The Department of Home Affairs ('Home Affairs') has announced a new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) to replace the current Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489).
The new subclass 491 visa ('491 visa') will commence on 16 November 2019, and the subclass 489 visa ('489 visa') will cease at 11.59 pm on 15 November 2019.
In order to support the transition from the 489 visa to the new 491 visa, WA Migration Services has established the below timeline to ensure adequate processing of applications. If you would like to receive WA State nomination under a 489 visa you will need to ensure you meet the dates outlined below.
During this time all WA State nomination applications under a 489 visa will be priority processed.
Note: The Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) is not affected by this change and WA Migration Services will continue to issue invitations and process applications under this subclass as per normal.
Timeline of Transitional arrangements
9 August 2019
Invitations to apply for WA State nomination will be issued. This will be your last opportunity to be invited to apply for WA State nomination under a 489 visa.
29 August 2019
A decision ready application for WA State nomination under a 489 visa must be lodged. Any extra supporting evidence requested by WA Migration Services must also be submitted by this date.
30 August 2019
Invitation links to apply for WA State nomination under a 489 visa will expire.
5 September 2019
If your 489 WA State nomination application has been approved, your State Nomination Agreement must be signed and returned to WA Migration Services by this date.
6 September 2019
WA Migration Services will finalise all nominations for approved applications in SkillSelect.
11 September 2019
The 489 visa will no longer be an option available in SkillSelect. No new EOIs can be lodged under this visa subclass.
15 November 2019
Applicants will have until 11.59 pm to lodge a 489 visa application with Home Affairs.
16 November 2019
Candidates can commence lodging new EOIs in SkillSelect for the 491 visa option.
21 November 2019
Invitations to apply for WA State nomination under the new 491 visa will commence.
If you wish to be invited for WA State nomination under a 489 visa in August
To be considered for an invitation for WA State nomination under a 489 visa you will need to ensure you have lodged an eligible EOI in SkillSelect. The August invitation round will be the last time WA Migration Services will issue invitations to eligible EOIs under a 489 visa. Invitations are anticipated to be issued by 9 August 2019.
To check your eligibility and find out more about the State nomination process, visit the 'How to apply for state nomination' section on our website.
If you receive an invitation to apply for WA State nomination under a 489 visa in the August invitation round
Invitation links to apply for WA State nomination under a 489 visa will expire on 30 August 2019. You will need to ensure you lodge a decision ready* application by 29 August 2019. If a decision ready application is not received by 29 August 2019, there will be limited opportunity for WA Migration Services to grant you an extension to provide any requested supporting evidence. This may also result in WA Migration Services not being able to finalise your application by 6 September 2019.
For more information about what classifies as a 'decision ready' application see 'Frequently asked question about State nomination'.
If you have a current invitation for WA State nomination under a 489 visa
Invitations to apply for WA State nomination expire 28 days from the date of issue, and you will need to ensure you lodge a decision ready application prior to the expiry date if you wish to be considered for WA State nomination. If WA Migration Services requests you to provide further evidence to support your application, this must be provided no later than 29 August 2019. There will be limited opportunity for WA Migration Services to grant any extensions as all applications must be finalised by 6 September 2019.
If you currently have an application lodged for WA state nomination under a 489 visa subclass
You will need to ensure any supporting evidence requested by WA Migration Services is provided within the timeframe specified in the request. WA Migration Services will not be able to offer any further extensions. If the requested evidence is not provided within the specified timeframe this may result in a negative outcome being issued.
If your WA State nomination application under a 489 visa is approved
You must ensure you return your State Nomination Agreement signed to WA Migration Services no later than 5 September 2019. This will allow WA Migration Services time to finalise your nomination in SkillSelect. If you do not return a signed State Nomination Agreement by this date, WA Migration Services will not be able to finalise your nomination in SkillSelect and you will not receive an invitation from Home Affairs to lodge your visa application.
If you have been invited by Home Affairs to lodge a visa application under a 489 visa subclass
If you wish to lodge a visa application for a 489 visa, you will have until 11.59 pm on 15 November 2019 to lodge your visa application with Home Affairs.
If you intend to apply for WA State nomination under the new 491 visa
From 16 November 2019 the new 491 visa will be an available option in SkillSelect and new EOIs can be lodged.
During the November 2019 invitation round, WA Migration Services will commence issuing invitations to eligible EOIs under a 491 visa . Invitations are anticipated to be issued by 21 November 2019.
What are the changes from visa 489 to visa 491?
Home Affairs will give priority to the processing of 491 visas.
The 491 visa holder and their families will be required to live and work in a regional area for three years before becoming eligible to apply for a permanent visa.
Increased points system
Applicants for the new 491 visa will have access to more points to count towards the minimum 65 points required by the Commonwealth Government for the General Skilled Migration stream.
Nomination by state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member to reside and work in a specified/designated area.
+ 5 = 15
A Masters degree by research or a Doctorate degree from an Australian educational institution that included at least two academic years in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field.
+ 5 = 10
Partner skill qualifications
+ 5 = 10
For further details, information around the transition will become available on the Department of Home Affairs website.