the nominated occupation.
    • State and territory requirements vary, so ensure you understand what they seek in candidates.
    • Acceptance by a state or territory can speed up the overall visa application process for entering Australia.
    • Keep in mind that living in a regional area is part of this provisional visa’s conditions once you arrive.
    • Be aware that each nomination has its own set of rules – some may need job offers beforehand, while others might have different expectations.

    Sponsorship by an Eligible Relative

    Sponsorship by an eligible relative can be a stepping stone towards your dreams of living and working in regional Australia. Here’s how you can get sponsored for a Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa.

    • Eligibility check: Make sure your relative is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen. They must live in designated areas of Australia.
    • Relationship matters: Your sponsor could be a parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or grandparent. Step-relatives also qualify if they’re related by marriage.
    • Share your plans: Discuss your intentions with your relative so they understand their role as a sponsor.
    • Gather documents: Collect proof of relationship like birth certificates or marriage certificates. You need these when applying.
    • Check location: Your sponsor must reside in a designated regional area where you plan to live and work.
    • Understand obligations: As sponsors, relatives agree to support and assist you during your initial time in Australia.
    • Complete forms: Both you and your sponsor will fill out necessary forms for the sponsorship process.
    • Wait for approval: Once everything is submitted, wait for the decision on both the sponsorship and visa application.

    Requirements for the Subclass 489 Visa

    To be eligible for the Subclass 489 Visa, you will need to meet certain age, skills, and English language requirements. Additionally, you must also satisfy health and character requirements to obtain this visa.

    Age, Skills, and English Language Requirements

    To be eligible for the Subclass 489 Visa, you must be between 18 and 45 years old. Additionally, you need to pass a Skills Assessment in an occupation listed on the relevant Skilled Occupations List. Lastly, applicants are required to have Competent English or higher language skills according to the visa criteria.

    Health and Character Requirements

    To be eligible for the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 Visa, you must meet specific health and character requirements. Here’s what you need to consider:

    Health Requirements:

    • You and your family members included in the visa application must undergo health examinations conducted by authorised clinics or medical professionals recognised by the Department of Home Affairs.
    • These examinations are crucial to ensure that you do not have any medical condition that could pose a significant cost to the Australian community or threaten public health.

    Character Requirements

    • As an applicant, you are required to provide police certificates from each country where you have lived for 12 months or more over the last ten years since turning 16.
    • Additionally, all accompanying family members aged 16 years and over must also meet these character requirements.
    1. Providing accurate and complete information regarding your health and character is vital for a successful visa application process.
    2. Failure to meet these requirements may result in delays or even possible refusal of your visa application.
    3. It’s important to remember that meeting these requirements demonstrates your commitment to maintaining Australia’s high standards of public health and safety.

    Living and Working in Australia with a Subclass 489 Visa

    Once you have obtained your Subclass 489 visa, you will need to comply with the visa conditions, including living and working in a regional area as specified. There are also certain work opportunities and restrictions that you should be aware of while residing in Australia with this visa.

    Compliance with Visa Conditions

    Ensure you live, work, and study in the designated regional area.

    1. Adhere to the regulations and conditions associated with living and working in Australia outlined by the Australian government.
    2. Comply with the visa requirements for work experience and skills relevant to the regional area.
    3. Abide by the restrictions on living, working, and studying outside of the approved regional area.
    4. Maintain awareness of any changes or updates to visa conditions during your stay in Australia.
    5. Fulfill any reporting or documentation obligations as required by the visa conditions.
    6. Inform relevant authorities if there are any changes to personal circumstances, such as address or employment status during your stay in a regional area.
    7. Actively ensure all family members included in your visa application also comply with visa conditions.

    Work Opportunities and Restrictions

    Live and work in approved regional areas – this is the primary scope of the Subclass 489 visa. Embrace job opportunities within specified regions, but keep in mind the restriction on working outside these areas.

    Prioritise roles that contribute to the growth and development of regional Australia.

    With your Subclass 489 visa, focus on employment prospects within designated locations. Remember, your role should positively impact regional growth while adhering to location-specific limitations.

    Transitioning from Subclass 489 Visa to Permanent Residency

    Transitioning from the Subclass 489 visa to permanent residency involves meeting specific criteria, such as living and working in a designated regional area. Understanding the pathways to permanent residency and ensuring compliance with visa conditions is crucial.

    Holders must also be mindful of key details such as health and character requirements, all of which play a significant role in transitioning to permanent residency.

    To transition to permanent residency successfully, it’s important for holders of the Subclass 489 visa to familiarise themselves with the nomination and sponsorship process by an Australian State or Territory Government Agency or an eligible relative.

    Meeting these requirements can lead you closer to obtaining permanent residency status. Additionally, seeking accurate guidance from migration agents can provide valuable assistance throughout this critical transition period.


    In summary, the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 Visa offers skilled workers a temporary pathway to live and work in regional Australia. It provides an opportunity for holders to contribute to regional communities while pursuing their career aspirations.

    With adherence to specific conditions, such as residence and employment in designated regional areas, this visa is a stepping stone towards permanent residency. For those seeking a chance to make a meaningful impact on regional Australia, this visa presents an avenue for personal growth and professional fulfilment.

    So seize the opportunity and embark on your journey to live and work in beautiful regional Australia!


    CJMigration is a well-respected Sydney migration agency with over 30 years of experience in the industry. We can help guide you through the process and achieve your immigration goals.

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