What is the 491 Skilled Work Regional Visa and Its Processing Time?

For skilled individuals who desire to live and work in regional Australia, the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa Subclass 491 is a provisional visa. On November 16, 2019, the Australian government established this category of visas. The previous Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 489 was replaced with this specific visa.

The Subclass 491 can be the simplest route to immigration because Australia is currently the most popular destination for travelers from outside. You are now able to work, settle, and live permanently in Australia for a duration of five years with the aid of this Visa.

What is the 491 Skilled Work Regional Visa?

A provisional visa known as the new skilled labor regional 491 visa (Subclass 491 Visa) enables skilled workers and their families to live, study, and work in particular regions of Australia. 

The applicant for this visa must be sponsored by a qualified family member who is a permanent resident of Australia, or they must be nominated by the state.

There are no extensions available for the regional skilled visa. After three years of fulfilling the conditions and if you still wish to stay in the country, you can apply for an Australia permanent resident visa.

What is the Procedure for Applying?

To show your interest in applying for this visa, you must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. There is no price to establish or submit an EOI in SkillSelect, and it is not a visa application. Using the assertions in your EOI, SkillSelect will determine your point total. To be invited to submit a visa application, you must receive at least 65 points.

If you have said that you are interested in being nominated, state and territory government entities will be able to see your EOI. You’ll receive an invitation to apply for this visa if they recommend you.

The EOI is saved in SkillSelect after completion and is good for two years. In case your circumstances change, log onto your EOI and update your information. You will get an invitation from SkillSelect if you are chosen to apply for a visa. You must submit all required documentation to prove your identity, skills assessment, level of English proficiency, relationship with your partner or sponsor, and moral character as stated in your EOI in order to be considered for a visa.

After receiving the invitation, you will have 60 days from that date to submit a legitimate online visa application before the invitation expires.

2020–2021 Average 491 Visa processing time

Below is the current average processing time:

  • 75% of all visa applications for the subclass 491 visa (state nominated stream) take about 6 months, and 90% of all visa applications take about 8 months.
  • 75% of all visa applications for the subclass 491 visa (family sponsored stream) take about 9 months, and 90% of all visa applications take about 10 months.

Individual 491 visa processing time do change depending on the applicant’s unique situation and the caliber of the application submitted to the Department of Home Affairs. 

If you want your visa application to be presented in the best possible light and processed quickly, we recommend contacting one of our knowledgeable Registered Migration Agents.


The subclass 491 visa processing time must be sponsored or nominated in order to be issued in Australia. State or territory governments may propose an application for a visa after the Expression of Interest (EOI) has been submitted in SkillSelect and if the applicant is capable of earning greater points. 

The candidate may additionally mention sponsorship in their Expression of Interest if the sponsor is a qualified relative who resides in a specific Australian regional area.

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