What is the 491 Visa
The 491 is a regional visa that does lead to permanent residency. You may have family living in Australia already as a permanent resident or citizen, or you may not. On the subclass 491 you can individually migrate through state sponsorship.
The subclass 491 is for those people who are in a skilled occupation, your skilled occupation must be on either the MLTSSL or the STSOL skilled occupation list. The 491 is a points based application with points awarded for age, for your English language ability, for the length of work experience you may have. If you’ve got work experience in Australia, then you’ll get more points for work experience in Australia than from overseas. And then if you depended on your qualification (e.g. Medical Professionals or Accountants and Skilled Trades), you’ll get many points for that.
Do I need a Skill Assessment for a 491 Visa
The first step to in a 491 application is to have your skills assessed and then do an English language test. Even those people who are native English speakers should consider doing the English language test because it will boost points. And obviously, the more points you gain, the more likely it is that you will receive an invitation to lodge an application for a provisional 491 visa.
Is the 491 Visa Provisional?
The 491 visa is provisional, which means it’s a temporary visa. It’s valid for five years, and then there is a pathway to permanent residency. If you’ve been working and living in a designated regional area for a minimum of three years, then you can seek to apply for permanent residency. Another thing you need to consider for the 491 is that you do need to be under 45 at the time of application. And as long as you’re at 45 at time of application for the 491, it doesn’t matter if you turn 45 by the time you’re eligible for Permanent Residency. The minimum points required to lodge an expression of the interest is 65 points.
State Sponsored 491
A 491 invitation to apply be based on state sponsorship, similar to the 190 process. You may be working and living in a particular area that you’re seeking sponsorship through the state to to obtain an invitation for an application, or you may have a relative that can sponsor you for lodging a 491 visa.
Family Sponsored 491 Visa
The sponsor for 491 Australia visa applicant must be a direct family member such as:
The sponsoring relative must be living in a regional designated area, and it would be assumed that you’re going to be moving into that same regional designated area that your relative is in. So they can’t just own property, they have to be residing in that area.The Australian Government will check that an sponsor is living in a regional area by examining bank statements and looking at rates notices. There’s no particular set time period of how long they must have been residing in that particular area, yet they certainly do need to be settled in regards to the sponsorship.
With a significant number of Emigrate Australia clients being granted 491 Visas the first question is how do you turn a 491 into permanent residency via the 191 visa. There are of course requirements that must be met on the 491 visa in order to qualify for the 191. These are important to understand so that you can take proper steps and not inadvertently delay your permanent residency later.
Requirements to turn a 491 into 191
One of the critical requirements to be eligible for the 191 visa is to have lived for at least three years in a designated regional area while holding the 491 subclass. This is in tandem with condition 8579.
Another key requirement is to have three years taxable income that is at or above the specific income threshold. The income threshold is currently set at $53,900. In other words, you need to have a taxable income of at least $53,900 for three years to qualify.
When are you actually eligible to apply for the 191 visa?
The Department of immigration specifies that an applicant will need to provide three tax assessment notices for three relevant income years. Now, relevant income years is defined as the income years that ended before the date of your application for the 191 visa, and during those income years, the applicant must have held a 491 visa for at least part of that income year.
Real 491 Visa Examples
In the following examples, we will assume that the minimum income threshold has been met. The income period in Australia starts on the 1st of July of each year. If Mr Jones applied for his 491 visa in December 2019 and received his bridging visa, (which allows him to live and work until the decision is made). Mr Jones begins working full time in February 2020. He is finally granted his visa in June 2020. So when is he eligible to apply for the 191 visa?
In June, 2023 he will have just completed his three years of residency and at this time, he will not have his tax assessment notice for the income year 2022 to 2023, because the income year ends on the 30th of June. Nonetheless, Mr Jones is able to apply for the 191 visa as he has three years of notice of tax assessments from when he started working in February 2020. He is able to use the notice of tax assessment from 2019 to 2020, as he was granted the visa just before the income year came to close.
491 Visa Cost
491 Visa Processing Time
- 491 visa processing times are currently 6 to 11 months
Estimated Next Invitation Round