Overview

The Skilled visa program allows people with qualifications and work experience in demand in Australia to migrate to Australia permanently.

There are a number of different kinds of Skilled visa including the Permanent Regional Subclass 191 visa.

To be eligible for a Subclass 191 visa you need to hold a Subclass 491 or Subclass 494 visa and have lived, worked and studied in a regional area Australia for three years. You cannot apply for this visa unless you have first held a Subclass 491 or 494 visa.

With a Subclass 191 visa you and your family are entitled to work in any occupation, study at Australian schools and universities, access public hospitals and free health services, buy a house, travel between Australia and your country, sponsor family members to move to Australia, and access the social security system including Child support payments and the new home buyer’s scheme.

After living in Australia for four years you can apply for Australian citizenship and a passport. You will not have to give up your original citizenship but can become a dual citizen of Australia and your country. The entitlements reflect the genuine desire on the part of the Australian Government to open the full benefits of citizenship to those who choose to migrate to Australia.

Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191)

The Permanent Regional Subclass 191 visa will be available from November 2022. This visa is for people who have lived, worked and studied in a regional area Australia for three years while holding a provisional Subclass 491 or 494 visa. You cannot apply for this visa unless you have first held a Subclass 491 or 494 visa.

With this visa you can

  • stay in Australia permanently;
  • work and study in Australia;
  • enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare;
  • sponsor your relatives to come to Australia;
  • travel to and from Australia for 5 years;
  • apply for Australian citizenship after you have lived in Australia for 4 years in total.

To be eligible to apply for a Subclass 191 visa you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must have held 494 or 491 visa for at least three years;
  • You must have earned the minimum income ($53,900) for at least three years as the holder of a Subclass 491 or 494 visa;
  • You must have maintained residency in a regional area, although you are not restricted to stay in the same state or regional area;
  • You must have complied with the conditions of the regional provisional visa which includes living and working in a regional area.

This visa is processed on a case-by-case basis. As a result, individual processing times vary. In general, to ensure the quickest possible processing time, make sure your application includes all relevant documents, and that you respond immediately to any requests for more information. The processing time also depends on how quickly the required checks are carried out and how long it takes external agencies to respond.

At this stage, fees are unknown. There is a base charge for the main applicant, which will be announced closer to the commencement date. There is also a charge for each family member who applies for the visa with you. You might have to pay an extra charge for any applicant 18 years old or older who has less than functional English. This charge is called the second instalment charge. Pay it only when we ask you to.

To discover whether you are eligible for a Permanent Regional Subclass 191 visa, we invite you to book a consultation with one of our expert migration lawyers.

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