491 Pathway to Permanent Residence

Subclass 491 Pathway to Permanent Residence

The Skilled Migration subclass 491 visa is a pathway for skilled professionals to migrate to Australia and settle in regional areas.

The program is designed to address skill shortages in regional areas of Australia and can be easier to get than the subclass 189 or subclass 190.

Features of the 491 Visa

 

The 491 visa is a points based visa that allows skilled professionals to live and work in designated regional areas of Australia for up to five years. After three years these visa holders can then apply for permanent residency through the 191 visa.

Subclass 491 is designed to attract skilled professionals to regional areas of Australia that have identified shortages in certain occupations.

To be eligible for the 491 visa applicants must have an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list, have a suitable skills assessment for that occupation, be of good character, be nominated by a State or Territory and meet the minimum points score on the Points Test.

Applicants may also be nominated by an eligible family member who is living in a designated regional area of Australia.

Eligibility Requirements

 

  • You must be under 45 years of age at the time of 491 application
  • Applicants must have a an occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list
  • 491 applicants must have a positive skills assessment
  • Applicants must score a minimum of 65 points
  • You must meet health and character requirements.
  • Applicants must be nominated by a state or family member who is living in a designated regional area of Australia.

 

Designated Regional Areas

 

To be eligible for the subclass 491 applicants agree to live and work in a designated regional area of Australia.

Designated regional areas include all areas of Australia except for the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth.

Designated regional areas are divided into three categories

 

  • Cities and Major Regional Centers: This category includes cities with a population of over 250,000 and their surrounding areas as well as other regional centers with a population of over 30,000.
  • Regional Centers and Other Regional Areas: This  includes regional centers with a population of less than 30,000, as well as other regional areas.
  • Remote and Very Remote Areas: This category includes areas that are classified as remote or very remote under the Australian Statistical Geography Standard.

 

Subclass 491 visa application process

 

Before applying for the visa applicants should have their skills assessed by a relevant assessing authority. Upon receiving a positive Skills Assessment an applicant should proceed to complete an Expression of INterest (EOI) via the SkillSelect system.

Applicants will then be nominated by a state or sponsored by an eligible family member who is living in a designated regional area of Australia, and receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

After receiving an Invitation to Apply, applicants should submit their visa application within 60 days of receiving their invitation.

Processing times depend on the complexity of the application although are usually completed quicker then the 189 or 190 visa.

When the visa is granted there will be conditions attached which obviously include the requirement to live and work in the designated regional area of Australia.

Benefits of the 491 Visa

 

  • The 491 visa allows skilled professionals to live and work in regional areas of Australia that have identified skill shortages.
  • After three years on the 491, applicants can apply for permanent residency through the 191 visa.
  • Visa holders have access to public services such as healthcare and education..
  • 491 Visa holders can work and study in Australia, and can also bring family members with them.

 

Disadvantages of the visa subclass 491

 

  • Living in regional areas of Australia may not suit everyone’s lifestyle.
  • The visa subclass is only available to applicants who have a skilled occupation  in demand in regional areas.
  • To be eligible for the 491 visa applicants must be nominated by a state or sponsored by a family member.
  • While the 491 provides a pathway to permanent residency through the 191 visa there is no guarantee that an applicant will be granted PR.
  • The subclass 491 is a temporary visa that allows visa holders to live and work in regional areas of Australia for up to five years. After this time, visa holders need to apply for a new visa or leave Australia.
  • Visa holders who do not comply with visa conditions will get their visas cancelled.
 

491 Visa pathway to Australian Citizenship

 

The 191 visa pathway is a pathway to permanent residency and ultimately Australian citizenship. The 191 is a permanent residency visa that is only available to applicants who have held a 491 visa for at least three years.

How to move from a 491 to 191 Visa

 

In order to be able to move from a 491 visa to a 191 visa for Permanent Residence, 491 holders must meet the following requirements:

 

  • Hold a valid 491 visa for at least three years
  • Live and work in a regional area for at least three years
  • Have earned a minimum income for three years
  • Hold a positive skills assessment for your occupation

 

If the applicant meets all of the eligibility criteria they can apply for the 191 visa. The 191 is a permanent residency visa which means that holders can live and work in Australia indefinitely. After holding the 191 visa for at least one year, applicants can apply for Australian citizenship.

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Alexander King is a leading authority in the field of migration, holding a prominent role as a Head of Compliance at Migration Consultant LLC (https://migrationconsultant.com). With years of expertise under his belt, King has guided countless individuals and families on their journey to immigrating to Australia and Canada, shaping countless lives with his professional advice and in-depth knowledge of immigration law and procedures.

His profound understanding of the complexities of immigration coupled with his unparalleled skills in tackling these challenges has earned him a reputation as a trusted expert in his field. This expertise is shared in his groundbreaking book, "How to Immigrate to Canada," a comprehensive guide designed to streamline the process for those aspiring to call Canada their new home.

King's dedicated, compassionate approach to helping others stems from his own experiences. Born and raised in a multicultural community, he grew up witnessing the struggles and triumphs of people striving to start new lives in new countries. This drove his passion for guiding others through their immigration journey, a passion that he pours into his work and writing.

Authoring "How to Immigrate to Canada" has been an endeavor close to his heart. King hopes that through his words, he can demystify the often daunting process of immigration, making it accessible and achievable for everyone.