New 491 visa introduced to replace 489 – what does this mean for migration to Australia?

So with all the changes happening in migration over the next few months, we’d like to give you an update on one of the new regional visas, the new 491 points tested visa.



The new 491 visa will replace the 489 visa that will be phased out from November 2019. Some key dates with the phase out are listed below:

  • 10th September 2019 is the last day for States and Territory Governments to nominate and for invitations to be issued to applicants for the subclass 489 visa.
  • 15th of November 2019 is the last day for applicants who have been invited to apply for a subclass 489 visa to lodge a subclass 489 visa application.
  • 16th November 2019 is the first day that intending applicants can lodge an EOI for the new subclass 491 visa. State and territory governments can nominate and invitations are able to be issued for the 491 visa from this date.

Who is the 491 visa for 

A new points-tested visa to assist regional Australia, for applicants with an eligible skilled occupation, nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area. This requirement is similar to the 489.

It is intended that the designated regional areas, to be identified in a legislative instrument, will include all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Note: This visa commences on 16 November 2019. Specific details regarding eligible occupations and postcodes designated as regional areas will be released in due course.

About the 491 visa – features

Enables eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years. Visa holders will be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence visa after three years.

Applicants for this visa must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area and be invited to apply for the visa, following submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect.


Applicants must:

  • have a relevant occupation on a skilled occupation list;
  • have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation;
  • satisfy the points test;
  • be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation;
  • have Competent English;
  • submit an Expression of Interest vis SkillSelect;
  • be nominated by a state or territory government agency or be sponsored by an eligible relative;
  • be invited by the Department to apply; and
  • meet public interest criteria including health and character requirements.

Eligible relatives for this visa include:

  • Parent
  • Grand parent
  • Sibling (brother or sister)
  • Aunt / Uncle
  • Cousin

Advice from the Education and Migration Services Australia’s migration team.

Regional and state sponsorship is going to probably be the most important thing for the next two years when it comes to skilled migration to Australia.

Based on this, it’s super important to make sure that you map out pathway and meet all the requirements needed the state or regional state sponsorship. We think it’s important, to meet with migration specialist at the start of your journey. This way you will ensure that your study and time in Australia is heading in the right direction towards giving you the best chance of success.

For more information on what these changes mean for you, book your appointment today with one of education and migration services Australia’s migration specialists.

Contact us via the web form or on phone today.

Education and Migration Services Australia – helping you achieve your dreams in Australia!

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