The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional, Subclass 491) visa was launched on the 16th of November 2019 and the Victorian state started accepting sponsorship applications for the it on the 18th of November 2019. What’s really exciting about this is that the Victorian state has opened up so much more roles for its 491 visa sponsorship compared with the previous 489 visa sponsorship program.
This article intends to provide an overview of the Victorian state’s 491 sponsorship requirements and give examples as well on how this program can help people from specific occupations.
Victorian state’s 491 sponsorship requirements
Here are the key sponsorship eligibility criteria for 491 visa in Victoria:
- You should have at least a total of 65 migration points (including the 491 visa sponsorship of 15 points) and you should satisfy the 491 visa criteria set by the Department of Home Affairs.
- You should be below 45 years old.
- You must have at least a competent level of English. This can be satisfied by providing an English test report of at least 6.0 in each band of IELTS or at least 50 in PTE Academic or the equivalent scores in OET, TOEFL iBT, or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE).
- Your occupation should be listed on the Department of Home Affairs’ specific occupation list for the 491 visa. It is important to note that this gives you access to more occupations than what was available on the VIC state’s 489 visa sponsorship program (which used to have occupations only from the VIC state skilled occupation list). The specific occupation list applicable to the VIC state’s 491 visa sponsorship is the most updated Legislative Instrument 19/051: Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities which can be found on the link https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019C00855.
- You should have a job offer (full time at least 38 hours per week for at least 12 months) in your nominated occupation by an employer located in a designated regional area in Victoria. The list of post codes which are considered as designated regional areas can be accessed from the link https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skill-occupation-list/regional-postcodes.
The full list of VIC state’s 491 visa sponsorship eligibility criteria can be viewed on the Live in Melbourne website as shown by the link below:
Real life examples
Although there are over 400 occupations accessible through VIC state’s 491 visa sponsorship, I will focus on two roles as examples of people who can be eligible to apply under this program assuming that the applicants satisfy the VIC state sponsorship and the 491 criteria.
- A Registered Nurse who is currently not eligible for the VIC state’s 190 visa sponsorship due to lack of work experience (two years of work experience as an RN is required by the VIC state for the 190 visa sponsorship) can be eligible to apply for a 491 sponsorship if he/she has a job offer from a medical facility in Warrnambool (or other designated regional areas of Victoria as per item 5 above). On the previous 489 sponsorship programme, this RN would not have been eligible as the work experience requirement would still apply if he/she did not study in Victoria for at least two years.
- A Café/Restaurant Manager working in Ballarat (or other designated regional areas of Victoria as per item 5 above) can now be eligible to apply for a VIC state sponsorship for 491 visa as this role is listed on the Department of Home Affairs’ specific occupation list for the 491 visa (see item 4 above). On the VIC state’s previous 489 sponsorship program, this Café/Restaurant Manager would not have been eligible as this role was not listed under the VIC state’s skilled occupation list.
In summary, the availability of more occupations on the VIC state’s 491 visa sponsorship program provides more opportunities for people who are committed to live in the regional areas of Victoria. It is highly recommended that interested applicants seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration lawyer to ascertain their eligibility for the VIC state’s 491 visa sponsorship based on the applicants’ unique situation.