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491 regional visa

What is 491 Visa?


The official name for 491 Visa is Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa. This visa is for the skilled workers that are nominated by the Australia state or territory government to live, study and work in regional Australia for a long period of time (5 years at most). Other than being nominated, the applicant must be also invited to apply for this Visa in order for his/her application to be valid.

If you are considering applying for this visa, there are several things you need to know, including its benefits, eligibility criteria, application process, unique advantage. In this article, we will give you a brief introduction to each one of them.

Once you have this Visa, you can:

  • Stay in Australia for 5 years
  • Live, study and work in a designated regional area of Australia
  • Travel to and from Australia as many times as you want when this Visa is Valid
  • Allow your family members to apply for this Visa as well
  • Apply for Permanent residence through the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional Visa, which will come into effect after 16 November 2020.

To be eligible for this visa, you must:

  • Be nominated by a state or territory government to apply, or be sponsored by an eligible relative (Different areas may have different requirements or selection processes to choose their nominees.)
  • Be invited to apply for this visa
  • Be Aged under 45 to be invited to apply for this visa
  • Have your skill accessed by a relevant organization and the assessment must be conducted within 3 years before the time of invitation.
  • Be able to score at least 65 points in a point-tested system (a point calculator: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/tools/points-calculator)
  • Have at least competent English (6 for each of 4 components in IELTS or equivalent)
  • Your occupation must be on the eligible skill list for 491 Skilled Regional Visa (https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skill-occupation-list)
  • Meet the health and character requirement for this visa

What is the procedure for applying for 491 Skilled Regional Visa?

  1. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through Skill select system to Australia Home affairs Department and have your health examined. Then wait for the invitation to apply
  2. Gather all the documents you need to prove that you are eligible to apply for this visa and all the claims you make in your EOI are true.
  3. Once you receive the invitation to apply, you can apply for this visa online
  4. After you have completed your application, you will be granted a bridging visa during the time for processing the visa application. Once the processing is complete, you will be notified of the result of your visa application. If the application is successful, you will have your visa number and its commencement date; In the case where the application is refused, you will be given the reason for the visa rejection.

What is the advantage of 491 Skilled Regional Visa?

You might have known or noticed one of the requirements of 491 Skilled Regional Visa is to stay in an Australia regional area for a long period of time. Fortunately, entire Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are classified as regional. This provides you with more options and flexibility to choose which city is most suitable for you at the time of application.

Additionally, there are extra benefits if you are an international student studying in regional areas for 2 years. Once you graduate, you will be eligible to apply for a graduate visa allowing you to stay in Australia for 3 to 4 years instead of 2 years.

Which is usually the case for international students who graduate from university in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Moreover, most regional states are also providing nomination programs to help international students to obtain permanent residency (PR).


Overall, if you are a skilled worker or international student that are interested in working and studying in Australia regional areas for a long period of time, 491 Skilled Regional Visa might be your best option. Also, this visa provides you with a pathway towards permanent residency.

To apply for this visa, you need to be nominated by the state and submit an EOI. Once you are invited to apply, you can lodge your application online and the result will be sent to you after the application processing is completed.

But if you are still having trouble with anything involved in the Visa application, our Pathway Education and Visa Service’s registered immigration consultant are happy to help you out!

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