Specific regions of Australia in the states like New South Wales (NSW), Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria are classified as Regional Areas. You can work in Australian region areas under the Visa Subclass 489 that is provided for skilled workers in Australia. This visa allows you and your family to live, study and work in Australia for a period of 4 years. You or your family can travel outside Australia multiple times till the time the visa is valid. You can apply for a Permanent Residence in Australia by applying for the Skilled Regional visa subclass 887 (Permanent Residence).
You can avail the Visa Subclass 489 in 2 ways:
Visa by Invitation:
You have to receive an invitation by the Australian government to apply for this visa. You can submit visa application after the EOI invitation.
In addition to the invitation by the Australian government, you must also fulfill the following criteria:
- You should be a nominee of an Australian state/territory (or) sponsored by a relative living in the designated regional area
- Your occupation falls under the purview of the skilled occupations list
- You should be under 45 years of age
- You should meet the criteria for English language
- You should score the required points
What is an Expression of Interest?
SkillSelect is an online service tool that helps the Australian government to manage all aspects involving migration of skilled workers. If you update your details in SkillSelect, you stand a chance to be nominated for a skilled visa by Australian employers/or state/territory/Australian Government to apply for a visa.
An expression of interest (EOI) is a way in which prospective migrants show their interest in application for a skilled visa. It is available as an online form on SkillSelect on the Australia immigration website. You will have to answer a series of questions regarding your skills, which depends upon the visa subclass you select.
By Extending Stay:
You can extend your stay in the regional areas of Australia by applying for a Skilled Regional Renewal subclass 489 visa (Provisional visa). You are eligible to apply for this visa if you have provisional visa subclasses 496, 495, 487 or 475; for a period of 2 years at the time of submitting your visa application.
Requirements for family members under the ways mentioned for the Visa subclass 489 remain the same. To apply as a family member under this subclass you need to be related to a person who holds a visa subclass 489 or provisional visa subclasses 475, 487, 495 or 496.
An important note about Specified Regional Areas:
You must have lived in regional Australia or in a low-population-growth metropolitan area for two years, for nomination by a state or territory government. The areas that come under this criterion are listed by their postcodes in the table below:
Regional and low population growth metropolitan areas
New South Wales (NSW)Anywhere except Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Wollongong
2311 to 2312, 2328 to 2411, 2420 to 2490, 2536 to 2551, 2575 to 2594, 2618 to 2739, 2787 to 2898
Queensland Anywhere except the greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast
4124 to 4125, 4133, 4211, 4270 to 4272, 4275, 4280, 4285, 4287, 4307 to 4499, 4515, 4517 to 4519, 4522 to 4899
Victoria Anywhere except the Melbourne metropolitan area
3211 to 3334, 3340 to 3424, 3430 to 3649, 3658 to 3749, 3753, 3756, 3758, 3762, 3764, 3778 to 3781, 3783, 3797, 3799, 3810 to 3909, 3921 to 3925, 3945 to 3974, 3979, 3981 to 3996
Western Australia Anywhere except Perth and surrounding areas
6041 to 6044, 6083 to 6084, 6121 to 6126,6200 to 6799
Eligibility criteria for Family Members:
Following members can be included in your visa application as family:
- Your partner (married or de facto partner)
- Yours or your partner’s dependent children or step-children
To include the family members in your application you will have to submit documentary evidence to support the relationship. In addition to the documentary evidence, your family members must meet the stipulated health and character requirements.
Dependents above 18 years of age need to prove their fluency in English language by submitting educational documents, where English is the medium of instruction (or) by submitting the IELTS test score of 4.5 & above (or) by paying the second installment of the visa application charges towards English requirements. You can add your family members in your application at the time of filing for the visa and not afterwards.
- The applicant should be sponsored by an eligible sponsor who is an Australian citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident or a citizen of New Zealand citizen with a Special Category Visa.
- Relation: Relationship between an applicant and a sponsor can be that of a Brother, Sister, Parent, Non-dependent child, Uncle, Aunt, Nephew, Niece, First cousin, Relative of the applicant’s spouse, De-facto spouse, Inter-dependent partner or Step-relatives.
- Location: The sponsor should be living in the designated areas of Australia, before filing for the application and should also prove that he/she will continue living in Australia till the visa is granted.
- Assistance: The sponsor will have to sign for an undertaking, stating that he/she will provide the required assistance to support the applicant’s financial and social obligations for a period of 2 years and make the dependent’s stay comfortable in Australia.
List of designated areas of Australia:
State or territory
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
New South Wales (NSW)(except Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong)
2311 to 2312, 2328 to 2333, 2336 to 2490, 2535 to 2551, 2575 to 2739, 2787 to 2898
Queensland(anywhere outside the Brisbane metropolitan area)
4019 to 4028, 4037 to 4050, 4079 to 4100, 4114, 4118, 4124 to 4150, 4158 to 4168, 4180 to 4899
To be eligible for an invitation you have to earn a minimum of 60 points on the points scoring system. Your invitation letter will specify the required score and you should be able to support the same at the time of submitting your application.
