What is the Difference between Australia Visa Subclass 189 and 491?

by By Rajneesh Kumar


Posted on January 21, 2022


What is the Difference between Australia Visa Subclass 189 and 491?

Australia’s skilled migration program is one of the most widely used immigration pathways by highly-skilled and talented workers globally. It follows a point-based system called, SkillSelect and is designed to invite skilled professionals to live and work in Australia.

There are different Australia Visa Subclasses available under GSM, out of which the following are the most popular ones:

  • Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 491

People generally get confused about which is the most suitable visa program for them. Ideally, using a free profile assessment tool online can help them identify the best pathway with the help of experienced advisors. However, the most important is knowing the primary differences between the two.

This article would shed some light on basic differences among both visa subclasses so that you can take an informed decision before applying for the Australian skilled migration program.

Type of residency offered by both visa categories

The Skilled 189 visa is a permanent residency visa for those skilled workers who are neither sponsored by an Australian employer or family member or nominated by an Australian state or territory government.

The Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 allows you to live and work anywhere in Australia as a permanent resident indefinitely.

On the other hand, the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) is a temporary residency visa specifically designed to invite skilled workers to regional areas of Australia. An applicant requires a state or territory government nomination or sponsorship by a relative residing there as a PR holder or a citizen.

The visa subclass 491 allows you to temporarily live and work in Australia under an approved employer for up to 5 years. However, you can transition to permanent residence after completing 3 years of living, working, or studying in a designated regional area.

Minimum requirements to qualify under both visa categories

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is a point-based visa and is ideal for you, if:

  • You wish to live and work in Australia permanently
  • You don’t have a job offer
  • You don’t need a nominator or sponsor
  • You have an invitation to apply
  • Done a positive skills assessment for the occupation
  • You meet the minimum points test requirement, i.e. to obtain a minimum of 65 points or above
  • You have at least Competent English
  • Your nominated occupation is on the relevant list of skilled occupations

While the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) is ideal for you, if:

  • You wish to live, study or work in a designated regional Australia
  • You are sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area in Australia as a permanent resident or citizen or nominated by a state or territory government
  • Done a positive skills assessment for the occupation
  • You have an invitation to apply
  • You meet the minimum points test requirement, i.e. to obtain a minimum of 65 points or above
  • You have at least Competent English
  • Your occupation is on the combined list of skilled occupations

Benefits of both the visa categories

With Visa Subclass 189, you can:

  • Stay permanently in Australia
  • Work and study anywhere in Australia
  • Enrol in public health care scheme of Australia, i.e. Medicare
  • Sponsor your family members for Australia PR
  • Travel to and from Australia for 5 years
  • Can apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible

With Visa Subclass 491, you can:

  • Live in Australia for a maximum of 5 years from the date of visa grant
  • Live, work or study in a designated regional area of Australia temporarily
  • Travel to and from Australia till your visa is valid
  • Can apply for permanent residence of Australia, if eligible, via the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa subclass 191 (which will commence on 16 November 2022)

Processing Times for both visa categories

Under Visa Subclass 189, approximately 75% of applications are processed within 12 months, and 90% are processed within 12 months.

While, in the case of Visa Subclass 491, there is information available regarding average processing times.

The right piece of information makes a path towards perfection. So if you wish to migrate to Australia in 2022 and get visa approval, then make sure to find the accurate guidance and latest Australia migration updates that will let you take the right pathway.

At Visas Avenue, we offer the proper guidance and support throughout the process, including free profile assessment, application filing, profile creation, letter drafting, IELTS coaching, visa follow-up and more.

You may reach us on Toll-Free No. 78-18-000-777 or drop us an email at info@visasavenue.com.


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