New Visa 491 - Migrate to Australia | EMSA Australia

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!


    Hi, is medicare covered under 491 visa?
    Any other eligible criteria available?

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Sheno
      Immigration have advised that medicare will be available to 491 holders which is great, as the previous visa (489) required the visa holder to maintain private health insurance.
      When you say “other criteria” do you mean in relation to medicare or the visa subclass ? if you can email us we can provide further information.

  • Avatar Dipen Parikh says:

    1) I am 30 years divorced boy with official court decree. Could I claim 10 points as a single status as per new point system..??
    2) Are there any changes in occupation lists or it will remain unchanged as per current list..??

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Dipen
      Proof of single status (such as divorce certificate) should suffice as evidence to gain the additional points.
      The occupation list for the 494 (the new version of the 187) has been released and does contain more occupations then the MLTSSL. As yet the 491 occupation list hasn’t been released.

  • Avatar Vikram Rishi says:


    My wife and my self is writing PTE exam . My quick question after NOV 2109 . What is going to happen with 190 visa ?

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Vikram
      Immigration have not made changes to the 190 visa as yet. The changes are focussed on the temporary regional 491 and 494 visa’s. What we do believe is that the number of “places” allocated to the 190 stream may be less as more “places” are allocated to the 491 stream instead.

  • Avatar Abdul Rehman says:

    Which people come under the category ‘cousins’ for relative nomination?

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Abdul
      With the 491 visa, immigration state that you must be nominated by an “eligible relative’ which (among others) includes “first cousin” which is your Aunt or Uncles child.

  • Avatar Manpreet kaur says:

    I have passed bca in 2018 with 62% ..can i am elligible for 491 visa with programming skill

  • Avatar Winston Steve Pereira says:

    Hi my name is Winston I am on subclass 500 visa as dependent, I am a Airconditioning technician with 8 years of overseas experience but I haven’t worked in my related field for the last 3 year so I’ll no be eligible for Vetassess Assesmnt in that case will I be still able to apply for 491 visa my sister lives in Sydney for the last 3 years please revert thanks 😊

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Winston
      The 491 visa is “points based”, and all ‘points based” skilled visas require a skills assessment. There could be other options though such as Employer sponsorship, or your partners study pathway may lead to visas after graduation. If you can email us a full profile we can assess in more detail and advise.