The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa subclass 491 is one of the most popular immigration options for skilled workers who wish to emigrate to Australia. It offers a pathway to permanent residency after three years, as well as access to Medicare, and a number of other benefits.
The 491 Visa benefits have several requirements, which include sponsorship from an Australian state or territory government agency or an eligible relative, meeting a minimum points score on the point-based system, and having a positive skills assessment from a relevant authority. Applicants also need to meet the health and character requirements set out by the Australian government. Applicants should have the required qualifications and experience for their nominated occupation and meet the published nomination criteria for their chosen region in order to be invited to apply for the visa.
Living the Australian Dream: How the Best 491 Visa Can Change Your Life
Those seeking the visa can choose between two streams, including one that allows you to be sponsored by a family member and another for which you can apply if you are nominated by an Australian employer. The process requires a number of documents, such as police clearances from all countries you have lived in, medical reports and an English language test.
The benefit of this stream is that you have a greater variety of occupations to choose from compared to the 190 visa, which only has access to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skilled List (MLTSSL) and Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). It also has a clearer pathway to PR than other regional visas and allows spouses and dependent children to become permanent residents at the same time as the primary applicant.