The Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa will soon be replaced by a new regional points-tested visa, known as the Subclass 491 Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa on 16 November 2019. If you’re interested in becoming sponsored by an Australian State or Territory Government for skilled work in regional areas, read on to find out how this change will impact you.
A longer wait to become eligible for permanent residence
The points-tested stream of the Subclass 489 Visa currently provides skilled migrants an option to live and work in regional Australia with a pathway to permanent residence. To become eligible to apply for permanent residence, Subclass 489 Visa holders are required to have lived for at least two years in a regional area with full time work for at least one year in a specified regional area.
Migrants will still have a pathway to permanent residence once the new regional points tested visa replaces the Subclass 489 Visa. However, Subclass 491 Visa holders will need to meet a waiting period of three years in a regional area before becoming eligible to apply for permanent residence.
Cut off dates for the Subclass 489 Visa
To avoid longer waiting times and associated risks, skilled migrants who would like to be sponsored by an Australian state or territory may wish to consider the Subclass 489 Visa before it is replaced. There is currently a small window of opportunity to express your interest to apply before the Government ceases to issue invitations for a Subclass 489 Regional Points-Tested Visa.
Here are the Subclass 489 Visa cut-off dates:
- 10 September 2019 – Last day for States and Territory Governments to nominate and for invitations to be issued for a Subclass 489 Visa.
- 15 November 2019 – Last day for people who have been invited to apply for a Subclass 489 Visa to lodge a Subclass 489 Visa application.
From 16 November 2019, Expressions of Interest for the replacement Subclass 491 Regional Points Tested Visa will open. State and Territory Governments will also be able to nominate candidates and invitations will begin to be issued to applicants.
During this period, invitations will continue to be issued for Australia’s other points-tested visas (Subclass 189 or 190 Visas), which will be unaffected by the change. You can read more about Australia’s new Regional Skilled Visas here.
Interstaff | Over 30 years of Australian visa experience
Our team of Registered Migration Agents can assess whether you meet the skills, qualifications and experience requirements for a Regional Skilled Visa and pathways to permanent residence. We encourage you to contact us on +61 8 9221 3388 (or National Free Call 1800 449 858) or [email protected] to discuss your available visa options and how we can assist with the process of correctly claiming the maximum number of points available to you.