The Australian Regional Sponsorship Visa, also known as the Subclass 491 visa, is a pathway to permanent residency designed to encourage skilled workers to live and work in regional areas of Australia. This visa is available for individuals who have been nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member living in a designated regional area.
To be eligible for the Regional Sponsorship Visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Be under 45 years of age
- Have an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
- Have a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
- Meet the minimum points requirement of 65 points
- Have competent English language proficiency
- Receive a nomination from a state or territory government agency or have a family member who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident sponsor them
Validity and Financial Requirements
The Regional Sponsorship Visa is a provisional visa that allows the holder to live and work in regional Australia for up to 5 years. After living in regional Australia for at least 3 years and meeting certain requirements, visa holders may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Subclass 191 visa.
Applicants are required to demonstrate that they have enough funds to support themselves and any family members accompanying them to Australia for the duration of their stay. The exact amount required may vary depending on the circumstances of the applicant and the number of accompanying family members.
Holders of the Regional Sponsorship Visa are required to abide by Australian laws and fulfill the conditions of their visa. They are also required to live, work, and study in a designated regional area of Australia. Failure to meet these obligations could result in the cancellation of the visa.
In addition, visa holders are required to participate in the regional area in which they are living, such as by attending community events and engaging in activities that promote regional development. They may also be required to provide periodic updates to the state or territory government agency that nominated them.