489 Visa Replaced By 491 Visa - Will The 491 Visa Be A Better Option? - 491 Visa - April 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
2019-2020 New South Wales (NSW) Skilled Nomination Occupations List

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
South Australia To Close For New State Nominations From 24th June

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.

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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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