A complete guide to the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491)

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491)

Dreaming of embarking on a fulfilling professional journey in Australia? Look no further than the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491), an incredible pathway that opens doors to an exciting career and a vibrant lifestyle in the Land Down Under.

Subclass 491 is a gift, especially with Australia being the most popular country for international travelers nowadays! Australia’s stunning landscapes welcome newcomers with open arms.

With the help of this visa, you can now work, settle, and become a resident of Australia for 5 years. 

What is a Subclass 491 visa?

The new skilled work regional 491 visa (Subclass 491 Visa) is a temporary visa that allows skilled workers to live, study, and work in certain restricted areas of Australia. This visa has a five-year validity period.

It is open to skilled workers already living and working in Australia as temporary residents and those who live outside of Australia.

What can you do with a Subclass 491 visa?

  • Stay in Australia for five years from the date we grant you the visa.
  • Live, work, and study in a specific Australian region.
  • You can be in and out of Australia as often as possible while your visa is valid.
  • If eligible, apply for permanent residence through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (subclass 191), which will be available on November 16, 2022. You are not eligible to apply for any other permanent visa until you have held your subclass 491 visa for three years.

Eligibility criteria for Subclass 491 visa

To qualify for a 491 visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must obtain a nomination from your region or a relative.
  • You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • Need to have good English level proficiency.
  • Must have good health and character.
  • You must receive an EOI nomination invitation email.
  • You should be under 45 years old.

Learn More: Do you know the role of SkillSelect EOI in the Australian skilled migration visa? 💡💡

How many points do you need to apply for a 491 visa?

The subclass 491 visa is point-based.

As soon as your EOI is submitted in SkillSelect, you will receive a preliminary score based on your statements. If your score does not reach 65 points, you will not be invited to apply for this visa.

Suppose the Australian DHA invites you to apply for a visa. In that case, your invitation will state the number of points you must obtain when they evaluate your application for a visa grant (this score may be higher than 65 points, depending on your claims in the EOI).

When submitting your application, you must provide evidence to support your claims.

How are 65 points calculated?

As previously stated, to immigrate to Australia, you must earn 65 points on Australia’s points test system.

The following factors influence the points:

Factors Points
Age (lesser than 45 years) 30 points
Educational background 15 points
Working experience in and outside of a country 15 points (Outside Australia)
20 points (In Australia)
Proof of English proficiency tests 20 points

Average processing time for Subclass 491 visa

The current average processing time for 491 visas is as follows:

  • 25% of applications: 3 months
  • 50% of applications: 6 months
  • 75% of applications: 9 months
  • 90% of applications: 22 months

Australian DHA evaluates applications on an individual basis, and actual processing times may vary due to personal circumstances such as:

  • Whether all supporting documents have been submitted with your application.
  • How quickly do you respond to any additional information requests?
  • How long does it take to verify the supporting information?
  • How long does it take to receive additional information from external agencies, especially regarding health, character, and national security requirements?

What documents are required for a Subclass 491 visa?

You must submit all supporting documents for the information in your EOI:

  • Passport
  • Certificate of police clearance
  • Certificate of marriage
  • Language competency report

18-23-year-old applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Evidence of financial reliance
  • Adoption paperwork (case specific)

Applicants over the age of 23 but still reliant on their parents due to a physical or cognitive impairment require the following documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Evidence of financial dependence
  • Adoption paperwork (case specific)
  • Medical reports addressing the applicant’s condition

The following documents must be submitted in conjunction with your EOI claims:

  • Skill evaluation
  • Language evaluation
  • Skilled employment in Australia
  • Education qualifications (as per Australian standards)
  • Specialist education
  • Research in regional Australia
  • Partner abilities
  • Australia work experience

In the case of a sponsor, the following must be provided:

  • Proof of age (18 years and above)
  • Your sponsor’s declaration
  • Evidence that you are a qualifying relative
  • Proof of permanent residency

What is the total cost of submitting a 491 visa application?