Points are awarded on the following factors:
- Age: You should be between 18-45 years of age. Points allocated for each category are as follows: 18-24 years (25 points), 25-32 years (30 points), 33-39 (25 points), 40-44 (15 points).
- Proficiency in English: You should prove that you are proficient in English by submitting your IELTS test scores. You should pass the IELTS exam and have a minimum score of 6 points in all its components. You are exempt if you are a citizen of or hold a valid passport for countries like: United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, United States of America and Republic of Ireland. You should have a proficient or superior level in the IELTS exam to qualify for the proficiency required for the visa subclass 489. If your level of English is Proficient (score of 7/8 or more in all the components) you can score anywhere between 10-20 points. The IELTS test results are required at the time of application.
- Skilled employment: You can score a maximum of 20 points for skilled employment, for working inside or outside Australia.
If you have worked outside Australia: If you have worked outside Australia, you can score anywhere between 5-15 points for experience between 3-8 years (in the last 10 years) for the occupation under which you have been nominated.
Experience in Australia: If you have worked inside Australia, you can score anywhere between 5-20 points for experience between 3-8 years (in the last 10 years) for the occupation under which you have been nominated.
- Educational Qualifications:
- Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or from any other recognized institution and equivalent to the Australian standards
- Bachelor’s degree from an Australian educational institution or from any other recognized institution and equivalent to the Australian standards
- Diploma or a trade qualification from Australia
- An award or qualification recognized by the assessing authority in the skill assessment test
If you have one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications awarded by Australian educational institutions and meet the Australian study requirement mentioned above, then you can avail the below nominations:
- Nomination by state or territory government (visa subclass 190 only)
- Nomination by state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member to reside and work in a specified/designated area (visa subclass 489 only)
- Health requirements:
Your health standards must adhere to the stipulated parameters. The results of your health checks are generally valid for 12 months. The same is applicable for all your dependent family members who are included in your application, regardless of their intention to migrate.You have to undergo a health checked up by authorized doctors appointed the Australian government at the time of submitting your visa application.
- Character requirements:
You are required to produce a police certificate for each country that you have resided in for a period of 12 months or more in the past 10 years, post turning 16 years of age. The same is applicable for all your dependent family members who are above 16 years of age and included in your application, regardless of their intention to migrate.
- Debts to the Australian Government:-
You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted.
- Other Factors:
Besides the main four factors listed above, there are other factors that decide the likelihood of your visa approval like: community language qualifications, partner skill qualifications etc.
NOTE: As per the recent update from Department of Home Affairs (DIBP earlier) effective 19/4/2017 there are 216 occupations that are restricted for State Sponsorship. Please ensure that your occupation is listed in Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) if you would like apply for 189 sub class & 489 sub class relative sponsored visa. If you would like to apply under 190 sub class state sponsored visa your occupation should be in the respective state list.
- Y-RWS: Word Resume, Cover Letter as per Australian standards.
- Y-LinkedIn profile: An effective LinkedIn profile
- Y-Social: Web presence report and guidelines on how to enhance the social networking sites related to job search.
- Y-Jobs: Applying to the live / open jobs.
This visa allows you and your family to:
- Stay in Australia for a period of four or five years based on the visa type you are applying
- Live, work and study in a specified regional area of Australia
- Travel outside Australia indefinitely till the validity period
- Make a pathway for a Permanent Residence visa in Australia
*You are not eligible for any benefits on this visa
- Skill Assessment fee – AUD$300-AUD$2200
- State Sponsorship fee- Varies from AUD$200- AUD$800 (if applicable)
- Education Assessment (if applicable) – AUD$60 – AUD$300
- Medical/Registration– case specific
- Department of Home Affairs (DIBP earlier) Application Fee: AUD$3670.
- Additional Fee for Dependents below 18 years: AUD$920
- Additional Fee for Dependents above 18 years: AUD$1,835
- Additional fee for Dependents who need to pay the English Requirement Fee: AUD$4885 (This fee is applicable only if the spouse or the dependent is unable to score an overall of 4.5 in IELTS and has not completed graduation in English language)
- Provisional visa – Extended pathway visa fee: AUD$325; Additional Fee for Dependents above 18 years: AUD$165; Additional Fee for Dependents below 18 years: AUD$80
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- There are five countries that currently have a point based immigration program. Point based immigration is a good option for those who want to work & settle overseas.
- There are a number of categories under which an applicant can file his/her application. You can either apply independently /a relative can sponsor you / an overseas Employer can sponsor you or the country itself can sponsor you. Applicants whose occupations are in demand usually get bonus points & faster processing. Each country has their specific list of occupations.
Why should you file for a migration petition this month without delay?
Visas have a quota system and rules keep changing!
Immigration rules are volatile and governments are always debating whether to close the door or whom to close the door on. Don’t take the rules for granted. Apply now when you are eligible! You may not be eligible, a few months from now.
Take a decision to advance your career today; don’t leave your chance of a career abroad for tomorrow.
You aren’t growing any younger!
Most countries have an age limit for immigrating and rules get stricter as you grow old. Wait for a year more and you might find yourself ineligible to apply for certain visa categories! What adds to is the fact that people find it difficult to adjust to new surroundings as they grow older.
Apply now – you earn extra points for age!
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