Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

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Skilled Visa

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa - subclass 491

This is a provisional visa. It is for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional Australia.

With the 491 visas, you can:
  • stay in Australia for 5 years
  • live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia in line with your visa conditions. A simplified definition of regional Australia for skilled migration purposes includes all areas of Australia except the metropolitan areas of, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Gold Coast, Perth Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast will now be eligible.
  • The visa has got multiple travel rights
  • apply for permanent residence, if eligible through the permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) which commences on 16 November 2022
  • work in any occupation and for any employer in line with the work and residence conditions attached to your visa.
The eligibility criteria for the Skilled Work Regional 491 visa.
  • be invited to apply, nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative
  • have an occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list
  • have a successful skills assessment for the occupation
  • score 65 points or more
  • be aged under 45 years before you’re invited to apply
  • have a competent level of English
  • satisfy the health and character requirements
  • don’t owe the Australian government any money
  • no history of visa cancellation or a previous application refused
The application processes

First, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) Skill Select to express your interest to apply for this visa. An EOI is not a visa application and there is no fee to create or submit an EOI in Skill Select. Skill Select will calculate your point score based on the claims made in your EOI. It is mandatory to score at least 65 points to be invited to apply for a visa.

Your EOI will be visible to state and territory government agencies if you have indicated that you are interested in being nominated. If they nominate you, you will get an invitation to apply for this visa.

Once you have completed the EOI, it is stored in Skill Select and is valid for 2 years. You can access your EOI and update your information at any time. Access your EOI and update your details if your circumstances change. If you are invited to apply for a visa you will receive an invitation from Skill Select. You will need to provide all necessary documents to support your identity, skills assessment, level of English skills, relationship, partner, sponsor and character claims you make in your EOI and show you meet all the visa criteria.

You will then have 60 days from the date of invitation to make a valid visa application online before the invitation expires.

After you apply

You will be informed when your application is received, and you will get a notification if you are granted a bridging visa.

Travel after you apply

In Australia

You can travel outside of Australia while your application is processed as a decision can be made when you are offshore. However, please ensure your visa allows you to return to Australia. Check VEVO for your current visa status.

Outside Australia

If your application was lodged outside of Australia, only travel to Australia once the visa is granted. Please do not make any life-changing decisions like leave your job or sell your house until you are advised in writing that you have been granted a visa.

491 visa processing time

There are no timeframes available for the 491 visas currently. Processing times can vary due the following circumstances:

  • if your application is complete with all necessary documents
  • how fast you respond to requests for additional information
  • how much time it takes to get required checks done to verify your supporting information
  • how much time it takes to receive additional information from external parties, specifically related to your health, character and national security requirements


491 visa cost

There is no cost associated with submitting an Expression of Interest with Skill Select. You can set up a profile and update it as many times as you wish with no expense.

However, once you have been nominated and you decide to apply, the application for the main applicant costs AUD$4,045. There is also a charge of AUD2,025 for each family member, 18 years and older, who apply for the visa with you. If you would like to get an estimate of what your visa will cost, use the Visa Pricing Estimator. Please take note that the estimator does not consider the second instalment or other costs

The second instalment charge for family members is AUD4,890. This charge only applies for applicants 18 years old or older who has less than functional English. Other costs including English language tests, health checks, police certificates and biometrics

Minimum score on the points test

You need to score a minimum of 65 points on the points test. This test uses information such as age, English ability, levels of employment in your field and education levels to ascertain your suitability. You can gain extra points for things like:

  • An extra 10 points for a skilled partner or single applicant
  • 5 points for a spouse that is competent in English
  • 15 points for State or Territory government nomination
  • 15 points for family member sponsorship if they reside in a regional area
  • STEM occupations get an extra 10 points (Masters by Research or PhD required)
  • 10 points for a partner who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident

You must be nominated by a state/territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative (an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible NZ citizen).

Required documents

There are several documents you will be required to supply when applying for a 491 visa.

  • passport showing photo, personal details, issue and expiry dates, a national identity card and proof of name change
  • documents proving relationship status, including death, marriage and divorce certificates
  • character certificate from the police in every country you have lived in since you were 16 years old
  • skill assessment documents
  • competent English documents
  • sponsorship documents- proof of their citizenship, residence and proof of relationship with them
  • partner documents including ID, skill assessment results, English test results
  • family members under 18 need ID, character documents, and proof you have parental rights
  • family members over 18 need character documents, English test results, proof of family relationship and how they are dependent on you
  • family members staying in country of origin need character documents and proof of relationship with you.

Nomination by an Australian state or territory government agency.

All state and territory government agencies have their own criteria

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