New skilled regional visas (subclasses 491 and 494)
On the 16 November 2019, two new skilled regional visas will be opened to applications. These new visas will promote regional migration and replace two currently existing visas as follows:
|As of 16 Nov 2019:||Before 16 Nov 2019:|
|Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)||Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – first provisional stream|
|Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)||Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) – Direct Entry stream|
The benefits of the new visa subclasses 491 and 494
- Priority processing of regional applications
- Encourages regional migrants to stay for a longer term in regional Australia to build ties through workforce and community participation.
- Eligible to apply for permanent residence without second nomination stage, if applicable, through visa 191 which will commence on 16 November 2022.
- Cheaper fees to employers with one SAF levy stage for subclass 494 nomination (compared to the current 2-stage subclass 482 to ENS subclass 186 permanent resident pathway)
- Higher points for visa applicants subclass 491
- More occupations available for regional pathways as compared to non-regional
- Broader and consistent classification of Australian regional areas
Taxable income for subclass 494 and 191 visa will start from the same level as the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) unless concessions are granted (eg. DAMA). TSMIT is set at $53,000 currently. The Department will provide more information on the new regional visas soon.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Direct Entry (DE) stream will close on 16 November 2019 for any new applications.
New 6D points from November 2019
- Changes in the new 6D points will come into effect on 16 November 2019.
- Expression of Interest (EOI) that has been submitted in SkillSelect will be automatically updated in points. There will be no change on the ‘date of effect’ of the EOI.