Australian Partner Visas

If you are in a relationship with an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or an eligible New Zealand Citizen you may be able to apply for an Australian Partner Visa. 

The Australian Partner Visa allows you to live, work, and study in Australia and has numerous other benefits.

QLD Migration is Open to Register for Priority Processing.

On Friday QLD Migration open for ONSHORE applicants to register for Priority Processing for the 491 Visa.

Pathway to Aus has already registered all suitable clients with QLD Migration. 

491 Visa Requirements, Processing time & Points Test

Skilled Work Regional

491 Visa enables skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia.

The Skilled Work Regional

The Skilled Work Regional Visa – Subclass 491 replaces the 489 Visa on the 16th of November 2019.

It’s one of the General Skilled Migration together with:

Skilled Independent Subclass 189

Skilled or Subclass State Nominated 190

It’s originally a temporary Visa that may lead to PR. 

It’s not employer sponsored and requires you to commit to living and working in a regional area.

491 Visa Requirements

Before applying for the Visa, it is important to ensure you meet the requirements for the Visa.
This includes:

- You hold a Positive Skill Assessment for an occupation on the State or Regional List

- You are currently aged between 18 – 45 years old

- You have Competent English or higher (6 minimum in IELTS or holder of approved passports)

- You have received a nomination by a Region or State to apply for the Visa

- You meet health and character requirements

- You meet the pass mark in the skilled migration points test – currently 65.

Submit Your Expression of Interest (EOI)

Like any General Skilled Migration Visa, the 491 is points-tested. 

This means that you will need to submit an EOI and total at least 65 points. 

On the EOI you will receive points for things like:

  • Your Age
  • Your Education Qualifications
  • English Level
  • Work Experience
  • Relationship Status
  • Regional Nomination
  • + Many more

Receive Regional Nomination

In addition to totalling the required points, you still need to be nominated by:

  1. a designated regional area of an Australian state or territory, or
  2. an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area of Australia

On the Expression of Interest you will need to state if you intend to work in any State or regional area. 

The Visa holder will apply to be nominated to work in a profession that is listed on the State or Regional Occupation List. If there is a shortage of individuals skilled to work in that particular profession, the State or regional area may choose to nominate a Visa holder to fill these roles.

Please, note each State and Region has different requirements for nomination. Some States and Regions will require you to lodge a separate application after submitting an expression of interest. Other States and Regions do not accept applications and will only contact you with an invitation to apply. If you do not receive an invitation to apply for State nomination, you cannot apply for the Visa.

It could be useful to review the individual State or Territory websites listed below to see which professions are required and the requirements for regional nomination.

Wait for invitation

Once you have submitted the State or Region Nomination Application you will then need to wait to receive an invitation to apply. Generally speaking it takes roughly 2 – 8 weeks to receive an invitation to apply for the Visa.

Apply for Visa

Once you have received an invitation to apply for the Visa, you will then be able to lodge the Visa application through your immigration portal or your migration agents.  You have 60 days to lodge the Visa from receiving the invitation.

When lodging the application you will need to provide documentation supporting your work experience, education and personal documentation.

Please, note if you do not receive an invitation to apply for the Visa from the Department of Home Affairs, you cannot lodge the Visa.

Visa Application Fee

$4,640 AUD

*Plus credit card payment fee if paying by credit card
**The price is correct as of the 1st Oct 2019, and is subject to change. For further information on current visa fees refer to the Home Affairs Website

Note: Visa applicants can apply both in Australia and overseas. 

However in order to apply from within Australia, Visa applicants must be on a substantive or appropriate Bridging Visa.

Common questions:

Where are the designated regional areas ?

Designated regional areas will include everywhere in Australia except Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

How does the 491 visa lead to permanent residency ?

The 491 is a five-year Visa. This Visa may allow you to apply for the Permanent Residence through the Subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional). 

In order to apply for the permanent Visa you will need to meet the following requirements:

  1. You have lived, worked or studied in the designated regional area for at least three years, whilst holding a 491 visa, and
  2. You can show earnings of at least $53,900 annually for three years. If you have a partner included in your 491 application, only one of you needs to show the three years of annual salary (through tax returns) at or above $53,900. Your partner can be the main applicant for the 191 Visa if they can demonstrate meeting this requirement.
Do I need to receive an invitation to apply for the 491 visa ?

Yes you must have your nomination approved in order to apply for this visa. If you do not have a nomination approved by either a state or regional area, or an eligible family member, you cannot apply for this Visa.

If I am older than 45 can I apply for the 491 visa ?

If you are older than 45 you cannot apply for the 491 Visa. Perhaps you could consider the 482 Visa or DAMA if you are looking for PR.

Is the 491 Visa permanent ?

The 491 Visa is a temporary or provisional Visa. However if you work in the area for 3 years you may be able to transition onto the permanent 191 Visa.

Can I apply for another Visa if I hold the 491 visa ?

In order to stop visa holders from moving to other areas after receiving the 491 Visa, immigration has placed restrictions on what Visas you can apply for when holding the 491 Visa.

491 Visa holders cannot lodge 491 Visa holders will not be able to lodge the 189, 190, 186 or 820 Visas + many more.

If I have not worked in the regional area for 3 years, can I still apply for PR?

If you do not work in the regional area for 3 years, you do not meet the requirements to apply for the 191 permanent Visa. You may be able to move to another regional area.

Can I include family members on the 491 Visa ?

You should be able to include anyone in your family unit on the 491 Visa, your spouse/partner and dependent children.

What jobs can I apply for on the 491 Visa ?

Each state or regional area has a specific list of jobs that will allow you to apply for the 491 Visa. You would need to check the individual State or regional lists to find the list of occupations in demand in that area.

How many points do I need to apply for the 491 Visa ?

You will need a minimum of 65 points to submit an expression of interest. If your occupation is in high demand in the State or regional area, this may be enough to get an invitation. It all depends on how in demand your occupation is and how many other applications the State has received.

How long does the 491 Visa take to process ?

The current visa processing time for the 491 visa is undetermined as it is a new Visa. To check current processing times please refer to immigration process times.

Do I have to be paid a certain amount on the 491 Visa ?

If you want to move onto the permanent 191 Visa you or your partner must earn at least $53,900 annually for three years. If your partner earns more than $53,900 they can be the main applicant for the 191 Visa.

Do I have to be in Australia to apply for the 491 Visa ?

You can apply for the 491 Visa from inside or outside Australia.

Do I need an employer to sponsor me for a 491 Visa ?

You do not need an employer to sponsor you for the 491 Visa. However many regional or State may require you to work and live in a State for nomination approval.

Why would I apply for the 491 Visa, if I can apply for the 190 Visa ?

If you receive an invitation to apply for the 190 or 189 Visa, then apply for these Visas. These are permanent Visas. Applicants apply for the 491 Visa, if they do not receive an invitation for the 190 or 189 Visa.

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