The application fee for the Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) is AUD 4,240 for the primary applicant, and there is a separate fee for each subsequent entrant of eligible family members.

Let us now look at the costs and conditions associated with the application process:

  • Starting at AUD4,240 for the primary applicant.
  • Each family member applying with you for a visa will also have to pay a fee.
  • Use the Visa Pricing Estimator to determine how much your visa will cost. The estimator does not account for the second installment or any other costs.
  • Any applicant 18 years old or older with less than functional English may be charged an additional fee. This is referred to as the second installment. Only pay it when we ask you to. We only request the fee if we intend to grant the visa.
  • For family members, the second installment fee is AUD4,890.
  • The Visa Pricing Estimator does not include a second installment and other costs. You may also pay additional health checks, police certificates, and biometrics fees.

Read More: Do you wonder how to get an Australian Independent Skilled Visa? 🤔🤔

How to apply for a Regional Skilled Visa (Subclass 491)?

There are several steps involved in applying for a subclass 491 visa. Here are the steps involved in 491 visa processing:

Step 1: Before you apply

Step 1.1

  • EOIs must be submitted through SkillSelect.
  • Check that your occupation is on the list of eligible skilled occupations for the 491 visa.
  • Get your skills assessed.
  • Check your points: you have to score 65 points on the test.
  • Check all the eligibility criteria: if DHA invites you to apply for EOI, you must also show your eligibility.

Step 1.2: Submit an EOI.

  • Submit your EOI through SkillSelect. You may send it in from within Australia or from outside.
  • Your EOI is not a request for a visa. An EOI can be submitted for free.
  • Choose the Invited pathway for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491).
  • You will get EOI submission confirmation through email.

Step 1.3: After submitting EOI

  • Based on the claims made in your EOI, SkillSelect will estimate your points score.
  • If you score 65, you will get invited to apply.
  • You have 60 calendar days to use after you are invited.
  • You could receive an invitation for 2 years after EOI submission.
  • If you don’t apply for a visa for two invitations, your EOI will be removed from SkillSelect.

Step 2: Gather your documents

You must provide documents to back up the claims you make in your EOI and demonstrate that you meet the other visa criteria. You have to provide accurate information; if not, your application will be refused. You have to collect the following documents:

  • Identity documents: current passport with image, personal details, passport issue, expiry dates, and name change proof (if any)
  • Relationships documents: If you are or have been married, widowed, or divorced, then you have to provide marriage certificates, death certificates, and divorce papers.
  • Character documents: If you have spent 12 months or more in Australia in the last ten years since turning 16, you must provide an Australian police certificate.
  • Competent English documents: Provide proof that you are fluent in English at the time of your invitation.
  • Partner documents
  • Sponsor documents
  • Dependants under 18 documents
  • Parental responsibility documents
  • Dependants with over 18 documents
  • Skills assessment documents

Step 3: Apply for a visa.

  • You can apply online after you have your invitation. After receiving your invitation, you have 60 days to apply for a visa. 
  • You can apply for this visa through ImmiAccount
  • Note down your transaction reference number (TRN) for reference.

Step 4: After you apply

  • Once they have received your application, they will notify you.
  • You will be informed of your visa’s granting if a bridging visa is approved.
  • They may ask you to provide biometrics if needed.
  • You can tell and correct your document errors as soon as possible.
  • Remember! You have to be alert after you apply for the visa.

Step 5: Visa result

When they decide on your visa application, you can be inside or outside Australia but not in the immigration clearance process. They will communicate their choice to you in writing.

If they approve your visa; they’ll let you know:

  • The number of your visa.
  • The start date of your visa
  • Your visa requirements, if any

Save a copy of the decision.

They will inform you if they deny your visa:

  • The reason they rejected the visa
  • Whether you have the right to have the decision reviewed

If they reject your application, they will not refund the application fee.


Applying for an Australian visa is not easy unless you know how to do it. CDRWritersAustralia has been providing various services regarding Australian immigration, and we provide our clients with CDR report, RPL report, KA02 reports, and other CDR-related services

Begin your visa application today!

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