Skip to main content


Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visas (491) The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visas (491) are valid for five years and are open to skilled workers seeking to work and reside in regional areas of Australia. This visa category offers an opportunity to apply for permanent residency after three years. To apply, sponsorship is required either from a state or territory in regional Australia or from a family member residing in a regional part of the country. 

Benefits of the 491 visa subclass? 

  • Priority processing of regional applications. 
  • Incentives for migrants to stay in regional areas longer term as they build ties through workforce and community participation- access to Medicare. 
  • More points available to subclass 491 visa applicants- 15 points for nomination by a State or Territory government agency or sponsorship by a family member residing in regional Australia, to live and work in regional Australia. 
  • 10 points for certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications. 

Who Can Apply for a 491 visa? 

To be eligible to apply for Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) nomination, you must:  

  • Be committed to living in regional area, 
  • Have had your Registration of Interest (ROI) selected, 
  • Be under 45 years of age, 
  • Have Competent English, 
  • Have a valid skills assessment in an occupation on the eligible skilled occupation list for this visa, 
  • If you are onshore, you must be living in Regional Area at the time of nomination, 
  • Be committed to living in regional Area, 
  • Have achieved at least 65 points on the Australian Government’s points test for your Expression of Interest (EOI) in Skill Select. 

What are the 491 visa requirements?  

Following is a list of eligibility criteria to obtain Skilled Work Regional visa 491. 

Nomination from Australian state/territory

You need to receive a nomination from an Australian state or territory government agency. Alternatively, you can declare your intention to be sponsored by an eligible family member.

State Requirements




NT –

SA –

WA –


Age limit

The age limit for applying for this visa is 45 years at the time of submitting the application. 

Skill Assessment

An appropriate skills assessment, issued no more than three years prior to the application, is mandatory for the applicant.

The General Skilled Migration applicants are required to have their skills assessed by the relevant Skills Assessing Authority for their occupation. Since the decision on a visa grant is mainly dependent on the ability and demand of a particular skill in question, the Department usually asks for a successful skill assessment test from a registered assessment agency.

For further information on the Australian Skills Assessing Authorities, contact us.


The chosen occupation must be listed in the Skilled Occupation List issued by the Australian Government. 

English proficiency

Demonstrating a proficient level of English is required, although residents of the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, and New Zealand are exempt from this English assessment.  


The subclass 491 visa operates on a points-based system. When you present your Expression of Interest (EOI) through the Skill Select portal, you will receive an initial point estimate based on the provided information. If your score falls short of 65 points, you will not receive an invitation to apply for the visa. If you are invited, the invitation will specify the required points for your visa application assessment. The stipulated points could surpass 65, depending on the details you have presented in your EOI. 

The skilled migration program for immigration to Australia is usually a points-based process. Point’s criteria are assessed during the invitation process. Every single requirement has a point attached to it; generally, the factors that considered for testing your points are- 

  1. Age 
  2. Language proficiency 
  3. Overseas work Experience 
  4. Australian Experience 
  5. Overseas Qualifications 
  6. Australian Study 
  7. Partner skills 
  8. Stay or study in regional Area

Calculate your points (here)

Character requirements

Both the primary applicant and accompanying family members aged 16 and above need to meet the character prerequisites for obtaining the visa or Australian citizenship. Likewise, family members not accompanying the main applicant must also satisfy the character requirements. 

Living in Regional Area

Regional skilled visa is to allow skilled individuals to work in certain specific regions of the country either temporarily or permanently.

Most locations of Australia outside major cities such as Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne have been classed as designated regional areas for migration purposes.

The Department of Home Affairs has circulated the list of postcodes considered as designated regional areas for the purposes of the Australian visas.

Click here to see the list of regional areas to live and work in to obtain the visa.

How to apply for the 491-visa subclass? 

Submit the EOI (Expression of Interest)– Prior to applying for the visa, you must submit an expression of interest if you’re applying for the points-tested stream.  

Point Requirement– If you accumulate at least 65 points, SkillSelect will automatically invite you to apply for the visa after calculating your points based on your qualifications and talents while filling out your personal information for your EOI.  

Receive a visa invitation– After completing your EOI submission, you must wait for an invitation to apply for the visa.  

