Know more details about the new Regional Visas of Australia

australia work

Australia is all set to introduce two new Regional Visas –the Subclass 491 and 494 which come into effect from 16th November 2019. 

The new visas will replace the Subclass 489 and Subclass 187 Visas which will henceforth no longer be available. The Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional) will replace the Subclass 489 while the Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional) will replace the Subclass 187 Visa. 

The new Regional Visas of Australia require visa holders to live up to three years in designated regional areas of Australia. Once the visa holders complete the compulsory stay period, they can apply for Permanent Residency. 

Both the Subclass 491 and the Subclass 494 Visa will be valid for five years. Visa holder may also include their families in the visa application to live and work in designated regional areas. 

Applicants applying for the Subclass 491 Visa will be scored as per the new Australian points-grid. Applicants must also be nominated by a state or territory in Australia. They can also be nominated by an eligible family member already residing in an Australian regional area. 

Key features of the Subclass 491 Visa 

  • 14,000 visa spots have been allocated to the Subclass 491 Visa 
  • Applicants can choose their nominated occupation from more than 500 eligible occupations 
  • Applicants have to be under 45 to be eligible 
  • The validity of the Subclass 491 is five years 
  • To qualify for Permanent Residency, applicants must live in a designated regional area for at least three years 
  • Applicants who complete three years of stay in regional areas become eligible to apply for Permanent Residency. They can apply for PR under the Subclass 191 Visa, which will be available from 22nd November 2022. 
  • Eligible applicants must have a yearly income of at least AUD 53,900. Applicants may be eligible for a concession if they have applied under a DAMA. 
  • Applicants will be allowed to move from one regional area to another 
  • The visa fee for the primary applicant is AUD 4,045 and for the partner is AUD 2,025 

Difference between the Subclass 491 and Subclass 489 Visa 

Subclass 489 Visa holders became eligible for Australian PR after completing two years of stay in a designated regional area. In contrast, Subclass 491 Visa holders must compulsorily stay in a regional area for at least three years. 

However, the number of regional areas under Subclass 491 is much more than the Subclass 489 Visa. 

The new points system for the Subclass 491 Visa 

  • For having a skilled partner or spouse, you may claim 10 points under the Subclass 491 Visa. The Subclass 489 Visa only awarded 5 points for the same. 
  • For your spouse’s Competent English skills, you may claim 5 points. Spouse’s English skills did not earn any points under the Subclass 489 Visa 
  • If you are single, you may claim an extra 10 points. The Subclass 489 had no such provision. 
  • For being nominated by a state or territory, you could claim 15 points. The Subclass 489 Visa only awarded 10 points. 
  • If you are sponsored by an eligible family member, you can claim 15 points. The Subclass 489 awarded 10 points. 
  • If you have a specific STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) qualification, you can claim 10 points. The Subclass 489 had no such provision. 


Y-Axis offers a wide range of visa services and products for aspiring overseas immigrants including Australia General Skilled Migration Program via RMA, Australia Skilled Regional Visa, Australia Temporary Skilled Work Visa, Australia Visitor Visa, and Australia Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485. We work with Registered Migration Agents in Australia.   

If you are looking to Visit, Study, Work, Invest or Migrate to Australia, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Consultant.   

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