If you are intending to apply for a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489), please be aware that this visa will be closed to new applications after 11.59 pm on 15 November 2019.
The last day for states and territories to nominate prospective migrants, and for the Department of Home Affairs to issue invitations for a subclass 489 visa, will be 10 September 2019.
From 16 November 2019, it will be possible to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the new Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491) visa, which effectively replaces the subclass 489 visa. State and territories will also be able to nominate applicants from this date, after which visa applications can be lodged for a subclass 491 visa for those who have been issued with an invitation to apply.
Nomination and visa applications for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa will also close to most applicants on 16 November 2019. This visa will still be available through the Temporary Residence Transition stream, to persons who on 18 April 2017 had successfully applied for or held a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457), and to persons who on 20 March 2019, had successfully applied for or held a Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa in the Medium-term stream.
The subclass 187 visa will be replaced by the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494), which will also be open to applications on 16 November 2019. Unlike the subclass 187 visa, employers will need to be approved standard business sponsors to nominate a worker for the subclass 494 visa.
Both the subclass 491 and subclass 494 visa will be valid for 5 years upon grant and will require all visa holders to live, work, and study in a designated regional area. Persons holding a subclass 491 or subclass 494 visa may be eligible to apply for the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) after they have lived and worked in a regional area, as well as meeting the taxable income requirements for at least 3 years.
If you interested in applying for a subclass 489 visa or subclass 187 visa, we recommend that you start the preparation process for these visas as soon as possible so the application can be lodged within the next few months. For assistance with these visas or further information regarding the new skilled regional visas, please feel free to contact us.