NEW Regional Provisional (temporary residence) visas - Subclass 491 & 494 and Regional (permanent residence) visa- Subclass 191 & General Skilled Migration (GSM) “Points Test” will change on 16th November 2019.

Key points:

  • Three (3) new visas to assist regional Australia (designated regional areas).

  • designated regional areas will include all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Subclass 491 visa – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) from 16 November 2019

  • It substitutes the current 489

  • Must have been invited to apply for this visa through the Expression of Interest (EOI) system

  • Need nomination by a State or Territory government agency or sponsored by relative in designated regional areas

  • Age limit - 45

  • Must nominate a skilled occupation with skill assessment.

Subclass 494 visa – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (two streams: Employer Sponsored and Labour Agreement) from 16 November 2019

  • It substitutes 187 (RSMS) visa

  • Age limit- 45 (have exceptions)

  • Skills assessment- waiver- qualification obtained in Australia by holding student visa with Studying a registered course OR Previously held 457/482 visa

  • Need 3 years full time work or an exemption

  • Competent English- or satisfy the exemptions

  • Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR)

  • Regional Certifying Body (RCB) advice required

Subclass 191 visa – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa, from 16 Nov 2022, for 491 or 494 holders who meet requirements

  • have earned a minimum taxable income (yet to be released) for three years as the holder of a regional provisional visa; and

  • have complied with the conditions of the regional provisional visa; in particular, including that the holder must live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia.

  • Subclass 489 visa holders will continue to be able to access the Subclass 887 (Skilled – Regional) visa which is the permanent pathway visa for this group, subject to satisfying existing criteria.

Please note that if your current visa or your last substantive visa is a subclass 491 visa or 494 visa, you must have held that visa for at least 3 years at the time of application (with exception) to apply for other visas such as a subclass 124(Distinguished Talent), 132 (Business Talent), 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme), 188 (Business Innovation and Investment- provisional), 189 (Skilled- Independent) and 190 (Skilled- Nominated).

New conditions to 491 & 494 visas:

  • Visa Condition 8578 requires the visa holder to notify Immigration of any change, within 14 days of the change occurring, to the holder’s residential address, an email address of the holder, a phone number of the holder, the holder’s passport details, the address of an employer of the holder, or the address of the location of a position in which the holder is employed.

  • Visa Condition 8579 requires that while the visa holder is in Australia, they must live, work and study only in a designated regional area.

  • Condition 8580 requires that, if requested in writing by the Minister to do so, the visa holder must within 28 days provide any or all of the following: the visa holder’s residential address, the address of their employer or employers; the address of the location of each position in which the holder is employed; the address of any educational institution attended by the visa holder.

  • Visa Condition 8581 requires the visa holder, if requested in writing by the Minister, to attend an interview at a place and time or in the manner specified in the request. The interview may be face to face or undertaken using modern video conferencing applications such as Skype or Facetime.

Transitional arrangement available for Transitional 457 workers and Transitional 482 workers: – Not disadvantaged by the new requirements.

  • Transitional 457 worker means a person who on 18 April 2017 either held a Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa, or was an applicant for a Subclass 457 visa that was subsequently granted. This cohort is referred to subsequently for the purpose of exempting them from the closure on 16 November 2019 of the Temporary Residence Transition stream in the Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa.

  • Transitional 482 worker means a person who on 20 March 2019 either held a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa in the Medium-term stream, or was an applicant for a Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa in the Medium-term stream that was subsequently granted. This cohort is referred to subsequently for the purpose of exempting them from the closure on 16 November 2019 of the Temporary Residence Transition stream in the Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa.

Changes on Points test for General Skilled Migration: (apply to 189, 190, 489, and 491) from 16 November 2019

  • 15 points for nomination by a State or Territory government agency or sponsorship by a family member residing in regional Australia, to live and work in regional Australia;

  • 10 points for certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications;

  • Partner points

    • 10 points for a skilled spouse or de facto partner; Partner need a skills assessment or

    • 10 points for applicants with a spouse or de facto partner who is an Australia citizen or PR or eligible NZ citizen or

    • 5 points for a spouse or de facto partner with ‘competent English’

Please contact Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne for further advice:

Telephone: +61 3 9614 7111

Email: melbourne@nevettford.com.au