Australian Subclass 491 Visa Overview

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Subclass 491 Visa (Invited Pathway) – Provisional Residence State Sponsored Visa (Skilled Visa) for Australia

The 491 visa is a skilled (points tested and invited) visa for applicants that are sponsored by a state or territory government (or eligible family), and that intend applying for a provisional residence visa (as a pathway towards Permanent Residence)

* a holder of a 491 visa signs an undertaking to reside in the sponsoring state or territory for the first 3 years after taking up residence, and must live and work in that designated area for 3 years as requirement to then apply for a permanent residence visa


  • You must be invited to apply for the visa
  • You must lodge an EOI
  • You will need to be nominated by an Australian state or territory or sponsored by an eligible relative
  • You must be under 45 to be invited
  • The Pass Mark (points Test): you need a minimum of 65 points (including state sponsorship points which adds 15 points)

Visa Type: Provisional (Temporary) Residence

Processing time (for the visa stage):

  • 75% of applications: 7 months
  • 90% of applications: 8 months

Application Details

Holders of a 491 visa can:

  • stay in Australia for up to 5 years
  • live, work and study in a specified region of Australia
  • travel to and from Australia as many times as you want, while the visa is valid
  • For skilled workers who want to live and work in Australia
  • You can bring your family
  • If you get this visa, you might be able to apply for the Skilled Regional (Permanent) visa (subclass 887)

How do you apply ?

  • You have to have a Nominated Occupation for Australian Skills Visa on the relevant skilled occupation list list AND on the specific state’s occupation list (and fully satisfy the criteria for that occupation)
  • You can apply offshore or onshore (unless you have a condition on your visa prohibiting you from making an application in Australia eg. a 8503 condition)

This is a 4 step application

  1. You have to pass a skills assessment by a relevant skills assessment authority
  2. Then submit an EOI
  3. Then be invited to apply for state sponsorship, and when invited, apply for state sponsorship  OR if sponsored by eligible family then have the sponsorship in place (note eligible family must reside in a designated area in order to sponsor, and be settled permanent residents or Australian citizens)
  4. Then, when invited to apply (you get an immediate invite to apply from the DoHA when then state approves your sponsorship), apply for your visa within 60 days

You must satisfy other criteria such as:

Note however that many applications will realistically only receive an invite if you are able to claim high points AND meet state specific criteria

Next Steps

To determine your visa eligibility, register with us for a comprehensive assessment report and we will assist and advise you on your options, requirements, costs and eligibility.

Visa Solutions Fees and Processing Times

Service Level

Service Fee

Processing Time

Managed Visa Application
This is case specific, and depends on the service level you select. A full breakdown will be provided in your assessment report
Assessment: 1 to 3 days, Visa processing time - a breakdown will be provided in your assessment
DIY Visa Application
Will be provided in the assessment report

Australian Government Fees and Processing Times

Government Item

Government Fee and Processing Time

Visa Application Charge:
Main Applicant
AU$ 4,045
Visa Application Charge:
AU$ 2,020
Visa Application Charge: 
Per Child
AU$ 1,015
Skills Assessment processing: 4 to 12 weeks (*depends on occupation)
EOI: Takes anywhere from 1 to 15 months (depends on points total, occupation group, number of applications in the queue etc)
Average Government Processing Time
Average for the main visa stage: 7 to 9 months

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