Subclass 491 Visa for Skilled Migrants in Australia | Academically

The Benefits of Subclass 491 Visa for Skilled Migrants in Australia

May 31, 2024 3 min read
Subclass 491 Visa for Skilled Migrants in Australia

Key Takeaways

  • Australia offers several skilled migration visas to foreign professionals, and Subclass 491 is one of them. 
  • 491 is a regional visa that allows professionals to settle and set up practice in regional areas. 
  • There are several perks of getting a 491 visa, including more job opportunities and a low cost of living. 

Australia, renowned for its diverse landscapes and vibrant cities, has always been a magnet for individuals seeking new opportunities and a better quality of life. The skilled migration opportunities offered to global citizens have motivated them to migrate and settle in this land that offers exclusive work opportunities along with lifestyle trends. 

One such opportunity that has gained significant attention is the 491 visa, especially for healthcare professionals. In this blog post, we will delve into the various reasons why the 491 visa is not just good but essential for those aspiring to make a mark in the Land Down Under.

What is a Subclass 491 Visa?

The Subclass 491 visa is designed to address skill shortages in regional areas of Australia. It is a points-tested visa that allows skilled workers to live and work in a designated regional area for up to five years. After working for a few years under this visa, the migrants become eligible to apply for permanent residency in Australia. Below are some key features of the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa. 

  • Points-Based System: Applicants for the 491 visa need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect and be invited to apply. The invitation is based on a points system that takes into account factors such as age, English language proficiency, skilled employment experience, and education.
  • Regional Work Requirement: Holders of the 491 visa are required to live and work in a designated regional area. This helps distribute skilled migrants to areas outside major cities, supporting regional development.
  • Pathway to Permanent Residency: After holding the 491 visa for a specified period and meeting certain conditions, visa holders can become eligible to apply for a PR through the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa.
  • Additional Points: The 491 visa provides an opportunity for applicants to earn an additional 15 points towards their overall points score, making it a viable option for those who may not have enough points for other skilled migration visas.
  • Sponsorship by State or Territory: An Australian state or territory government can nominate an application. An eligible family member residing in a designated regional area can also sponsor a person for this visa. 

Subclass 491 visa is considered to be the best visa option for foreign skilled migrants seeking registration in Australia. Let us read about the advantages of procuring a 491 visa in the next section.  

Perks of Getting a 491 Visa

While most applicants might believe that migrating to an Australian city might be better for their career and lifestyle, this is not the case. Instead, the 491 visa offers several benefits to the migrants, which are elucidated below. 

Gateway to Regional Employment

One of the standout features of the 491 visa is that it is a regional visa, which allows relocation and settlement in regional areas. Holders of this visa are allowed to work in regional areas, contributing to the growth and prosperity of these communities. This not only opens doors to a wide array of job opportunities but also allows individuals to immerse themselves in the unique charm of Australia's regional lifestyle

15 Extra Points: A Game-Changer

Securing a visa to Australia can be a competitive endeavour, but the 491 visa provides applicants with an extra 15 points, significantly enhancing their chances of success. This additional point allocation can make a crucial difference, tipping the scales in favour of those seeking to call Australia home. Therefore, foreign migrants seeking quick settlement in Australia must go for the 491 visa. 

Attractive Salaries

Regional areas often present lucrative employment opportunities, and the 491 visa holders stand to benefit from this. With a spiking demand for skilled workers in these regions, employers are willing to offer competitive salaries, ensuring that individuals not only find meaningful work but are also rewarded for their expertise.

Relocation Benefits and Accommodation Support

Many companies in regional Australia understand the significance of attracting skilled workers, as it is difficult to lure skilled professionals into rural life from city life. As a result, some employers extend relocation benefits and accommodation support to 491 visa holders, facilitating a smooth transition and ensuring a positive start to their new life in Australia. This makes the 491 visa a cost-effective solution for migrants who wish to earn more, spend less and save more. 

