The explanatory statement can be found on the Federal Register of Legislation here.
The 491 visa supersedes the Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional)) visa when the amendment comes into effect on 16 November 2019. A second visa, the Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)) will also come into effect on this day.
Finally a third visa, Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) visa will be available however eligibility will not arise before 16 November 2022 because of the requirement to have held a regional provisional visa for three years before applying for the Subclass 191 visa.
491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa
This visa will be a points-tested visa to assist regional Australia, for applicants nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area.
The visa validity period is 5 years. Conditions, namely 8579 will be imposed which will enforce the government’s intentions that visa holders live, work and study only in regional areas and if employer sponsored, only in the nominated position. Visa holders can move between regional areas. Regional areas are defined as any area excluding Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth.
Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional))
This visa will be a new and enhanced employer-sponsored visa to assist regional Australia, with two streams: Employer Sponsored and Labour Agreement.
As above the holder of the visa must live, work and study only in regional areas. Holders of the new provisional visas will also be unable to apply for most other skills based visas in Australia unless they have completed at least three years in a designated regional area, unless exceptional circumstances exist. Additionally, similar to current arrangements for the subclass 457 and 482 visa program, holders of the new provisional visas can be negatively impacted by sponsor non-compliance.
End of the Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa
The introduction of the 494 visa will see the end of the Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa.
The Subclass 187 visa will still be available in some limited situations, for example where the proposed visa applicant has made an application before the visa closes to new applications, but cannot make an application after that date. In addition, the Regulations make provision for refunds of the nomination training contribution charge in some circumstances.
Contact West Aussie Migration today through our website to book a consultation in to see whether you are eligible for this visa. West Aussie Migration prides itself on being ahead of the curve and helping you prepare and present the best visa application possible to help ensure a successful application.