New 491 visa replaces 489– What does it mean for regional migration to Australia?

regional migration to Australia 03

The 491 visa is a new points-based visa introduced by Australia replacing 489 visa, with an aim to promote regional migration to the country. The introduction of the new visa is part of the changes that are set to be introduced in Australia migration system in the near future.

Introduction of 491 visa: Phases

The 489 visa, which has been replaced by the new 491 visa, was phased out in November 2019. The last day for the States and Territory governments in Australia to nominate and issue invitations to applicants for the Subclass 489 visa was September 10, 2019.  The invited applicants were allowed to submit applications till 15th November 2019. The Australia immigration authorities started to receive lodge Expressions of Interest for the new Subclass 491 visa from 16th November 2019 onwards. The state and territory governments are allowed to nominate applicants and issue invitations for 491 visa from this day onwards.

491 visa: Important features

A 491 visa holder and their family may live, work and study in the designated regional areas of Australia for a period of five years. They may also apply for permanent residence in Australia after three years.

In order to obtain the 491 visa, an applicant must first submit an Expression of Interest(EoI) in SkillSelect. They must also receive nomination from an Australian state or territory or be sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area. Eligible applicants will be invited to apply for the 491 visa.

Eligibility criteria for 491 visa

Those who wish to settle in the regional areas of Australia may apply for the 491 visa. By regional areas, it means all of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

To be eligible to apply for 491 visa, a person must meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant’s occupation must be on a skilled occupation list
  • A suitable skills assessment has to be done for the occupation
  • The applicant must earn at least minimum points in the points test
  • The applicant’s age must be below 45 years
  • The applicant must prove to have a sufficient level of English language proficiency
  • The applicant must submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect
  • Obtain a nomination from a state or territory government or be sponsored by an eligible relative
  • Fulfil the health and character requirements for Australian migration.

Regional migration will be the main focus in Australia in the coming few years and the Australian government is keen on promoting skilled migration to the regional areas of the country. Make the most of this opportunity to move to Australia permanently! Start your journey by getting advice from the expert Australia migration consultants of CanApprove Immigration Consultancy.

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