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Should I get the 491 Visa?

491 vISA


Positives and negatives/ conditions and requirements

Negative aspects, No longer till PR!

People are often concerned about the length of time that it takes to get to PR for a 491.
Realistically, with the processing time for the 491 at 10, the further processing time for a 1913 years later, in total, it’s likely to take at least four years until you holding PR.
Buying property - more costs
You can buy property holding a 491 Visa, but you will have to ask for foreign investmen review board approval approval (FIRB).  And it is relatively easy to get FIRB approval for a primary residence. There is also extra stamp duty when buying a house as a temporary resident.

Positives of going for a 491:

Being able to work full time and for 8 am player and in multiple roles on a 491 is a major benefit.
If your Australian Visa is running out van for no one is an often a good option.
Other options to stay in Australia, may have negatives. For example, going for a student Visa involves the risk of refusal due to GTE,
Includes the cost of paying for the course and also will lead to limited work hours of 48 a fortnight. 
Employer-sponsored visas, such as the 482  you can only have one employer, and one type of occupation. The flexibility of a 491 for work purposes, maybe more attractive.


Click here to check the 491 Visa State & Territory Nomination Availability


The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa, subclass 491, is a provisional visa that has a pathway to permanent residency. 

How can I get PR after the 491 visa?

The 491 visa is valid for 5 years.

You will be eligible to apply for the PR visa – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa, subclass 191, when you have

  • held the 491 visa for 3 years, and
  • complied with the conditions, and
  • had a taxable income at or above TSMIT for at least 3 financial years.

 For more information, please visit our blog: 191 Visa - 491 to 191 PR Visa

What are the 491 visa conditions?

8579 - Must live/work/study in a designated regional area

This condition means that, while in Australia, you must live, work and study only in a part of Australia

A full list of designated regional areas is available on the Department of Home Affairs’ website

As this list may change from time to time, you should keep a copy of this information at the time relevant to your visa.

8580 - Must provide evidence of addresses

This condition means that, if requested, you must provide the Department of Home Affairs with evidence of any of the following within 28 days:

  • your residential address
  • the address of your employer/s
  • the address where your job is located
  • the address of your educational institution.

The request will be sent to 491 holders randomly.

8581 - Must attend an interview

This condition means that you must attend an interview with the Department of Home Affairs if you are invited to do so in writing.

8578 - Must notify of certain changes

You will have to notify the Department if there is any change of your address, passport, email, etc.

Once I have applied for the 491 Visa can I also Apply for the 189 or 190 Visa?

If you have the 491 visa granted, the answer is no.

It’s not possible to apply for the 189/190 Visa in the first three years of holding a 491 visa. 

Please see below for more information:

Restrictions on applying for other permanent visas.

It is intended that holders of a regional provisional visa (Subclass 491 or 494 visa) who comply with the conditions of their visa, access permanent residence by applying for the Subclass 191 visa. Legislative requirements for other visa Subclasses have been amended to ensure this intention is achieved.

Subclass 491 visa holders are unable to:

  • make a valid application for a Subclass 820(Partner) visa unless they have held the Subclass 491 visa for three years;
  • unless circumstances specified in a legislative instrument exist (at the date of publication of this document no circumstances were specified), be granted one of the following visas until they have held the Subclass 491visa for three years:
    • Subclass 132(Business Talent) visa
    • Subclass 186(Employer Nomination Scheme)
    • Subclass 188(Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional))
    • Subclass 189( Skilled (Independent)
    • Subclass 190(Skilled (Nominated)
    • Subclass 858(Distinguished Talent).

How to get a 491 visa?

  1. Check eligibility against the points test.
  2. Obtain positive skills assessment and required English test results
  3. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect
  4. Apply for State or Territory government nomination
  5. Submit visa application within 60 days of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and include all supporting documents for the application

Do note that this is a simplified overview of the steps involved. Preparing and providing the right documents and information as required is an important factor in ensuring your application is processed smoothly.


What is the benefit of 491 visa?

More occupations available for 491 Visa Australia

For 189 Skilled Independent Visa, you must work in an occupation that is listed in the Medium and Long term strategic skilled list (MLTSSL).

190 visa applicants can access both MLTSSL and Short term skilled occupation list (STSOL).

491 visa applicants can get access to larger skilled occupation list which includes the above two plus occupations in Regional Occupation List (ROL).

491 visa holders are eligible to apply for Medicare Australia

Although 491 visa is only a temporary 5 year working visa with a pathway to Permanent Residency 191 Visa, all applicants who have applied for the visa may be eligible for Medicare, which helps with the costs of seeing a doctor, getting medicines, and accessing other health services. Medicare does not cover all health-related expenses and limits of coverage do apply.

Visa holders should understand these limitations and assess their private health insurance options before arrival. Visit the Medicare website for further information.

The regional 491 Visa nomination requirement is much easier than the visa 190.

It is important that the Australian Government is trying to push skilled migrants to live and work in regional areas of Australia.

This makes the requirement for 491 nomination is a lot easier than 190 visa which people can get the 190 nomination by living and working in metro areas like Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane.

So, those who cannot get 190 in metro areas they might have to move to regional areas to seek more permanent residency options in Australia.

491 visa NSW and 190 Visa NSW are quite straightforward.

Let's take 491 visa South Australia as an example: Chef in South Australia need 12 months of work experience to get 190 visa. However, they only need to work 3-6 months depending on the location to get 491 visa as a chef.

Lower EOI points required for 491 visa

Another good thing for 491 visa applicant is you only need to get 50 points on your own because state gives you 15 points as being nominated for 491 visa application.

There are still arguments about the 491 and the 190 visa. Each visa has its own benefits like the 190 visa and a direct Permanent residency while the 491 visa is only temporary and the waiting time to Australian PR could be up to 4  years or more (3 years maintaining the income threshold required and processing time for 191 Visa).

However, with someone who is struggling with NSW state nomination, Victoria State Nomination or QLD state nomination because they are living and working in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane, they might be interested in getting a 491 visa in the regional area of Australia.

Can I buy a house in Australia on a 491 visa?

Yes. Similar to other temporary visa holders, 491 visa holders are subject to Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) requirements.

For more information, please visit Purchasing a Property In Australia 2022 – For temporary and permanent residents

How can Work Visa Lawyers help?

Work Visa Lawyers is highly experienced in all parts of the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa application process. We are able to assist with all aspects of the application, and can also advise on complications in relation to:

  • skills assessments
  • nominating the appropriate ANZSCO code
  • state/territory nomination applications
  • difficulties in obtaining documents to demonstrate work experience or family relationships
  • upcoming deadlines which will affect your points total, such as age or expiring documents. We prepare your application efficiently to enable your visa application to be submitted as quickly as possible.

Work Visa Lawyers will provide an eligibility assessment before advising you to proceed with a visa application.

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your Australian visa or appeal.

Based in Adelaide South Australia, we provide Australian Immigration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.


If you have any further questions or need a visa assistance please contact us 




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Wednesday, 19 June 2024

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