Visa Update: subclass 491 and General Skilled Migration visas
Federal government announced new provisional visas, a revised points system for subclass 491 and other changes to the General Skilled Migration visas. At the moment, these visas allow individuals to work in Australia if their skills are in line with what Australia is looking for.
As of March, the Australian government opened up 23,000 extra regional spots, allowing skilled workers to remain and work in Australia for three (3) years before they can be granted permanent residency status. Alongside this change, three new provisional visas were introduced: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491, overtaking the previous subclass 489), Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494, overtaking subclass 187) and Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191 for people who hold subclass 491 or 494 at the time of the application until 16 November 2022). These new provisional visas are in effect in all areas of Australia with the exemption of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The points system was also revised. These changes introduce:
more points for having a skilled spouse or de facto partner (10 points);
more points for applicants nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by a family member residing in regional Australia (15 points);
more points for having certain STEM qualifications (10 points);
points for applicants who do not have a spouse or de facto partner (10 points); and
points for applicants with a spouse or de facto partner who has competent English (5 points)