Changes to Australian Skilled Migration:

New Australian visas will be introduced on 16th November 2019, the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489) will be discontinued and will be replaced by Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491). There will be some significant changes in the new Subclass 491 visa in comparison to the current incarnation, the Subclass 489 visa.

As apart of the roll out of the new Subclass 491 visa, there will also be a new subsequent permanent residency visa that will replace the Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 887). The new subesequent permanent residency visa will be the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (Subclass 191).


Subclass 191 – New Criteria:

Subclass 491 holers will be eligble to apply for the subsequesnt Subclass 191 visa, once the following criteria has been met:

  • They must have held a Subclass 491 visa for a minimum of 3 years.
  • They must have earned a minimum taxable income (amount yet to be determined) for the duration of the 3 years.

Further to this, the subclass 491 will hold a validity period of 5 years instead of 4 years as stipulated by its predecessor – the Subclass 489. The above criteria sums up the critical changes in the Skilled Regional segment of the General Skilled Migration (GSM) category.


General Skilled Migration (GSM) – Point System Overhaul:

Moreover, there will also be some significant changes to the points test for the whole GSM category. As of 16th November 2019, the following changes will be effective:

  • 15 points for Regional nomination sponsorship and/or including family sponsorship to live and work in regional Australia – Currently only 10
  • 10 points if the main applicant’s qualification comes under STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) NEW

Partner points: (can select ONLY ONE of the following)

  • 10 points for a skilled spouse or de facto partner (requires skills assessment) Currently only 5
  • 10 points for applicants without a spouse or de facto partner – NEW
  • 10 points if the partner is an Australian or eligible New Zealand Citizen – NEW
  • 5 points if the spouse or de facto partner obtains ‘Competent English – NEW


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