As announced previously the Department of Home Affairs has announced to introduce three new skilled visa subclasses on the 16th of November 2019.
s/c 491 Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa
The s/c 491 will replace the existing s/c 489 visa. Like the 489, the new 491 will require the applicant to be either nominated by a State or sponsored by a family member. Family members eligible to sponsor are: parents, children, siblings, uncles/aunts, nephews/nieces, grandparents, or first cousins. Family-sponsors must themselves live in a designated regional area and family-sponsored applicants must nominate an occupation on the MLTSSL.
Applicants under the State-sponsored stream can nominate an occupation on any list, but must be able to meet the nominating State’s requirements.
Like the existing s/c 489, the s/c 491 is also a point-tested visa. Applicants will require sufficient level of English, a valid skills assessment in their nominated occupation and must be under 45 years old when applying.
Several changes to the point test have also been announced and include:
- 15 points for an approved state/territory government nomination or family sponsor living in a designated regional area
- 10 points for a partner, who can meet the skills requirement (age, English, skills assessment)
- 5 points for a partner with competent English
- 10 points for single applicants
- 10 points for primary applicants with a partner who is Australian, PR visa holder, or an eligible NZ citizen
- 10 points for certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics qualifications from Australia
494 Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (provisional) Visa
This is an employer-sponsored visa, which will be granted for five years. It will replace the existing s/c 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
- Location of employment must be designated regional area
- Sponsoring employers must meet certain criteria, such as obtain RCB approval and pay the standard market salary rate.
- The position must be genuine, full-time and available for at least 5 years
- This visa will be open to SHEV visa holders
- Visa applicants may require a valid skills assessment
- Visa applicants must be under 45 years old, and
- have at least competent English
- Visa applicants must have the skills and experience required to perform the nominated job. A minimum of 3 years of (post-qualifying) work experience is also mandatory.
s/c 191 Permanent residence – Skilled Regional
This is a new permanent visa, only open to persons, who have been on a 491 or 494 visa for at least 3 years. This visa subclass will come into effect only in 2022 and more information will be provided by the Department of Home Affairs in due course.
- Primary applicant must hold a 491 or 494 visa and earned a specified minimum income (currently set at A$ 53,900 pa) for at least 3 years before applying
- All applicants must have complied with conditions regional provisional visa, in particular live, work and study in a designated regional area
If you require assistance with your visa application or guidance on your options to apply for a visa to Australia, don’t hesitate to contact our Registered Migration Agent for a consultation.