Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

The Skilled Work Regional Visa (Subclass 491) is a provisional visa that lets skilled workers live and work in regional Australia. 



Skilled Work Regional Visa holders can:

  • Stay in Australia for five years
  • Live, work, and study in a designated regional area of Australia
  • Travel to and from Australia as often as desired as long as the visa is valid
  • If eligible, apply for permanent residency after three years through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (Subclass 191)


To apply for a Skilled Regional Work Visa, candidates must:

  • Be under the age of 45
  • Have nomination from a state or territory, or sponsorship from an eligible relative
  • Work in an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • Have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
  • Score 65 points or more
  • Have competent English
  • Meet Australia’s health and character requirements


The Skilled Regional Work Visa application process has seven steps:

Any immigration should always start with an eligibility assessment to determine if the prospective migrant meets Australia’s work visa requirements.

The next step in the process, if the migrant is eligible to live and work in Australia, is completing a skills assessment and English test.

The skills assessment is a process to test your qualifications and work experience, and it’s done by the relevant skills assessing authorities.

Many skills assessments only require paper-based evidence, for example, evidence of previous work experience and education. However, some may also entail a practical or technical interview, where you’ll have to show your skills.

English tests are a way to prove your English language skills. Most English tests have four parts that test your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Migrants most often use the IELTS, but other tests are also available.

With the skills assessment and English test completed, the migrant will submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect. The EOI is the way in which a migrant shows their interest in applying for a skilled migrant visa.

EOIs include the following details:

  • Personal information, for example given names and surname, date of birth, countries of citizenship and/or residence
  • The nominated occupation
  • Work experience and employment history
  • English language proficiency
  • Any information pertaining to a state or territory nomination

Australia's Department of Home Affairs will use the information to calculate the migrant's ability to meet the points test for the Subclass 491 visa.

It isn't necessary to submit paperwork at this stage or to have a nomination from a state or territory.

States and territories regularly review the EOIs in SkillSelect to find candidates that can supply the skills they need.

The states and territories will nominate those candidates for a Skilled Nomination Visa.

Nominated migrants will then get an Invitation to Apply and progress to the next step of the application process.

Nominated migrants receive Invitations to Apply, which include the following information:

  • The visa subclass under which the migrant is getting an invitation to apply
  • The time frame within which the migrant must submit their visa application
  • Any additional information the Department of Home Affairs wants, if applicable

The migrant prepares and completes their visa application with all necessary paperwork and submits their application. The migrant can apply from overseas or while in Australia.

The migrant gets the outcome of their visa. They can be in or outside Australia while Home Affairs decides on their application.


The Skilled Work Regional Visa is a provisional visa, meaning it grants visa holders temporary residency. However, eligible visa holders can apply for permanent residence after three years living and working in Australia.

Subclass 491 visa holders may work in any occupation in Australia.

Migrants must score at least 65 points to apply for a Subclass 491 visa. However, the higher the migrant's score, the higher their chances are of getting an invitation to apply.

States and territories want skilled migrants that can supply the skills most needed in their state or territory and generally choose candidates who score well in their points assessments. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee state or territory nomination.


Skilled Regional Work Visa applicants can include their immediate family in their application.

Family members can get included:

  • when the principal applicant lodges their visa application, or
  • after the principal applicant lodges their visa application but before the Department of Home Affairs decide on the visa.

Family members who apply for the visa must meet Australia’s health and character requirements.

The answer would depend on the migrant's unique circumstances and what they want to achieve with their immigration.

The Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) is a points-based visa that grants permanent residence to migrants with state or territory nominations.

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) is also a points-based visa, but it's a pathway to residence. Eligible Subclass 491 visa holders can apply for permanent residence three years after Home Affairs grants their visa.

Furthermore, Subclass 491 visa holders must have state or territory nomination or sponsorship from an eligible family member. The final major requirement is that Subclass 491 visa holders must work in designated regional areas of Australia.

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