Australia has recently launched a brand new 5-year visa which is custom designed to attract special skills and talent needed to grow and develop the Australian regional areas.
This visa allocates almost 42,000 new visa places a year, exclusively to applicants who are happy to live work and study in the Australian regional areas for a short while. More than 500 occupations would qualify you for this visa with a further reward of a very generous 15 extra points towards the applicant’s points test.
Making this visa even more exciting is the fact that 491 visas enjoy priority processing!
This is the 491 visa
Australia recently introduced their new ‘491 visa’ or Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa. This visa could be one of the easiest immigration options available to qualifying applicants.
While certain conditions apply, the 491 visa gives the bearer a very solid footing in the door when it comes to emigrating “Down Under”. This visa limits the visa holder to live and work in less populous Australian areas, which have been identified as future growth zones by the Australian government, for a period of 5 years.
Regional Australia is seen as most areas, except the large metropolitan areas such as Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne.
It is a pathway to Australian Permanent Residency
While this visa limits the holder to live and work in regional Australia for a period of 5 years, visa holders can, after only three years of living and working in a regional area and maintaining an annual salary of AUD$53 900, apply for Permanent Residency through the 191 visa, allowing them to live and work anywhere in Australia. Permanent residency will also allow the holder to access Medicare, state funded education and other social benefits.
What this visa lets you do
Obtaining a 491 visa means that the main applicant and their direct relatives may live, work and study in designated regional areas for up to 5 years but may start applying for Australian permanent residency through the 191 visa, as soon as the first three years have been completed in Australia.
How you qualify for this visa
To be in the running for this, applicants for must be nominated by either an Australian state or territory government agency for state nomination, and your occupation must be listed on that state’s skilled occupations list for state sponsorship. For family sponsorship, you must have a family member who has lived permanently for 2 years in a regional area and you must have your occupation on Australia’s MLTSSL list.
For the best possible outcome it is important to consult an immigration professional about this process.