New Australian Skilled Visa from November 2019 – 491 & 494
Australia is ready to roll out two new skilled visa on the 16th November 2019 for a permanent stay in Australia. This breakthrough is intended to attract more skilled professionals to migrate to regional Australia and fulfill the job demand there and help to develop the Australian economy. In addition as a part of the new changes, the government is also keen to ensure that the Australian private sector based in regional and designated areas are able to sponsor skilled migrants when needed.
The two new visas are Skilled Work Regional Visa Subclass 491 and Skilled Sponsored (Provisional) Regional Visa Subclass 494. Whilst the initial announcement on the introduction of these visas was done earlier this year, as the commencement date approaches, more and more crucial information has been released.
An updated specification of Designated Regional Area categories will also be proposed under the new reforms, with new areas to include all of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast; as well as skilled occupations lists for these visas.
Read more at: New Skilled Visa to Be Introduced in 2019
1. Skilled Work Regional Visa Subclass 491
This is a new and enhanced points-tested visa introduced to replace the current subclass 489 visa, for applicants nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area. As the predecessor this visa is a temporary visa, however the visa validity will be increased to five years, with the opportunity of permanent residency once visa holders meet certain criteria. The Subclass 489 itself will be removed on 15 November 2019.
Whilst for the subclass 489 visa holder is eligible for PR pathway only after 2 years living in regional Australia, the new 491 require at least 3 years of regional living before the holder is eligible.
- You must be invited by the government through SkillSelect to be able to apply for this visa.
- You must not have turned 45 at the time of the invitation to apply for the visa.
- You will be required to nominate a skilled occupation listed on the relevant Skilled Occupation List (SOL) when invited.
- You must have an appropriate skills assessment outcome at the time of invitation.
As per the subclass 489, some states and/or territories Government may also change their requirements. At the time of writing, factors which may improve applicant’s eligibility for state 491 state nominations are as follows :
- International Graduates from Education Institutions in the intended State or Territory – currently available for South Australia, Tasmania, ACT (PhD), Northern Territory, Western Australia, and Queensland (Masters or PhD).
- You are employed in the State or Territory – currently available for South Australia, Tasmania, ACT, Northern Territory, Victoria, and Queensland.
- You have an immediate family member living in the intended State or Territory.
Major changes from Skilled (Regional) Visa Subclass 489:
- Visa validity of the new 491 will increase from three years to five years.
- The eligible nominated occupations list will be improved to over 500.
- The Regional area will be expanded and simplified to include all areas of Australia like Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast.
- More points for applicants nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by a family member residing in regional Australia; additional 15 points.
Two mandatory conditions to be attached to this visa:
- Condition 8578 – Notify Immigration within 14 days if there are any changes regarding residential address, email address, phone number, passport details, the address of your employer, or the address of employment.
- Condition 8579 – Must live, work and study only in a designated regional area of Australia.
Transition arrangements from Subclass 489 to 491:
15 November 2019: Final day for people who have been invited to apply for a subclass 489 visa to lodge a subclass 489 visa application.
16 November 2019: Applicants can commence lodging an EOI for the subclass 491 visa. State and territory governments can start nominating applicants and issue invitations to subclass 491 visa applicants. Applicants issued with an invitation can then lodge a subclass 491 visa application.
2. Skilled Sponsored (Provisional) Regional Visa Subclass 494
This visa is to substitute 187 (RSMS) Visa and will have two streams, Employer Sponsored and Labour Agreement, will require sponsorship by an employer. The SAF Levy requirement still applies.
- Must be under 45 years old when you apply.
- Must provide a positive skills assessment outcome, unless exempted, or has previously held 457/482 visa.
- Must have worked on a full-time basis for at least three years.
- Must have competent English.
- Must be nominated by an eligible employer based in the designated regional areas.
The major change of Subclass 494:
- Visa validity to increase from three years to five years.
- The eligible occupations list will be upgraded to over 700 occupations.
- The designated regional areas will be expanded and simplified to include all areas of Australia, including Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast. Metropolitan areas such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth will continue to be exempted.
Two mandatory conditions to be attached to this visa:
- Condition 8580 – In the case when there is a written request from the Minister, in regards to a confirmation of residential address, employer’s address, employment address, or address of educational institution the visa holder is enrolled to, the visa holder must clarify within 28 days.
- Condition 8581 – In the case when there is a written request from the Minister inviting the visa holder to attend an interview, interview will be conducted face-to-face or using a modern video application such as Skype.
Important information to remember is this visa may be cancelled under S116 of the Migration Act if the visa holder does not have genuine intention at the time of the grant to perform the nominated occupation, the visa holder has ceased to have a genuine intention to perform this occupation, or the position associated with that occupation is not genuine.
Enhances point test and ranking system
In addition to the increased points for nomination by a State or Territory government or sponsored by a family member residing in regional Australia from 10 points to 15 points, the following changes also apply:
- Points for a skilled spouse or de facto partner to increase to 10 points;
- Points for having certain STEM qualifications is now 10 points;
- Points for applicants who do not have a spouse or de facto partner 10 points;
- Points for applicants with a spouse or de facto partner who has competent English 5 point.
The ranking system used in prioritizing for intending migrants are updated to the following:
- First – intending migrants with a skilled spouse or de facto partner.
- Equal First – intending migrants without a spouse or de facto partner.
- Second – intending migrants with a spouse or de facto partner with competent English.
- Third – intending migrants with a spouse or de facto partner who is ineligible for either competent English or Skilled partner points.
If you need assistance in migrating to Australia and to become a permanent resident, you are in the right place. We are experienced in making migration dreams come true. ONE derland Consulting, led directly by a Registered Migration Agent in Australia, Indah Melindasari, has a decade worth of experience handling skilled visas.
Make sure your visa process to Australia runs smoothly by using a professional and trusted migration agent to avoid visa refusals. ONE derland Consulting has vast and varied experience handling complex cases like these. Please contact us directly to [email protected] or by telephone to our offices in major cities in Australia: Perth (08) 9477 5831, Sydney (02) 9188 2065 & Melbourne (03) 9088 4114.