For stay and work in Australia, if you prefer a regional area over any metropolitan city, you should go for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 491. It will let you live in your preferred location for 5 years. Here we describe the important points you should note.
What is the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 491?
To obtain the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 491, you must first get a formal nomination from the state or territory government. This visa is a points-based visa, which means you have to score a minimum point to be eligible for the nomination. Here, the minimum requirement is 65. But, very naturally, the authority will give preference to applicants with higher points. We will discuss the calculation of points in more detail in the latter part of this write-up. You will also be required to lodge an EOI (Expression of Interest) for the application invitation.
If anyone has an undecided 489 or 887 Visa, now they should stop worrying about the matter. The reason is that this 491 Skilled Regional Visa has been designed to replace both these two visas.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements For This Visa Application?
For a successful application, you should meet the following 491 Visa requirements.
- Age Requirement
To be eligible for this visa 491 application, your age should be under or equal to 45 years. If your age crosses 45 after getting the necessary nomination, you will still be eligible. But, if you submit your EOI after this period, your application will be rejected.
- Occupation Requirement
The occupation for which you will get the nomination should be present on the correct skills occupations list.
- Skills Assessment
As you will be invited based on your skilled occupation, a skills assessment is mandatory. An authorized body will carry out this assessment before you apply for this visa. As part of your application, you will be asked to submit the relevant skills assessment documents. For any medical or legal professional, the following documents can act as evidence for their skills.
- Full, general, or unconditional medical registration with the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency)
- Law practising license issued by the specific state or territory government.
- Registration as a conditional specialist with the AHPRA
These test results should have been acquired within three years before the invitation date. If you want to use your Australian qualification in the application, ensure that your course was CRICOS-registered.
- English Language Requirement
If your first language is not English, then you have to prove your fluency in it. You must show that you have at least a competent level of English.
- Health And Character Requirements
Relevant health and character requirements should also be satisfied for a successful application.
Documents You Should Gather
Following the different 491 Visa conditions mentioned above, you have to gather the necessary documents.
- Copies of passport-sized photographs
- Identity proofs, including a national identity card and evidence of a change in the name (if applicable)
- Relationship documents in case of getting sponsor from a family member or friend
- Police clearance certificate from the country you have lived
- Certificates on skill assessment
- Results of English Language Proficiency Test
- Documents of sponsorship
How Are The Points Calculated?
For the 491 Visa, the eligibility cut off point is 65. The total points are calculated by adding points obtained for various eligibility factors like educational qualifications, age, English language proficiency, and qualifications. Here we give a division of points for different factors to make you understand better.
- A single or skilled partner applicant – 10 points
- STEM qualifications – 10 extra points
- Your spouse knows competent English – 5 different points
- Nomination from a Territory, State, or government agency – 15 extra points
- Sponsored by a family member in a designated regional area – 15 additional points
- Partner is an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident – 10 additional points.
How Is This Visa Different From The 482 Visa?
There are some key differences between the 491 Visa and the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa 482, despite both of them being temporary visas. The differences are as follows.
- While applying for this visa, you will have 15000 regional areas from which you can choose.
- Your occupation should be listed on the specific 491 occupation list.
- 491 Visa is points-based, while 482 is not.
- You will not need a labour agreement for the 491 Visa.
What Are The Benefits To Enjoy?
If you are successful with your visa application, you can enjoy a number of privileges. First of all, you can stay in your chosen Australian regional area (any place except Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne) for 5 years and do a preferred job in that period. You can include your family members in the application, which can give you much relief. Not only work, but you can also enrol in a study course if you wish.
But the most important benefit of this visa may be the offered pathway to obtaining a permanent residency. If you are eligible, you can apply for it after staying in Australia for a minimum of 3 years. Once you become a PR in Australia, you can work and live there indefinitely, study if you wish, get mortgages. In addition, you can apply to get the Medicare facility too.
The national health scheme of Australia will cover substantial health and medical expenses in public hospitals and nursing homes. But to get permanent residency, you should earn about $53900 in your first three years of stay.
But one thing you should never forget is that within these three years, you will not be allowed to apply for another skilled visa. For permanent residence applications, you can seek guidance from any immigration consultant Perth.
Visa Processing Time
The processing time for the Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa is about 76 days. However, a majority of the applications take about 58 days to get processed. The application process will depend on several factors like how fast you get health and character clearance, whether all the necessary documents are correctly attached, the time taken for verification, and how quickly you answer further queries.
Can You Include Your Family Members In The Visa At A Later Date?
Yes, you can include your family members long after getting the visa. If you want to sponsor eligible relatives who wish to come to Australia, you can do it on the same visa.
Is It Mandatory To Live In The Same State As Your Sponsor?
There is no strict policy requirement for you to stay in the same territory or state as the sponsor. However, the sponsor should continually satisfy the specific sponsorship requirements so that the visa remains valid.
Can The Visa Be Extended?
No, extension is not allowed for the Visa Subclass 491. Once your visa expires after 5 years, both the applicants and dependents should leave Australia.
Where To Find Help?
Any visa application involves many steps and submitting a substantial number of documents, thus making the procedure highly complex. That is why we always recommend contacting a migration agent in Perth. They will not only ease the process but also help you in the later phase.
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