The federal government has introduced the new regional provisional visas and revised points system for the subclass 491 visa as well as existing General Skilled Migration visas
At the commencement of the new regional provisional visas will include all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
In March, Federal government announced that there would be 23,000 extra regional visa spots, which require skilled workers to live and work in regional Australia for three years before they can apply for permanent residency.
According to the Migration Amendment (New Skilled Regional Visas) Regulations 2019, three new visas have been introduced.
- New Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa from 16 November 2019: closes the Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional)) visa (Subclass 489) and Subclass 489 is superseded by Subclass 491.
- New Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)) visa from 16 November 2019: closes the Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa, except for certain transitional cohorts. Subclass 187 is superseded by Subclass 494
- New Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) visa for persons who hold a Subclass 491 or a Subclass 494 visa at the time of application from 16 November 2022.
The amendments introduce a revised points system for the subclass 491 visa as well as existing General Skilled Migration visas. The changes to the points test are to introduce:
- more points for having a skilled spouse or de facto partner (10 points);
- more points for applicants nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by a family member residing in regional Australia (15 points);
- more points for having certain STEM qualifications (10 points);
- points for applicants who do not have a spouse or de facto partner (10 points); and
- points for applicants with a spouse or de facto partner who has competent English (5 points)
Australia’s immigration law and visa system are very complicated. Any small mistake can waste your precious time and money, and may even lead to more serious refusal consequences. If you want to know the specific requirements of this visa, or whether your employer qualifies for the sponsorship, please contact our experienced immigration agent to help you.
Paul migrated to Australia in 1999 as an international student. After completing his IT degree at the Queensland University of Technology in 2003, he began his career as an education consultant, going on to become a registered migration agent in 2007. His professional experience covers a range of visa areas, including business sponsorship, skilled migration, partner, parent and student visas.