491 visa – Skilled Work Regional

 The 491 visa is points based visa and requires applicants to be nominated by a state or territory or an eligible family member to work in a regional area in an occupation on the relevant skills occupation list.

The 491 visa enables skilled people to live, work or study in a regional area for up to 5 years.


491 Visa Requirements

1. Submit an Expression of Interest for a 491 visa

The visa applicant needs to prepares to prepare documents for to lodge an  Expression of Interest (EOI). To this, you will need:

be no older than 45 years old at the time you apply.

to hold an occupation that is on the combined Skilled Occupation List

to have passed the relevant skills assessment for that occupation.

to be able to meet the points test (65 points)

to demonstrate you have competent English skills

to be in a position to pass health and character checks.

to let them know if you will be sponsored by a relative.

  1. Submit the Expression of Interest
  2. Submit the visa application, along with all the supporting documents.
  3. Your visa is granted.

Step 1. Preparing to lodge the Expression of Interest for the 491 visa

When you submit your Expression of Interest, you’ll need to include a skills assessment and the sources of the 65 points needed to obtain this visa.

Skills Assessment

Your occupation needs to appear on the skilled occupation list .

Your skills assessment must be no older than 3 years at the time you are invited to apply.

Skills assessments are carried out by assessing authorities approved by the Department of Home Affairs. Different assessing authorities  assess different occupations. Most of these authorities will want to see documentary evidence of qualifications, university transcripts, CVs and other other forms to help them assess your skills and professional experience meet  Australian standards for that occupation.

Not all occupations are assessed by assessing authorities. Exceptions are:

Medical practitioners

You will need to provide your registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). You will need to have an unconditional or general medical registration


A conditional specialist registration that allows you to practise in your speciality with no further training or supervision needs.

Barristers and Solicitors

Evidence that you have admission to practise as a lawyer in an Australian State or Territory.

65 Points

The 491 visa is a points based visa. You will need obtain 65 points for the 491 visa. You can earn points based on your:


English Language skills



Check out the visa points calculator to see how many points you can accrue.

Step 2. Submit the Expression of Interest

Your EOI will be made available to Australia’s States and Territories. If you are nominated by one of them, you will get an invitation to apply for the 491 visa.

Step 3. Submit your 491 visa application, along with your supporting documents.

When you receive your invitation to apply, you will have 60 days to lodge your visa.

Identity documents

Passport page: You’ll need your current passport page with your photograph and personal details and passport expiry date.

A national identity card if you have one.

Proof of name change if applicable.

If you have changed your name, for example through marriage, you will need to include documents that prove your change of name. This could be a marriage or divorce certificate, documents that show any other names you have been known by, a lodgement of a name change on the Australian Registry of Births, Deaths or Marriages or equivalent.

Character documents

Australian police clearance: This must be a Complete Disclosure National Police Certificates issued by the Australian Federal Police. These should be no older than 12 months at the time you submit your visa application.

Overseas police clearances: You need to provide a police certificate from every country (including your home country) in which you have spent a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since turning 16and also police clearances for each country you have lived in since.

If you have served in the armed forces of any country, you will need to include your discharge papers and military service record.

As well as this, you will need to complete the immigration department’s Form 80 and Form 1221.

English Language Skills

When you apply for the 491 visa you need evidence that you have competent English.

For the Subclass 491, this must be the equivalent to an IELTS score of 6. This is not required if you hold a passport issued by the UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand or the United States.

Other family members you are including on your application who are over 18 years old will need to have functional English.

If other family members do not have functional English, you will need to include a statement outlining your intention to pay the second visa application charge for each person who does not have a minimum of functional English.

Partner documents

You’ll need to provide documents proving your partner’s’ identity and their relationship to you. This should include identity documents, such as a certified copy of the passport page containing their photo and personal details.

Establishing your partner’s relationship to you can be done by providing a marriage certificate or providing 12 months of proof that you are in a de facto relationship. Evidence such as joint bank account statements, billing accounts in both names, joint leases or mortgages can be used to prove a de facto relationship.

Dependents under 18 years old

You will need to include identity documents, proof of their relationship to you (such as a birth certificate) and character documents where applicable for dependents, such as children, applying with you on your 491 application.

You may also need obtain documents that prove your parental responsibility.

You will also need to obtain the written consent (using Form 1229 or by providing a statutory declaration) from anyone else who has a legal right to decide where the child lives and/or is not coming to Australia with the child. This needs to include the signature and photograph of the person who provided this written consent. Written consent can also be a statutory declaration giving their consent for the child to travel to Australia on this visa, or you can present an Australian court order allowing the child to migrate to Australia or details of a law in your home country allowing them to migrate, adoption papers or other court documents.

Dependents over 18 years old

If you have dependents who are over 18 years old, you will need to include Form 47a detailing the ways this applicant is dependent on you. You can also include other forms of proof, such as their tax records, evidence they are currently studying and/or they live with you, proof they are currently studying, banks statements showing you have financially supported them.

Health Exams

You and your family will need to meet Australia’s health requirements. This may mean supplying health exams for each applicant applying.

Sponsor documents

For your relative to be eligible to sponsor you, they must be:

over 18 years old;

an Australian citizen, permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen;

live in a designated area of Australia.

To show this you will need to provide proof that your sponsor is:

Over 18 years old, such as by providing a birth certificate or passport photo page;

A resident in a designated area of Australia. Drivers license, mortgage or tenancy agreements and utility bills are all documents you can include to verify this.

An eligible relative of yours. You can provide a birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, adoption certificate, family status certificate or family books if maintained to prove this.

Your sponsor must also complete the ‘Skilled Work Regional (class PS) 491 (provisional) visa Sponsor declaration.


All documents that are not in English need to be translated. If the documents are being translated in Australia, the translator must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters. If your translator is outside of Australia, on each document they give their full name, address and telephone number and qualifications and experience in the language they are translating.

Step 4. Your visa is granted.

When the 491 visa is granted to you, it will enable to you travel to and from and live and work in Australia for 5 years. You will need to live and work in an area specified as a designated regional area. You can work in any occupation and for any employer in line with the work and residence conditions to the visa.

New Zealand Passport Holders

If you are a New Zealand passport holder passing through Australian borders for the first time since being granted the 491 visa, tell the immigration officer you have a 491 visa and that you do not want a Special Category 444 visa. If you are granted a 444 visa it may affect your eligibility for a permanent residency through the subclass 191 visa.

Contact us about regional skilled visas