Reduced Living Expenses

Australia's major cities are known for their higher living costs. Everything from schooling to purchasing a home is a costly affair in the cities.  In contrast, regional areas offer a more affordable lifestyle. With reduced living expenses, 491 visa holders can live an opulent life, allowing for a better work-life balance. This also promotes savings and a luxurious lifestyle among the immigrants. 

Less Competition, More Opportunities

Competition for jobs and resources in major cities can be fierce. Moreover, the cities prefer incumbents and Australian graduates over foreign skilled workers when it comes to offering exclusive positions.  However, regional areas present a different scenario. With less competition, 491 visa holders find themselves in a unique position to seize various opportunities, both professionally and personally.

Bigger Homes, Closer to Nature

One of the perks of living in regional Australia is the availability of more spacious and affordable housing. In contrast to the compact and extremely pricey apartments in the cities, the regional areas offer enlarged neighbourhoods with huge homes at a much lower cost. The 491 visa opens the door to the prospect of owning a larger home, providing a comfortable and tranquil living space. Additionally, being in close proximity to nature becomes a daily reality, offering a healthier and more relaxed lifestyle.

How to Acquire This Visa?

To be eligible to get a Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa, you must meet the following eligibility requirements.  

Nomination by a State or Territory Government Agency or Eligible Relative Sponsorship

To be eligible for the Subclass 491 visa, you must be nominated by a state or territory government agency in Australia. Alternatively, you can be sponsored by an eligible relative who is either an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen residing in a designated regional area.

Occupation on a Relevant Skilled Occupation List

Your profession must be on the relevant skilled occupation list for the Subclass 491 visa. The list is designed to identify occupations that are in high demand in specific regions of Australia. The list is subject to periodic updates, and you must ensure that your occupation is included at the time of your application. The skilled occupation list as of 2022-23 includes 673 occupations, such as Accountants, Aeronautical Engineers, Nurses, Neurosurgeons, Physiotherapists, Dental Hygienists, Acupuncturists, Anaesthetists, and many more.

Suitable Skills Assessment for the Occupation

A skills assessment is a crucial part of the application process. You must qualify the skill assessment procedure conducted by the relevant authority (AHPRA in the case of medical professionals). This assessment ensures that your skills and qualifications align with the requirements for the occupation. You must submit the accurate documents to the assessment authority. In case of most professions, you might also need to take a mandatory registration test to prove your competence and skillset. 

Invitation to Apply

Eligible candidates must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect system. This can be done only after clearing the respective registration exam. If your EOI is successful and you score enough points based on the points test, you may receive an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the Subclass 491 visa.

Satisfy the Points Test

The points test is a key component of the skilled migration process in Australia. Applicants are awarded points based on various factors such as age, English language proficiency, skilled employment experience, educational qualifications, and other criteria. To be eligible to receive the Subclass 491 visa, you must get a minimum of 65 points or more.

Parting Thoughts

The 491 visa stands out as a gateway to a myriad of opportunities in regional Australia. From abundant job prospects to the allure of spacious homes and a connection with nature, this visa offers more than just a chance to reside in Australia. It provides a pathway to a fulfilling and prosperous life, making it a truly valuable and important option for those looking to embark on a new chapter in this exotic country. 

Therefore, opting for a 491 visa is highly recommended for skilled global migrants, including healthcare workers who choose to set up practice in Australia. To get more information or assistance in acquiring the 491 visa or migration to Australia as a skilled healthcare professional, get in touch with Academically today!

Fill up this form for a free one on one counselling session. 

Sheenu Sharma
Sheenu Sharma
about the author

Sheenu Sharma is a seasoned writer with several years of experience curating content in the EdTech and healthcare sectors. She believes in delivering information and facts to the readers by crafting compelling stories. Through the platform of Academically, she aims to help global healthcare professionals in their career aspirations and dreams!