New Regional Visas with Pathway to Permanent Residency
On 16 November 2019, the Australian government will launch the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) and the Skilled Employer Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 494). These visas will help employers in regional areas of Australia as well as potential applicants wishing to settle in Regional Australia.
The new visas will provide a pathway to a new permanent visa where the holder has held a subclass 491 or 494 visa for at least three year living in regional Australia.
The two new regional (provisional) visas are:
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) - this visa replaces the current subclass 489 visa and has been allocated by the Australian government 14,000 places per year. Like the subclass 489 visa, the subclass 491 visa is a points-tested visa for applicants sponsored by a designated regional area of Australia. The primary applicant must be under 45 years of age and their occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list.
Skilled Employer Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) - this visa replaces the current subclass 187 visa and has been allocated by the Australian government 9,000 places per year. It requires sponsorship by an Australian business and the occupation must be on the relevant skilled occupation list.
Holders of the new regional visas will need to work and live in regional Australia. It is expected that Regional Australia will be any part of Australia except Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne.
The new permanent visa is:
Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) – to be eligible to apply for this visa applicants must have held a subclass 491 or a subclass 494 visa for at least 3 years, complied with their visa conditions and have met minimum taxable income requirements.
Effect on current visas
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) Direct Entry stream will close from the 16 of November 2019. However, the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) Temporary Residence Transition stream will continue for transitional subclass 457 or subclass 482 visa holders. The Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) will close on 16 November 2019.
Heenan & Browne Visa and Migration Services have significant experience of the skilled migration program and can deal with any difficult issues that may arise when applying for a visa. Please contact our office to discuss your options.