Skilled work 491 regional visa

Skilled Work 491 Regional Visa and 491 Visa NSW Direct Pathway

Skilled Work 491 Regional Visa – 491 Visa NSW – Skilled migration program update

The invitation round results for August and October 2022 have recently been released for the Skilled Work 491 Regional Visa. As one of the visa subclasses introduced back in 2019 to replace the subclass 489, this visa requires either a nomination from an Australian state or territory or sponsorship from a family member who resides in a designated regional area to claim extra points in the points test.

This temporary skilled work 491 regional visa firstly requires that an applicant is under 45 years of age and has been vetoed by a skills assessment authority with a positive assessment in a skilled occupation that is on the approved skills occupation list, while ensuring that the occupation is also included on the preferred Australian state or territory skills shortage list if the applicant seeks state or territory nomination only.

The applicant can lodge a skilled work 491 regional visa from both outside Australia and inside Australia. Upon grant of the visa, the visa holder must live and work within the specified regional area for minimum three years and earn a certain income in order to qualify for the Australian subclass 191 permanent residency (skilled regional).

The visa validity period is 5 years. Conditions, namely 8579 will be imposed which will enforce the Australian government intentions that visa holders live, work and study only in regional areas. Visa holders may move between regional areas. Regional areas are defined as any area excluding Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane. Perth and Gold Coast are classified as regional areas. The applicant may work in any skilled occupation and for any employer in line with the work and residence conditions attached to the skilled work 491 regional visa.

The recent changes to the points test now have the passing grade at 65 points for the cut-off. This lower skill-points requirement has meant that the intake for the latest rounds of applications, in August and October 2022, was much higher then in the past two years.

Discounting the pandemic and border closures on this increase, the lowering of the pass rate total for the points test has ensured more applicants applied successfully for this subclass during these rounds. Through lowering the requirements for English language, this has broadened the pool of applicants far more then what it had been in the years prior.

With the cut-off in October 2022 now having passed, the recent results for the intake have indicated the 491 visa popularity as a skilled work Australia visa option. In August 2022, the number of invitations issued was equal to 466. Meanwhile, in October 2022, that number almost doubled to 818 invitations.

While this may seem more minimal compared to other subclasses, particularly the subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa, it is important to remember that this was only over the course of the last two months. Additionally, both subclasses serve very different purposes and offer different occupation outcomes which is why their total invitations differ.

Important Skilled Migration Update – Skilled Work 491 Regional Visa, 491 Visa NSW

The NSW Government have created a new direct pathway for Regional NSW 491 skilled migrants that want to be nominated by the NSW Government for the sc 491 Skilled Work Regional visa.

The pathway is not yet live and is pending finalised changes to their online systems.

This pathway will allow applicants who are currently living and working in their nominated (or closely related) occupation in a designated regional area of NSW and have continuously done so for the past twelve (12) months to access a 491 NSW Government nomination with 65 points.

Applicants will not be required to meet higher points thresholds for individual occupations as per the other two pathways that are available under the NSW Government. Applicants will also not require additional work experience beyond the stated 12 months of employment in their skilled occupation.

To apply under this 491 skilled work visa direct pathway, applicants must:

  • Ensure they are eligible for this visa subclass
  • Be currently living and working in their nominated (or closely related) occupation in a designated regional area of NSW, and have continuously done so for the past twelve (12) months for a minimum of 20 hours per week
  • Have a valid skills assessment in an occupation within a unit group that appears on the NSW Regional Skills List and is eligible for the visa
  • Are paid at least the TSMIT level or $53,900 per annum (full time basis) excluding superannuation
  • Provide evidence for all points claims in the SkillSelect EOI, and where they currently reside, with their application. They must also provide a copy of their SkillSelect EOI.

Contact us today to speak with our OMARA Registered Migration Agents in Brisbane and find more about your visa options.

Published by Maddie Phillips

Australian Immigration Law Specialist with over 12 years experience, I provide high touch immigration solutions for businesses and individuals, all aspects of Australian immigration law. OMARA Licenced, Member Migration Institute of Australia and Australian Human Resources Institute.

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