Skilled Regional Visa 489 - Three Pathways to PR

Skilled Regional Visa subclass 489: Three Pathways to Possible Permanency

With the disappearance of the 457 visa, subclass 482 assumed the position as Australia’s most sought after working visa. Although its requirements, duration and restrictions place more difficulties on applicants and sponsors alike, it continues to provide an avenue for workers to live and to apply their skills in Australia, as it does for employers to secure skilled workers from overseas.

But there is another option; the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)

This visa allows for skilled workers to live and to work in regional or low-population growth metropolitan areas, for up to four years and in certain instances can initiate eligibility for a permanent Skilled Regional visa (subclass 887).

Requirements are somewhat tougher however, each applicant tested under a points system, where they will require a minimum of 60 points. Applicants must be under the age of 45 years and must have a competent level of English via an IELTS or PTE language test system.

Their nominated occupation must be on the relevant state’s Skilled Occupation List, with a minimum of three years of working experience outside Australia, or one year within Australia. A positive Skills Assessment Test may also be required.

Three pathways

In general terms, applications may be channelled through one of three defined pathways:

The Invited Pathway

Under this pathway, applicants or their agents will need to lodge Expressions of Interest (EOI) with Skillselect, stating whether the applicant will be sponsored by a resident family member or is seeking nomination by an Australian state or territory.

Subject to assessment against the points scoring system, where sponsored by a relative, an invitation may then be issued. Australian states and territories will have access to view each EOI for those applicants seeking government nomination.

In NSW, seven regions currently participate in the 489 program, these being;

  • Far South Coast
  • Mid North Coast
  • Murray
  • Northern Inland
  • Orana
  • Riverina
  • Southern Inland

The Extended Stay Pathway

This pathway was primarily designed for applicants who already hold visas under subclasses 475, 487, 495 or 496 and who are attempting to extend their stay. The aforementioned eligibility criteria still apply.

The Subsequent Entry Pathway

Here, the pathway caters for applicants who are a member of the family unit of someone who already holds a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) or a subclass 475, 487, 495 or 496 visa.

Living in regional Australia

The attractions of the regional Australian lifestyle are many and varied; a fact consistently being discovered by Australian city dwellers themselves. Regional growth and infrastructure is world standard, education and health facilities are second-to-none, whilst coastal and inland areas each have their own unique appeal.

Holders of Skilled Regional 489 visas can stay in Australia for up to four years, live, work and study within a specified region of Australia, travel throughout Australia and to and from Australia as often as they wish, as long as the visa is valid and ultimately apply for permanent residency, if eligible, via a Skilled-Regional (Residence) visa (subclass 887).

It certainly offers an extremely attractive alternative, but applications require careful preparation prior to submission.

Professional assistance saves time and expense; avoids unnecessary disappointment

In the complex and rapidly changing world of immigration law, nothing is constant and nothing is simple. It really does pay dividends therefore, to obtain expert assistance. Skilled practitioners who are specialised in the field, comprehensively trained to recognise the traps and the trends; able to explain the most complicated processes in the most simple of terms and achieve the finest possible outcomes in the shortest possible time.

For more information on this or on any relating issues, contact the migration experts – Sellanes Clark and Associates – specialising in all immigration matters.

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