489 Visa Replaced By 491 Visa - Will The 491 Visa Be A Better Option? - 491 Visa - September 2021
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489 Visa Replaced by 491 Visa – Will The 491 Visa Be A Better Option?

Yesterday saw the official end of the Australian 489 Visa with 11th September marking the day where no new EOIs would be accepted under this visa subclass.

There will now be a gap until the 16 November 2019 when the Department of Home Affairs will introduce the new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa

What is the 491 Visa?

The 491 visa is a skilled visa (points tested) which requires either state government nomination or sponsorship by an eligible family member who is settled in a designated regional area

How is the 491 Visa different from the subclass 489 visa?

The most significant change is that a holder of the new subclass 491 visa will have to wait for at least three years before they qualify for permanent residency, an increase from two years for subclass 489 visa holders.

On a subclass 491 visa holders will have access to more regional areas, with Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast being added to the list of places you can live and work.
There are also changes to the points test happening at the same time, which will be beneficial. There is an increase in points awarded for state nomination or family sponsorship (from 10 to 15), partner skills (from 5 to 10), partner English (from 5 to 10) and selected STEM occupations (from 5 to 10). Applicants without a spouse or de facto partner will receive an additional 10 points.

Related
Austalian SkillSelect Invitation Rounds – July 2020

What is staying the same?

The new subclass 491 visa, just like the subclass 489 visa, is a provisional regional visa that requires nomination from a state or territory government or an eligible family sponsor.

On a positive note, subclass 491 visa holders will have access to more regional areas, with Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast being added to the list of places you can live and work.

As the name suggests, the 491 visa only allows you to live and work in designated regional areas of Australia. These areas are defined as all areas of Australia except the metropolitan of; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth.

The new subclass 491 visa will still provide an excellent pathway to permanent residency via the new Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) subclass 191 visa.

Points Bonus

Applicants for the new 491 visa will have access to more points to count towards the minimum 65 points required by the Commonwealth Government for the General Skilled Migration stream. These additional points could be a considerable benefit for those applicants who are currently struggling to qualify for sufficient points.

Related
January 2019 Australian Visa Invitation Rounds

There is an increase in points awarded for state nomination or family sponsorship (from 10 to 15), partner skills (from 5 to 10), partner English (from 5 to 10) and selected STEM occupations (from 5 to 10). Applicants without a spouse or de facto partner will receive an additional 10 points.

POINTS DESCRIPTION CURRENT POINTS NEW POINTS
Nomination by state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member to reside and work in a specified/designated area. 10 + 5 = 15
 A Masters degree by research or a Doctorate degree from an Australian educational institution that included at least two academic years in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field. 5 + 5 = 10
Partner skill qualifications 5 + 5 = 10

Interested in the Australian 491 visa scheme?

Would you move to regional Australia for three years if it meant the opportunity for a new life down under or would living within one of Australia’s major cities be the only option?

Let us know in our comments.



Related
How Many points Do You Need to Receive An Australian Visa Invitation?

Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia. Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assistance. If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Community Forums. Please note All information provided on Getting Down Under should be considered in conjunction with our disclaimer. Please seek professional advice if you have any doubts! 

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12 Comments

  1. Mark,

    I have viewed so many websites including yours but there is one lingering question. What really changes in terms of getting an invitation for the 491 vs the old 489? I mean they are emphasizing that it will be easier to get to the minimum 65 points but so what? Under the 489, 65 points apparently was not enough to get an invitation for most occupations Apparently, the thresh hold was usually 75 or even 80 points? So will that be the case with the 491? People will get 65 points and wait endlessly for an invitation that will never come anyway because what they really need will be 75 or 80 points?

    • Hi Sam, regarding points, it’s going to be pretty hard to tell how many points will be required until we start seeing the invitation results later this month early next.

      As for key differences:

      Access to an increased number of eligible occupations (over 500).

      Time required to live and work in regional Australia in order to be eligible for permanent residency will increase from two years to three years. However, the visa validity period will also increase from four years to five years.

      Increase in points awarded for state nomination or family sponsorship (10 to 15), partner skills (5 to 10), partner English (5 to 10) and selected STEM occupations (5 to 10). Applicants without a spouse or partner will receive an additional 10 points.

      Priority processing of applications, but at this stage until we start seeing invites and processing times it will be difficult to qualify exactly what that means.

      Live in most areas of Australia, except the metropolitan areas of major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane. Perth and the Gold Coast will also qualify as “regional’ following the announcement we made here: https://gettingdownunder.com/perth-and-gold-coast-get-regional-australia-status/

      This probaby won’t answer your question 100% Sam however we’ll need some water under the bridge before we can say with a level of certainty how the new visa invitations will pan out.

      Hope that helps

      All the best

      Mark

  2. Hi Mark
    As you mentioned designated regional areas for 491, will that be any designated area as previously mentioned under 489 ( Moreton bay area in brisbane Qld )or there will a new list for these area in November 2019 too.

    • Hi Raman, I expect there will be fewer designated areas and more flexibility under this new visa class. In general terms, the primary areas out of bounds will be the metropolitan areas of each of Australia’s capital cities. Other than those areas, you should have a greater range of options with regards to where you might live compared to the old 489 Visa.

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