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Are subclass 489 visa holders and applicants affected by the new subclass 491 visa?

Are subclass 489 visa holders and applicants affected by the new subclass 491 visa?

With the new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa starting on 16 November 2019, here is how existing subclass 489 visa holders and applicants are impacted.



I have already been granted a subclass 489 visa

You are not directly affected by the introduction of the new subclass 491 visa and the associated permanent residency pathway (subclass 191 visa). You will still be eligible to apply for permanent residency after two years using the subclass 887 visa, ensuring that you meet certain conditions while holding the subclass 489 visa. You are not required to wait three years under the new requirements of the subclass 191 visa.

You must ensure that you continue to meet the conditions of your subclass 489 visa, particularly around the requirement to live and work in Regional Australia. The definition of Regional Australia for the subclass 489 visa is different to that being introduced with the subclass 191 visa.

Pathway to permanency explained:


Provisional Visa Permanent Visa pathway

Skilled Regional (Provisional) subclass 489 visa

  • Can be granted at any time in the future if lodged before 16 November 2019
  • Valid for 4 years

Skilled Regional (Permanent) subclass 887 visa

  • Eligible after 2 years

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa

  • Granted from 16 November 2019
  • Valid for 5 years

Skilled Regional (Permanent) subclass 191 visa

  • Eligible after 3 years



I have lodged a 489 visa application but am yet to receive a decision

If you have an existing visa application with the Department of Home Affairs, you can continue to receive a subclass 489 visa regardless of how long it may take.


I have received an invitation to apply for the subclass 489 visa, but have not lodged my visa application

You will need to lodge your subclass 489 visa application with the Department of Home Affairs by 15 November 2019. After this date applications for this visa will no longer be accepted.


I have submitted an EOI but have not received an invitation to apply

Invitations for the subclass 489 visa closed on 10 September 2019, so if you did not receive one you will not be able to apply for that visa any longer. You will need to wait until 16 November 2019 before you are able to submit a new Expression of Interest (EOI) for the subclass 491 visa.

If you are seeking state or territory nomination you will need to also apply for this once these jurisdictions re-open their application systems (likely to also be from 16 November 2019).


Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Partner Visas, Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas and other Family Migration visas as well as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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