Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)
The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491), commonly known as Visa 491, is an Australian temporary visa designed to encourage skilled workers to live and work in regional areas of Australia. This visa provides a pathway to permanent residency for individuals who meet specific eligibility criteria and commit to living and working in a designated regional area.
Key points about Visa 491:
- Regional Designation: The Visa 491 is part of Australia’s regional migration program and requires applicants to nominate an occupation on the relevant Skilled Occupation List (SOL) or Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) that corresponds to a designated regional area. Regional areas are typically outside major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
- Points-Based System: Similar to other skilled visas, applicants are assessed based on a points-based system that takes into account factors such as age, English language proficiency, work experience, education, and other relevant criteria.
- Expression of Interest (EOI): Interested individuals need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the online SkillSelect system. This involves providing information about their skills, qualifications, and other details.
- State or Territory Nomination: To be eligible for the Visa 491, applicants may need to receive a nomination from an Australian state or territory government. Each state or territory has its own set of criteria and requirements for nominating candidates.
- Regional Pathway: The Visa 491 is part of the regional migration stream and requires applicants to commit to living and working in a designated regional area for a specified period. This regional commitment is generally required for a minimum of three years.
- Temporary Residency: Visa 491 provides temporary residency for up to five years. During this period, holders are allowed to live, work, and study in the designated regional area.
- Pathway to Permanent Residency: One of the main benefits of Visa 491 is that it provides a pathway to permanent residency through the Skilled Regional (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 191). To be eligible for this permanent visa, individuals must have held the Visa 491 for at least three years, met the regional residency requirement, and complied with the visa conditions.