The 491 Visa: Everything you need to know in 2024!

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 30, 2024

    8 min read

    491 visa

    If you’re dreaming of a life in Australia’s stunning regions, the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa might just be your ticket. This particular visa paves the way for skilled individuals to contribute to regional communities for five rewarding years.

    Our guide demystifies eligibility criteria, unpacks the application process, and reveals both perks and restrictions – offering you a clear roadmap to potential residency down under.

    Dive into our comprehensive blog – it’s your first step toward calling Australia home!

    Key Takeaways

    • The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa, Subclass 491, lets skilled workers live and work in regional Australia for five years.
    • To get this visa, you must score at least 65 points on the test, have a job on the skilled list, speak English well, be under 45 years old, and either get sponsored by family or nominated by a state. Use our skill calculator here!
    • Your family can come too if they meet certain requirements like having their skills assessed and passing health checks.
    • Applying for the visa means submitting an Expression of Interest and then getting invited to apply. You need to fill out forms correctly and pay fees that start from $4,640 for adults.
    • This visa could lead to permanent residency after three years if you follow rules like living in a regional area and earning enough money.

    Understanding the Basic Eligibility Criteria for Subclass 491 Visa

    To be eligible for the Subclass 491 Visa, the main applicant must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative. They also need to have a relevant occupation on the skilled occupations list and meet the minimum points requirement.

    Additionally, subsequent entrants must meet specific criteria related to their relationship with the main applicant.

    Main applicant requirements

    The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa, or Subclass 491, is a great chance for skilled workers. If you dream of living and working in regional Australia, here are the steps to become the main applicant.

    • Score at least 65 points on the eligibility test. These points come from your age, work experience, and language skills.
    • Have an occupation that is on Australia’s Skilled Occupation List. Your job skills are needed for economic growth.
    • Show that you can speak English well. You’ll take a test to prove your language proficiency.
    • Find a close family member in regional Australia to sponsor you. They will support your move and help you settle.
    • Be under 45 years old when you apply. This ensures that you can contribute to the workforce for many years.
    • Have your skills assessed by the relevant authority. For example, nurses get checked by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
    • Be ready to live in a designated regional area of Australia. You will explore new communities while helping them grow.

    Subsequent entrant requirements

    You may want to bring your family with you to Australia. A Subsequent Entrant visa lets them join someone with a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa.

    • Your family member must already hold a Subclass 491 visa. This is a must to start your own application.
    • You need to have an occupation on the Skilled Migration Occupation Lists. Check the list to see if your job is there.
    • Get your skills assessed and aim for a positive outcome. This step proves your qualifications match Australian standards.
    • Health and character checks are needed too. These show that you are fit and good to live in Australia.
    • Ensure you have health insurance for Australia. It covers you in case you get sick or hurt.
    • If you have kids, they should enroll in school once in Australia. Find out CRICOS registered schools for their education.
    • English language skills come into play as well. You’ll need good English to work and live down under.
    • Apply online by filling out all details correctly. Double – check everything before submitting it.

    The Application Process for the 491 Visa

    To apply for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491), you must first be nominated by a state or territory government agency, or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area.

    The application process involves submitting an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect and then receiving an invitation to apply from the Department of Home Affairs.

    How to apply

    Applying for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa, Subclass 491, is a step towards living and working in regional Australia. Here’s your clear guide to start the visa application process:

    • Check if you meet the basic eligibility criteria; you must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government.
    • Ensure your occupation is on the relevant skilled occupation list for a 491 visa.
    • Obtain a suitable skills assessment for your profession.
    • Submit an Expression of Interest through the SkillSelect online service.
    • Achieve a score specified in your invitation letter based on the points test.
    • Receive an invitation to apply for the visa from the Department of Home Affairs.
    • Collect all necessary documents, such as proof of identity, skills assessment, and English language test results.
    • Complete the online visa application form accurately and submit it before the deadline given in your invitation letter.
    • Include family members in your application if they will also move with you to Australia.
    • Pay the visa application fee to process your application – this fee cannot be refunded so double-check all details before submission!
    • Wait for a decision on your visa application; processing times can vary.

    Estimated cost and processing time

    Understanding the financial and temporal aspects of the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 491) is crucial for applicants. It’s about planning, budgeting—and a touch of patience. It dictates the immediacy of your Australian dream unfolding.

    Let’s break down the costs and give a glimpse into the processing time for this visa category.

    Expense CategoryCost (AUD)Notes
    Application Fee (Main Applicant)$4,640Starting point for primary applicants
    English Language Test$330 – $363May vary depending on test provider
    Police Check$222.50 – $265.70Required for character assessment
    Processing TimeVaries; 90% of applications processed within published timeframe

    The table above encapsulates the primary costs linked to the 491 visa. Remember, this doesn’t include other potential expenses such as medical examinations or professional services for visa application assistance.

    Processing times can shift, based on numerous factors. They reflect the complexity of immigration assessments. Applicants must remain informed and prepared for a wait. While definitive timelines can’t be promised, knowing the average duration helps in setting realistic expectations.

    Embrace the journey ahead and let this table serve as your financial compass, guiding through the visa application process with clarity and confidence.

    Benefits and Limitations of the Subclass 491 Visa

    The Subclass 491 visa opens doors for skilled workers to taste the Australian dream in regional areas. Imagine living where the beaches are just as close as the bushland, all while contributing your skills to a community that values them.

    This visa lets you and your family enjoy this lifestyle for five years. It’s not just about work; you can also study and ease into Australian life without big-city pressure.

    However, it’s crucial to know that this is not a direct ticket to becoming an Australian citizen. You must live in a designated area for three years and meet certain salary requirements before applying for permanent residence.

    Plus, with great opportunities come rules: there are strict lists of eligible occupations and criteria you need to tick off. And let’s be real – moving countries isn’t cheap, so prepare for fees starting at AUD $53,900 along with some wait time as your application makes its way through the process.


    Living and working in regional Australia is an exciting opportunity, thanks to the Subclass 491 visa. Skilled workers can embrace life down under for five years, with the chance to become permanent residents later on.

    If you dream of Australian skies and friendly communities, this could be your path. Remember, it all starts with meeting those key requirements—so get ready to make your move! Keep this guide handy as you plan your Australian adventure with confidence.


    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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