16 September, 2019

Introduction of New Regional Visas

491  visa (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional))

494  visa (Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional)) visa

191 visa (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) visa

New skilled regional provisional visas will be introduced for overseas professionals and their family members, looking to migrate to Australia. 2 new provisional visas will be introduced in November 2019:

  • Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) 491 visa. This for applicants sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) 494 visa: The 494 visa will replace the 489 visa and is for persons nominated through a State or Territory government, or sponsored by relative to reside in regional Australia.

Advantages of the New Regional Visas

Employers in regional areas will have access to additional occupations not otherwise available for other visa schemes to sponsor migrants and Home Affairs is indicating that there will be priority processing for these visa type. Additional points may be available for points-tested applicants who are settling in regional Australia.

  • Regional employers and State/Territory governments who sponsor migrants will have access to a more comprehensive list of occupations.
  • With regards to current occupation lists, the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa will have an additional 450 (plus) occupations than closest non-regional equivalent visa, and the Skilled Work new regional visas (Provisional) an additional 70 occupations more than the closest non-regional equal visa.
  • Priority processing for these new regional visas.
  • 5 extra points for regional nomination or sponsorship provides motivation for applicants to seriously consider regional Australia.
  • The new visas will be granted with a validity of 5 years and holders of the new provisional visas will need to live and work in regional Australia. Visa holder will have a pathway to permanent residence with the new Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) 191 Visa. This will only commence in 3 years – that is November 2022.

To meet the criteria for permanent residence (191 visa), applicants holding skilled regional provisional visas will need to show they’ve lived and worked in regional Australia while holding one of the Skilled New Regional Visa.

Regional Australia is defined, essentially all of Australia besides Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

“regional provisional visa” is defined and means:

 (a) a Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)) visa; or

 (b) a Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)) visa.


In the coming weeks, new details of these visas will be released on this blog.



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