NEW VISA 491 – Changes that can affect you

Migration laws have been changing in Australia, the most recent being the 491 Visa replacing the previous 489 Visa as of November 16th. From this date onwards, applicants can now lodge an Expression of Interest via SkillSelect for the new subclass 491 and the state and territory governments can nominate and issue invitations if you meet all the basic requirements.

Differences between the 489 and 491 Visas

Grant duration4 years5 years
Applying for PR2 years3 years
Conditions491 Visa holders will only be able to apply for a 189, 190, or 186 visa if they have held the 491 visa for at least three years at the time of application
Criteria489 Points491 Points
Specialist (STEM) Qualification completed in Australia for at least 2 years510
No spouse or de facto partner010
Having a partner (under a combined visa application) with competent English05
Nominated by a state or sponsored by a family member1015

491 Visa

−Can apply for Permanent Residency after 3 years via
−You may work in any occupation for and any employer by following the work and residency conditions attached to your visa
−16,000 places per year
−Able to move between regional areas: Perth, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Lake
Macquarie, Illawarra, Geelong, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra
(Regional areas are all the above except Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane)
−Cannot apply for any other skilled PR or 820 partner visa for 3 years
−DHA Fee (main applicant) $4,045 and for spouse is: $2,025
−Valid for 5 years
−Be on the 491 Occupations List
−Must be nominated by an Australian State or territory government agency OR Sponsorship by an eligible family member in a designated regional area
−Satisfy the Points Test (65 points or more)
−Must be under 45 years old
−Must have a positive skills assessment
−Meet health and character requirements
−Paid back debts to the Australian Government
−Nominate an occupation that matches your skills and qualifications and is on the relevant Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) OR the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
−Prove earnings of at least $ 53,900 AUD for three years. If you have a spouse included in the application, then only one of you must show this salary level (through tax returns). This person will be the main applicant for the subclass 191 visa
−Submit an Expression of Interest via SkillSelect
−Gather your documents
−Be invited to apply
−Once the visa has been granted, the holder must retain that visa for at least 3 years to be eligible to apply for a permanent Regional visa
(Family Sponsorship Stream) Parent, Grandparent, Sibling, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin
−15 points for nomination by a State or Territory government agency or sponsorship by a family member residing in regional Australia, to live and work in regional Australia
−10 points for a skilled spouse or partner
−10 points for certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics qualifications
−5 points for a spouse or partner with competent English
−10 points for applicants without a spouse or partner
10 points for the applicant’s partner if they are Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident

It is important to make sure that you meet all the necessary requirements and eligibility when applying for the visa. It would be best to get advice based on your unique circumstances. AMET Education can help you through your process of applying and assisting you in making better decisions for your pathway to work, live and study in Australia. We want to give you the best chance of success in Australia.




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