All you should know about the new Regional Visas of Australia

Australia Regional Visa

Australia will launch two new Regional Visas on 16th November 2019. The Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional Visa) and Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional Visa) will become effective from this date. 

The Subclass 491 Visa will replace the Subclass 489 Visa while Subclass 494 will replace the Subclass 187 Visa of Australia. Both these visas together will offer 23,000 visa spots. 

Visa holders of both the Subclass 491 and 494 will be needed to live and work in a designated regional area till they obtain Permanent Residency. 

The 5-year Subclass 491 Visa will be available to eligible skilled workers to live and work in a designated regional area in Australia. Visa holders would also be able to include their family members in the visa application. 

The Subclass 491 is a point-based visa. Eligible applicants must be sponsored by a state or territory in Australia. Eligible applicants can also be sponsored by a close family member settled in a designated regional area in Australia. 

Key features of the Subclass 491 Visa 

  1. 14,000 visa spots available per year 
  2. More than 500 eligible occupations 
  3. Upper age limit is 45 years 
  4. The validity of the visa will be for 5 years 
  5. Compulsory to live and work in a regional area in Australia for at least 3 years to be eligible for PR 
  6. The minimum income threshold for the visa is $53,900 per year for 3 years (concessions may apply) 
  7. Visa holders can move from one regional area to another 
  8. Visa holders can apply for an Australian PR through the Subclass 191 Visa. The Subclass 191 Visa will be available from 22nd November 2022. 
  9. The visa fee for the primary applicant is $4,045 and for the partner is $2,025 

What is the difference between the Subclass 489 and Subclass 491 Visa? 

Subclass 489 Visa holders could apply for an Australia PR after completing 2 years of stay in a designated regional area. Subclass 491 Visa holders will need to wait for 3 years. 

Subclass 491 Visa covers more regional areas as compared to the Subclass 489. 

More points will be offered under the new Subclass 491 Visa. Unmarried applicants will get additional points. Married applicants will be able to claim extra points for the spouse’s English proficiency. 

How will the point system work for the Subclass 491 Visa? 

The points-system for the Subclass 491 Visa is more lenient and generous as compared to the Subclass 489, as quoted by SBS News. 

Here is how applicants will be awarded points: 

  • If you have a skilled spouse or partner you get 10 points ( You could only claim 5 points under the Subclass 489) 
  • You can claim 5 points if your spouse or partner has competent English (No extra points under the Subclass 489) 
  • Single applicants get 10 extra points ( No points awarded under the Subclass 489) 
  •  You get 15 points for a nomination from a state or territory in Australia ( 10 points under the Subclass 489) 
  • You get 15 points if you are sponsored by an eligible close family member residing in a regional area ( 10 points under Subclass 489) 
  • Certain STEM qualifications will fetch you an extra 10 points 

Y-Axis offers a wide range of visa services and products for aspiring overseas immigrants including Australia General Skilled Migration Program via RMA, Australia Skilled Regional Visa, Australia Temporary Skilled Work Visa, and Australia Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485. We work with Registered Migration Agents in Australia. 

If you are looking to Visit, Study, Work, Invest or Migrate to Australia, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Consultant. 

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Anshul Singhal

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