Australia Subclass 189 Visa Vs Subclass 491 Visa: Which One Should I Go For?

Posted by : ISA Migrations


Australia Subclass 189 Visa Vs Subclass 491 Visa: Which One Should I Go For?

The two most popular routes for obtaining permanent residency that let foreign nationals live, work and study in Australia are visa subclass 189 and subclass 491. Both are a part of Australia’s General Skilled Migration Program, which allows individuals to live and work there. Depending on your visa, you can live anywhere in Australia or have a state- or region-sponsored visa. Before relocating to another area of the country, you must first reside in that state or territory for a predetermined amount of time.

Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189

The Skilled Independent visa is intended to draw in invited individuals with particular talents that the larger Australian community needs. You can permanently reside, work, and study anywhere in Australia if you meet the qualifications. A points test is necessary to determine eligibility for the subclass 189 visa based on specific employment abilities. If Visa 189 is granted, invited residents may enjoy many of the same rights as Australian citizens.

Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa Subclass 491

For applicants who want to proceed through the skilled immigration path but are unable to complete the 190 requirements for a variety of reasons, this visa is appropriate. To transition to permanent resident status by applying for a 191 visa, 491 visa applicants must fulfil specific requirements (such as living and working in remote locations or designated areas for at least a set period).

After submitting the required papers, many applicants might think their application will be approved. It is not the case, though. Since it has become one of the popular paths for immigrants to Australia, the requirements for filing a 491 application have increased.

The tight Australian legal system imposes further limitations on the transfer of 491 to 191. For instance, the visa holder must participate in the interview at the scheduled time and venue, and the format may be a live interview or a virtual interview, as per regulation 8581.

Comparison between skilled independent visa 189 and skilled regional visa 491 (provisional)

The Australia Subclass 189 and 491 visas are contrasted here.

Privileges given by the visas:

491 visa enables you to:

  • Remain in Australia for five years.
  • Live, work, and attend school in a defined Australian regional area.
  • You may travel to and from Australia as often as you like while the visa is valid.
  • Three years after receiving your visa, apply for permanent residency.​

Instead, The subclass 189 visa enables you to:

  • Stay anywhere in Australia
  • For this visa, you don’t require a sponsor or nominee.
  • Sponsor eligible members of the family
  • Become a citizen of Australia.

The Subclass 491 visa is a transitional visa that provides permanent residency after three years, whereas the Subclass 189 visa is for permanent residence.

Requirements of Visa 189 and 491:

Only those invited may apply for visa subclass 189.

To accept the invitation, you must:

  • Submit the Expression of Interest (EOI) form
  • Possess expertise in one of the professions on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List
  • Be younger than 45 years old
  • Possess enough English language proficiency
  • Satisfy the personality, health requirements, and
  • Reach the points stream’s minimal cutoff score of 65.

On the other hand, eligibility requirements for a visa subclass 491 are as follows:

  • A pertinent skill assessment;
  • You must be younger than 45;
  • A State or Territory, such as Western Australia, must make the nomination;
  • You must pass the Department of Home Affairs points test with 65 or more points. Your EOI will instantly be converted into an additional 15 points for the Department of Home Affairs points test if you are granted a subclass 491 visa by the state.
  • You must possess the necessary level of English; and
  • You must have a job on the appropriate occupations list.

Features of 189 visas and 491 visa

Visa subclass 189 and visa 491 have the following features:

Particulars Skilled independent visa subclass 189 Skilled regional visa subclass 491 (provisional)
Invitation The number of invitations is determined by the number of openings in your occupation and your point total. If the state/territory approves sponsorship, an invitation is assured.
Residential status Permanent Temporary
Rights Complete freedom of movement and other social advantages Candidates can only run if they work and live in the sponsoring state.
Medicare benefits Can avail of these benefits Can’t avail of these benefits
Include family in visa application Allowed Allowed
Freedom to work in Occupation Work in any occupation on the 189 occupation list Work in any occupation on the 491 occupation list
Sponsorship to parents Can sponsor parents after two years of residency in Australia Can sponsor parents after two years of obtaining permanent residency


Required Documents for Subclass 189 & 491 Visas

The accompanying documents are crucial while requesting a visa. Send as much documentation as you can with your visa application. It is best to get professional guidance and provide Australian immigration officials with all the required papers.

Be sure to bear in mind these crucial points before submitting any paperwork.

  • Applications must have attached scanned documentation.
  • Original documents must be certified as copies.
  • Do not attach actual documents unless instructed to do so by immigration officials.
  • Documents in other languages should be accompanied by official translations into English.


Australian Subclass 189 and Subclass 491 visas face intense competition. The subclass 189 visa, however, is a winner because it gives you permanent residency in the country from the start, even though it is more challenging to obtain. Regional 491 visas may be faster to acquire, but they are temporary, and you would have to wait another three years to apply for permanent residency.

In Australia, getting a Permanent Residency is a challenging process. The Australian government has tightened immigration policy recently. Studying in Australia could be a great alternative as a first step. After completing their study, many students may apply for permanent residency in Australia. It allows you to choose a profession that is in demand. The good news is that obtaining a PhD study visa grants you immediate access to permanent residency. However, a visa consultant can help you choose the best option.

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