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 Provisional State Nominated Subclass 491 visa.

To be eligible for a Subclass 491 visa you need to be over 18 and under 45 years old, have reasonable English, be accredited in an occupation in demand in Australia, be nominated by a state government, and pass the visa points test. On being nominated by a state government you will be automatically invited to apply for the visa under SkillSelect

The SkillSelect system allows the Australian Government to manage who can apply for a visa. Under SkillSelect, the Australian Government automatically invites candidates to a apply for a Skilled visa who are nominated by a state government.

With a Subclass 491 visa you and your family are entitled to live and work in regional Australia for five years. You can work in any occupation, study at Australian schools and universities, access public hospitals and free health services, buy a house, and travel between Australia and your country. The entitlements reflect the genuine desire on the part of the Australian Government to open the benefits of citizenship to those who choose to migrate to Australia.

After living and working in regional Australia for three years and earning a minimum income of $53,900 per year, you can apply for a permanent Subclass 191 visa. 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.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491)

The Subclass 491 visa is a points-tested provisional visa for skilled workers who have any occupation on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List and who are nominated by a state government.

With this visa, you can

  • live and work in regional Australia for five years;
  • enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare;
  • study at Australian schools and universities;
  • apply for a permanent visa after three years;
  • travel in and out of Australia without restriction.
  • Pathways to Permanent Residence

    After three years of living and working in regional Australia and earning a minimum income of $53,900 per year, you can apply for a permanent Subclass 191 visa. During the first three years you hold the Subclass 491 visa you cannot:

    • make a valid application for a subclass 820 (Partner) visa;
    • be granted one of the following visas:
    • Subclass 132 (Business Talent);
      Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme);
      Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional));
      Subclass 189 (Skilled (Independent));
      Subclass 190 (Skilled (Nominated));
      Subclass 858 (Distinguished talent).

You may be able to apply for a Subclass 491 visa if you meet the following requirements:

  • You must be under 45 when you receive an invitation to apply;
  • Your occupation must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations;
  • You must have a positive skills assessment for the occupation;
  • You must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) and be invited to apply for this visa;
  • You must be nominated by a state or territory government agency;
  • You must score a minimum of 65 points to be invited to apply;
  • You must provide evidence of at least competent English;
  • You must meet the health and character requirements.

Processing times are indicative only and may vary depending on individual circumstances or government policy. The latest processing times published by the Department of Home Affairs are as follows:

  • 75% of applications: 7 months
  • 90% of applications: 9 months

The visa costs AUD$4,115 for the main applicant. There is also a charge for each family member who applies for the visa with you:

  • Partner/spouse or additional applicant 18 years old or older: AUD$2,055
  • Children under 18: AUD$1,030
  • To verify the cost of your visa please use the Visa Pricing Estimator.

    Adults over 18 years old who have less than functional English will need to pay an additional fee for English classes after arriving in Australia. The second instalment charge for family members is AUD$4,885.


    The Visa Pricing Estimator does not include the cost of applying for accreditation, English exams, translations, state nomination, police certificates, health checks, or professional fees associated with making your application.

To discover whether you are eligible for Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491), we invite you to book a consultation with one of our expert migration lawyers.

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