Make a visa applicationGo to your SkillSelect account and choose the option to “apply for visa”, this will take you to the online application system, ImmiAccount. Login or create a new ImmiAccount, fill out all the information, submit the required documents and pay the application fee.    

How much does it cost to apply for a 190 visa? 

Visa subclass  Base application charge  Additional applicant charge  (18 and over)  Additional applicant charge (under 18) 
Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) - Points tested stream   AUD4,640  AUD2,320  AUD1,160 

How to bring family members under this visa? 

The applicant, as well as the family members named in the application, should hold a valid passport.  

You can include your family members in your primary application. Alternatively, you can add them to your application after you lodge the application but before your visa is granted.  


The spouse or de-facto partner of the candidate could be the opposite or same sex. The partner must be 18 years of age or above. However, the candidates must prove their mutual commitment towards the relationship. The candidate and the partner should not live separately on a permanent basis. 


To include children in the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) application form, the children could be the applicant’s own children or stepchildren. However, the children must: 

  • be under 18 years of age 
  • be more than 18 years but under 23 years of age and must be dependent on the applicants or their respective partners 
  • be more than 23 years of age, but dependent on their parents due to some physical or cognitive disability. 
  • meet the health requirements as set out by the Department of Home Affairs. 

Ranking systems for an invitation to be invited for a 491 visa: 

First: Applicants with a skilled partner OR applicants without a partner. 

Second: Applicants with a partner who can demonstrate Competent English (but does not have the skills for skilled partner points). 

Third: Applicants with a partner who is ineligible for either competent English or Skilled partner points. 


What is subclass 491 visa Australia?

This is a state nominated provisional visa for skilled migrants that allows you to live and work in South Australia for up to five years. South Australia offers a state nomination pathway for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa – Subclass 491 if you meet all state nomination requirements. 


What are the 491 visa conditions?

Followings are the visa conditions for a visa 491:  

  • You must not join a de facto relationship or get married before travelling to Australia.  
  • You must study, live and work in your nominating state or territory. 
  • You must provide the evidence of your study, live and work to Home Affairs Department if needed. 
  • You must inform the Home Affairs Department if you have any changes in passport or contact details.  
  • You must attend an interview if required.  

What is the new rule for 491 visa?

Workers who are granted the 491 visa will be able to stay in Australia for 5 years from the date the visa is granted, be eligible to travel to and from Australia as many times as they like during that time, and the best part is they’ll be able to apply for permanent Australian residence from November 16, 2022. 

Is it 491 is a PR for Australia?

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) allows skilled migrants to live, study and work in designated regional areas for a period of 5 years, with a pathway to permanent residency. You must receive nomination from a state or territory before you can apply for this visa. 


What is the processing time for a skill assessment in Australia?

The usual processing time for a skilled migrant visa is not fixed and depends on the applicants’ personal profile and the visa conditions. However, the processing time of applications differ based on the conditions like: 

  • When the application form is not fully complete, 
  • When the Department considers verifying the family relationship documentary evidence, 
  • When the evidence of sponsorship needs further clarification, 
  • If the candidate has any debt due to the Government of the Country, 
  • If the Department deems it to be necessary to verify skilled assessment test results. 

Moreover, the general time for the processing of the independent skilled visa is dependent on the complexity of the visa background. 

Is PR guaranteed after 491?

Yes, the Subclass 491 Visa offers a pathway to permanent residency through the Subclass 191 Visa (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) provided you meet certain residency and other criteria while living and working in a designated regional area. 

Which PR visa after 491?

If you want to stay in Australia permanently and you or your partner have satisfied the work and residence requirements, you might be eligible for Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191). With the Skilled Regional Visa (191) you can stay in Australia permanently.

What are the benefits of 491 visa?

The subclass 491 visa entitles visa holders, together with their families, to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia and provides you access to Medicare (our national healthcare scheme). 

Is 491 visa easy to get?

The regional 491 Visa nomination requirement is much easier than the visa 190. It is important that the Australian Government is trying to push skilled migrants to live and work in regional areas of Australia. 


Can you change from 491 to 190?

If you are a holder of a subclass 491 or 494 you must have held that visa for at least 3 years before you can lodge an application for a subclass 189 or 190. 


Book a consultation to discuss your visa options

Get in touch with us today and lets us help you with your visa options

Book Now