489 – Australia Skilled Regional visa (Provisional)
The Australia Skilled Regional (Provisional) subclass 489 visa is a temporary visa aimed at skilled workers with good qualifications and good English language abilities, but who do not meet the requirements for the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa.
Businesses in regional areas of Australia often face skilled labour shortages which makes finding and hiring skilled workers difficult.
To help curb this issue, immigration authorities have introduced a regional sponsorship visa that lets skilled migrants work in a specified regional area of Australia.
If granted, the applicant is issued with a four year provisional visa. This visa may lead to permanent residency provided that the eligibility criteria for the permanent visa have been satisfied.
- Visa Applicants
- Visa Holders
This is a 4 year provisional visa for people who do not meet the criteria for a Skilled Independent visa. You must be invited to apply by and state or territory government agency and:
- be nominated by a territory government agency or participating state, or
- be sponsored by an eligible relative who lives in a regional area of Australia
After living in Australia for two years and having worked for at least 12 months in a Specified Regional Area of Australia, you will have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency.
If you are granted a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa:
- you are permitted to reside in Australia for up to four years, however you will be required to work in a specified regional area of Australia
- accompanying secondary applicants are permitted to work and study in a specified regional area of Australia
- this visa will enable you to apply for a permanent residence visa
- travel to and from Australia for entire visa validity period
To be eligible for this visa you must:
- be nominated by a participating state or territory government agency, or
- be sponsored by a relative who lives in a designated region of Australia, and
- possess the skills and credentials which meet the Australian standard for a profession on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL), and be outside Australia, or
Note: there is a selection process involved for this visa; you will need to meet certain criteria, and you will need to pass the points test.
60 points is the pass mark for this visa. You may be awarded points for:
- English language ability
- Australian skilled employment
- overseas skilled employment
- educational qualifications
- Australian study requirement
- completion of a Professional Year
- credentialed community language
- partner skills
- state or territory nomination and designated area sponsorship
The points test is a method used by the Department of Home Affairs to determine whether an individual possesses skills that are considered to be needed in Australia. The points test is a transparent and unbiased test which awards points to certain skills and attributes, such as experience and level of qualifications.
The English language threshold is at the competent English level which is equal to a minimum score of six in each of the four components of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test or other language test and score specified by the Minister.
No points are available for competent English however if you meet the English language threshold you may apply for a visa if you meet the other threshold visa requirements.
Passport holders and citizens of the following countries will meet the English language threshold of competent English:
- New Zealand
- Republic of Ireland
- United Kingdom (UK)
- United States of America (USA)
You will be required to complete a relevant English language test and obtain the necessary score if you wish to claim points for either proficient or superior English language ability.
Your test must have been completed before your visa application is lodged and must no more than two years old when you make your application.
Which English language test should I sit?
Generally, you will be required to take the general training test of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). In some circumstances a higher level of English is required for specific occupations where it forms part of the skills assessment application. In those circumstances the skills assessing body may require you to take the academic test.
Secondary applicants who need to show they have functional English may use an IELTS test if the secondary applicant sat the test no more than 12 months before the visa application was lodged.
It’s compulsory for you and any secondary applicants to undergo a health examination. The purpose of this examination is that it protects the Australian community from any health risks.
To be considered risk free, you and any additional applicants must be free from diseases or conditions considered to be health risks.
The health examination is critical because it:
- helps reduce and constrains public spending on health and community services, which also affects social security, pensions and allowances
- reduces the threat of the Australian community being exposed to potential health risks and illnesses
- improves access to health care and community services in short supply
Generally all visa applicants must meet the health requirements, and sometimes their dependents must also meet the requirements, regardless of whether they are migrating to Australia.
In certain cases where a condition or disease has been identified which requires a follow up medical check, you may be required to sign a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC). In this case you will need to sign a Health Undertaking to meet the health requirement.
Every visa applicant is required to meet the character requirements set out by the Department of Home Affairs before entering Australia.
Character requirements for temporary and permanent migration
To be considered good of character, you will be asked to provide police clearance certificates for every country that you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years since turning 16 years of age.
Please refer to Australia visa costs and fees.
A certified copy of a full birth certificate for the main applicant and each secondary applicant must be included in your application.
If birth certificates are not available in your country of birth, other evidence to confirm birth details include, but are not limited to the following:
- baptism certificate
- court documents that verify your date of birth
- copies of military service records or discharge papers
- family book showing date of birth
- hospital birth records
- ID document issued by your government
- school records
All main and secondary applicants must comply with all Australia laws – failure to comply may have consequences for remaining in Australia.
One of the conditions on this visa states that you and any accompanying applicants must agree to live and work in a Specified Regional Area of Australia.
If you are sponsored by a State or Territory, you must also:
- reside in that State or Territory for at least 2 years
- keep your local government informed of any changes to your personal details such as address details
- comply with completing surveys and provide information as requested
In most cases you will not qualify for social security payments in Australia as a temporary visa holder. You will however have access to limited JobSearch assistance to find employment after arriving in Australia.
It’s very important that you understand that you will be required to support yourself until you are able to find employment.