SC491 Visa

The Subclass 491 is a temporary (provisional) visa. It is granted for a period of up to 5 years and allows the visa holder to live, work and/or study in a specified region of Australia.

There are two main streams for this visa.

1. State Nominated Stream

This is the most popular stream. It requires nomination by a State or Territory Government.

It is part of a points-based system. You can only apply once you have submitted an ‘Expression of Interest,’ have been approved for state nomination and have received an invitation from the Department to apply for the visa.

The process involved is complex, with many different steps. We highly recommending engaging the services of a professional who has experience with the process and can guide you through each step.

We will assist with all of the relevant steps, including the following:

Checking your points

You need at least 65 points to apply, but the more the better to increase your chances at receiving an invitation! Points are allocated for age, work experience, qualifications, English language ability as well as a number of other factors.

You will receive 15 points for state nomination for this type of visa.

We can assess how many points you have. We can also provide advice on ways you can increase your points if you have less than 65 points, or if you want to increase your points to give yourself a competitive advantage.

Selecting an occupation

We will assist you in selecting the most relevant occupation which aligns with your qualifications and work experience.  You can select an occupation from either the MLTSSL (Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List), the STSOL (Short-term Skilled Occupation List) or the ROL (Regional Occupation List).

Sometimes, more than one occupation might be relevant in which case we will explain to you the differences between them, and outline any advantages or disadvantages.

It is also important to check the occupation lists and requirements of each State or Territory to assess your options for state nomination.

Undertaking a skills assessment

There are a number of different skill assessing bodies, and which one you will apply to will depend on your occupation. The relevant body will assess your qualifications and work experience as being suitable for your nominated occupation. The Department will then rely on this when evaluating your points and eligibility for the visa.

For all skills assessments, the evidentiary requirements are very strict. We have experience with a number of different skill assessing authorities. We will ensure your skills assessment application is as strong as possible.

Submitting an EOI with SkillSelect

We will lodge an expression of interest on your behalf, confirming that you have been positively assessed as being skilled in your nominated occupation and outlining all of the relevant factors which contribute toward your total points being claimed. We must also specify which State or Territory you will be applying for state nomination with.

Your EOI will stay valid in the SkillSelect system for 2 years. Once your application for state nomination is approved, you will usually receive an EOI shortly after.

Once we have submitted your EOI we can continue to update it to ensure it reflects your current circumstances. For example, if you have gained new work experience, have completed a qualification or have scored a higher English test result, these factors may all affect your points score!

Applying for state nomination

Every State and Territory in Australia has their own occupation list(s) and requirements. For instance, some States and/or Territories will require evidence that you have resided in that State or Territory for a certain period of time before applying, or they may require you to have a minimum number of years work experience, or a higher level of English.

Applying for the visa

Once we have received your invitation to apply for the visa, we can then apply for your visa. (You must apply within 60 days of receiving the invitation). 

You can be onshore or offshore when you apply. If you apply onshore, you will usually be granted a Bridging Visa which will allow you to stay in Australia until your application has been processed.

2. Family Sponsored Stream

The family sponsored stream has similar requirements and a very similar process as the state-nominated stream, except that you are not required to apply for state nomination.

Instead of applying for state nomination, you are sponsored by an eligible relative who:

  • Is 18 years or over; and
  • Lives in a designated regional area of Australia; and
  • Is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen; and
  • Is a ‘relative’ of yourself or your partner.

A ‘relative’ is defined as: your partner, child, parent, brother, sister, stepchild, step-parent, stepbrother or stepsister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or step equivalent.

Your relative must live in a designated regional area of Australia.

 The other major difference is that only occupations on the MLTSSL (Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List) are available.

You should be aware that this is a competitive stream and limited numbers of invitations are issued.

We can help with each step of the process, including advice and assistance with a skills assessment and state nomination. So, speak to our registered migration agent to check your eligibility to apply for the Subclass 491 Visa.

Have Questions? Get in Touch