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In November 2019 two new temporary Australian Regional Visas were introduced by the Department of Home Affairs: The Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491) and the Skilled Employer Sponsored Visa (subclass 494).

As the name suggests, the 494 requires a nomination from a business located in the Regional area, while the 491 is a Points-Tested Visa and requires a nomination from an Australia State or Territory.

Common requirements for the visa regardless of which regional area you are seeking nomination from are:

  • Applicants must be under 45 years of age;
  • They must nominate an occupation on the relevant Occupation List for the 491 visa for the State or Territory being applied for;
  • All applicants must obtain a positive Skills Assessment from the relevant authority in their nominated occupation;
  • Applicants must demonstrated they have sufficient funds to settle in the first months in their chosen regional area;
  • Minimum English:  competent level, which corresponds to scoring 6 in each component of the IELTS General Exam or equivalent exam
  • Achieve a minimum of 65 points in the Points Test;
  • Be nominated by an Australian State or Territory.

Australian Regional Visa 491 by State and Territory:

Each State and Territory has their own requirements for the nomination, and they are:

South Australia

• Candidates have to show evidence of at least one year of work experience in their occupations in the last 3 years. Some occupations required more experience than that.

• If you are a recent graduate in South Australia, there are exemptions – so a lot of people are studying in South Australia and while studying, they are working for a minimum of three months on a part-time basis (20 hours a week). Studies however must be at least 1-year and lead to a minimum trade certificate or diploma qualification.

• You must have lived in South Australia for at least 1 year before lodging your State Nomination application for the 491 visa with them.

Please note that some occupations may require more work experience or more than 65 points in the points test.

New South Wales

There are 3 Streams:

1) Live in regional NSW and work in your occupation for at least 1 year

Work means 20 hours a week or more and regional area of NSW means the whole state except Sydney – even Newcastle and Wollongong are now regional areas for the purpose of this visa

2) Study for 2 years in a regional area in NSW in a course closely related to your occupation

3) Be outside Australia and either:

* have a job offer in a regional area for your occupation for at least 12 months, or

* have at least 5 years work experience in your occupation.


  • Candidates must have been living in Regional Queensland for at least 3 months and working in their nominated occupation in Regional Queensland for at least 3 months.
  • Must have a Job Offer for ongoing employment with a Queensland Regional employer for a further 12 months on a full time basis.

Regional Queensland includes the whole state except Brisbane and it includes the Gold Coast!

Australian Capital Territory (ACT – Canberra)

  • You must be residing in Canberra for at least three months before applying for the 491 Visa Nomination with the ACT;
  • You must be working for an ACT employer in Canberra for at least three months, for a minimum of 20 hours per week. Your employer must be actively operating in the ACT for at least one year;
  • Meet points as per ACT Matrix.

Please note that these requirements might vary to each Occupation, this is why talking to a experienced professional is so important when it comes to applying for an Australian Regional Visa.


  • Applicants must have a Job Offer in their occupation in Regional Victoria (which means the whole state except Melbourne);
  • The job must be full-time work, for a period of at least 12 months and in a business that has been active/ operating for at least two years in regional Victoria.

Western Australia

  • Applicants must have at least one 1 year of work experience in your nominated occupation in Australia or 3 years overseas;
  • Applicants must also have a full time employment offer in your occupation in Western Australia, for at least 12 months;
  • There is also a Graduate Stream that requires at least two academic years of full-time study in WA at a Western Australian university and in a relevant occupation.

Northern Territory

  • You must be living in the NT for at least six months before applying;
  • You must be working full-time in your nominated occupation or closely related one, for at least six months, in the NT, immediately before applying for the nomination;
  • There is also a Graduate Stream that requires at least two years of full-time study at a college or university in the NT that has led to a qualification;
  • ·         If you are outside Australia, you will need to demonstrate a strong commitment to the NT and strong prospects of employment in the NT.


If you Graduate in Tasmania you can apply for the 491 visa if your occupation is in the relevant list and you have completed a full academic year while on a Student visa and obtained a minimum Diploma or a Trade Certificate.

If you are working in Tasmania full-time you can apply for the 491 visa after you have worked for a minimum six months for at least 35 hours per week, immediately prior to applying (it doesn’t need to be in your nominated occupation);

  • The company has to be actively operating in Tasmania for the past 12 months;
  • The employer will have to show a genuine need for your position and in some cases, the employer must also provide evidence that no local person was able to fill the position

The state also nominates skilled professionals who are not in Tasmania. If you are applying from outside Australia, you must:

  • Have not lived in other Australian state or territory for the last year;
  • Provide evidence of sufficient employment opportunities in your nominated occupation;
  • Prove skills and experience in the area;

State nomination from Tasmania provides 15 additional points.

*People who have skills in certain occupations in demand will receive priority outside Hobart, such as:

  • health professionals
  • trades and construction labours
  • engineers
  • community services professionals (including aged and disability care)

On top of that, every applicant has to show ability and commitment to settle in Tasmania long-term.

Other important things to know about the Australian Regional Visa 491:

  • It´s a temporary visa, valid for 5 years;
  • It will receive priority processing over other visa categories;
  • It grants access to Medicare to its visa holder (even before the PR!);
  • All members of the family will be required to live, work and study in regional area for 3 years after being granted the visa 491, in order to be eligible for the PR.
  • The permanent visa available for the 491 visa holders will be the new Subclass 191 and applicants will have to show evidence that they have worked for at least 3 years in a regional area, earning a minimum total personal income of at least the TSMIT (minimum salary index used by the Immigration Department). The TSMIT is at the moment $53,900.00 + super

Before you leave this post: Don’t go moving cities before talking to a Registered Migration Agent!

At Bravo we can check if you meet all requirements, organize a plan, discuss the best state/city for you to move in your case in particular and help you with the right strategy (together with a plan B!).

At Bravo we can check if you meet all requirements, organize a plan, discuss the best state/city for you to move in your case in particular and help you with the right strategy (together with a plan B!).

You can book a meeting with us online and discuss all of it in our Strategic Sessions!