Subclass 491 – Skilled Wokr Regional Visa

Provisional Visa

About this visa

The Subclass 491 Visa is a skilled work regional (provisional) visa in Australia, targeting skilled workers for regional areas. It’s a five-year visa providing a pathway to permanent residency, specifically through the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa. Applicants require nomination by an Australian state/territory or sponsorship by a family member in a regional area. Criteria include a skills assessment, age, language proficiency, and work experience. After living and working in a regional area for three years, 491 visa holders can apply for the 191 Visa for permanent residency.


  • Age
    Applicants must be under 45 years of age at the time of receiving an invitation.
  • Points Test
    A minimum score of 65 points on the skilled points test.
  • Skills Assessment
    Positive skills assessment in an skilled occupation. 
  • English Proficiency
    Must demonstrate competent English through approved tests or holding a passport from certain English-speaking countries.
  • Health and Character
    Fulfill health and character requirements.
  • Expression of Interest (EOI)
    Submission of an EOI and receiving an invitation to apply.


Step 1

Submit the EOI

Through the SkillSelect online system, including information about qualifications, work experience, language proficiency, etc.

Step 2

Receive an Invitation

After submitting the EOI, it will be ranked based on the points score, if a state or territory agency nominates you the applicant will receive an invitation to apply.

Step 3

Visa Application

Applicants have 60 days to submit a visa application after receiving an invitation​.


Visa Application Fee
Primary Applicant: AUD $4,640
Secondary Applicants  (18 and over) : AUD $2,320
Dependent Children (under 18) : AUD $1,160

The visa fee is subject to the latest pricing set by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.

Processing time

50% processed in 9 months
90% processed in 18 months

The Australian Department of Home Affairs handles visa applications, and it’s essential to provide all required documents with your application. Please note that incomplete applications may result in longer processing times than the estimated duration. Additionally, processing times are subject to change and should be used as a general reference only.


  • Stay in Australia permanently.
  • Work and study in Australia.
  • Enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare.
  • Sponsor qualifying relatives for permanent residency in Australia.
  • Enjoy multiple travels to and from Australia for five years.
  • Apply for permanent residence in Australia if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Stay Period

The Subclass 491 Visa is a provisional visa with a 5-year validity, meant for skilled workers in regional areas of Australia.

It serves as a pathway to permanent residency, specifically through the Subclass 191 Visa, after meeting certain conditions and residing in a regional area for a specified duration.


491 Visa allows you to include the following family members in your visa application:

  1. Spouse or Partner: This includes your legally married spouse or de facto partner (opposite-sex or same-sex).
  2. Dependent Children: You can include your dependent children in the application. Dependent children are generally unmarried and under the age of 18. In some cases, dependent children over 18 but financially dependent on you may also be eligible.
  3. Other Dependent Relatives: In certain circumstances, other dependent relatives can be included in the application, such as elderly parents or financially dependent siblings. However, specific requirements and limitations may apply.

It’s important to note that all family members included in the application must meet the eligibility criteria and provide the necessary documentation to support their inclusion. Additionally, each family member must be listed in the visa application form, and their details and relationship to the primary applicant must be accurately declared.

If your application does not include your partner or dependent children, kindly provide the reason for their exclusion. For instance, if they already possess Australian citizenship or hold permanent residency, please specify.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Subclass 491 Visa?
    It’s a provisional visa for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional Australia.

  2. How long is the 491 Visa valid?
    It’s valid for 5 years.

  3. What are the requirements for a 491 Visa?
    Nomination by a state or sponsorship by a family member in regional Australia, and meeting points test.

  4. Can I include family in my 491 Visa application?
    Yes, certain family members can be included.

  5. Is an English test required for the 491 Visa?
    Yes, competent English is usually required.

  6. What is the age limit for the 491 Visa?
    Applicants must be under 45 years of age.

  7. Can the 491 Visa lead to permanent residency?
    Yes, after living and working in regional Australia for 3 years.

  8. How is the points test calculated for the 491 Visa?
    Based on age, English proficiency, skilled employment, and other factors.

  9. What is the processing time for the 491 Visa?
    Varies based on several factors, including application volume.

  10. Do I need a skills assessment for the 491 Visa?
    Yes, in most cases.

  11. Can I switch regions on a 491 Visa?
    You’re expected to live in the nominating region.

  12. Are there health requirements for the 491 Visa?
    Yes, applicants must meet certain health standards.

  13. What happens if I breach visa conditions?
    It can affect your path to permanent residency.

  14. Can I travel outside Australia on a 491 Visa?
    Yes, it allows multiple entries and exits.

  15. Is work experience required for the 491 Visa?
    Not necessarily, but it can contribute to your points score.

  16. What kind of jobs qualify for the 491 Visa?
    Jobs in line with your nominated skill and regional needs.

  17. How do I get nominated for a 491 Visa?
    Through state/territory government nomination or family sponsorship.

  18. Can I study on a 491 Visa?
    Yes, but primary purpose should be regional employment.

  19. What happens after the 491 Visa expires?
    You can apply for permanent residency if eligible.

  20. Can I apply for a 491 Visa if I’m offshore?
    Yes, both onshore and offshore applicants are eligible.