Skilled Work Regional Visa (491/494 Visa)


[Talk Talk S Pod] Information for the ‘Skilled Work Regional Visa’


Talk Talk S Pod with Producer Tae Kyung Hong! Essential information on living in Australia will be explained in an easy and fun way here.


Talk Talk S Pod, it is time to find out essential information that you all have been curious about, on living and settling down in Australia. Today we will be discussing ‘Skilled Work Regional Visa’ and this will be the fourth episode which will provide information on the basic necessities to live abroad.


Was it the last weekend? There will be people who are curious about the new Skilled Work Regional Visa which will be in introduced on 16 November. The existing 489 visa will be cancelled from 10 September with applications for the 491-visa beginning from 16 November. As it has become difficult to obtain skilled visa in large cities such as Sydney or Melbourne, more people have become interested in this visa.


Let us ask Sydney based John Kim from H & H Lawyers, what kind of visa is the 491 visa and what conditions and requirements must be met.


Let us briefly discuss the 491 visas before moving on.


Lawyer Jinhan Kim:

  • The regional visa program has currently 25,000 spots allocated. Since last weekend, the Department of Immigration have begun to implement the regional 491/494 visa.
  • The basic application requirements and scoring system of the regional 489 visa are similar. Individuals under the age of 45 years of age must obtain at least 65 points from the score system table, State sponsored individuals or individuals over the age of 18 living in regional areas must receive sponsorship from a relative and receive technical review from designated occupational groups.
  • Relatives include your parents, siblings, uncle/aunt and their children (‘family unit’). In respect to sponsor for relatives, although the list of occupational groups should be included in the existing mid to long term occupation groups, in the case of state sponsored individuals, the number of occupation groups that can be applied for has increased generally. However, you must check the list of occupations separately.
  • Under the new scoring system, applicants without a spouse will receive an additional 10 bonus points, and for those with a spouse that obtains ‘competent English (six points for each IELTS)’ in the English test will receive an additional 5 bonus points. In the case whereby the individual receives sponsorship from the state or a family member, the number of points received have increased from 10 to 15.
  • The approval period for the 491 visa like the 489 visa has increased from 4 to 5 years. Additionally, once the visa has been approved, you are able to apply for Medicare health insurance. The period in which you can apply for a permanent visa from the 489 visa was two years however you now must wait 3 years when applying for the 191 permanent visa from the 491 visa. The Department of Immigration has increased the number of occupations however the period in which individuals must reside in regional areas has increased as well. For each state, there may be additional requirements for state sponsorships.
  • For example, in order to settle down Victoria requires a minimum investment however, if you are already working in Australia you must provide $20,000 AUD and if you apply outside of Australia, depending on your family structure, the required amount may increase however you must provide a minimum of $30,000 AUD. You will also need to provide evidence that you are employed in the specific region and require evidence of a job offer or employment contract from an employer for a period of 12 months or more.
  • There will be some states that are not prepared for the 491 visa, so please check the respective websites for each state to see whether there are any additional requirements for the visa application.


I see. I will continue to ask you questions.


Additional Consultation Details

So, this would mean that for the 491 visa, immigrants who receive invitations for local government sponsors, they are to reside in the region and work for 3 years. In order to obtain a 191-permanent visa, are there any different with the pre-existing visa?


There is a regional 494 visa that is being introduced in November, which is not a skilled visa but it is slightly different as it is a regional employer sponsored visa. We will explore the 494 visa in more detail at a later stage. In addition to the 491-state sponsored skilled regional visa, there is the 190 visa whereby you can obtain permanent residency. For those that have resided in regional areas for 3 years and have been struggling to find work, what requirements must they meet in order to obtain permanent residency through the 190 visa?


Through the 190 visa, they would obtain the permanent residency straight away and reside in the specific region, are there any conditions in relation to that?


Click ‘Listen to the audio of the Talk Talk SPod podcast’ to hear the full conversation.


Since, the 16th we have examined the application requirements and method in applying for the Skilled Regional Visa.


Now that it is difficult to obtain skilled migrant visa in the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane region, for those that prepared for the skilled visa may probably be considering in moving to regional areas. You must check each state government website to identify which occupation matches your academic scoring and technical assessment.


Further, NSW and ACT have announced they will be administering invitations from January next year instead of issuing stated-administered nominations. If you are thinking of applying for the regional skilled visa, you will need to look at the relevant website and plan ahead. I wish all the listeners preparing for the skilled migrant visa a smooth settlement in Australia.


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