Amended Points test for Australian PR

Prativa Shrestha

April 10, 2019

Migration amendment regulations 2019 has introduced three new visas that will assist regional Australia.

According to the amendment, regional areas will include all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The changes have been introduced in order to reduce pressure in the cities and increase population in regional areas.

The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Migration Act has introduced subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa, subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa and subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled regional) visa. The changes will take place from 16 November 2019.

Further, it has also amended the points test where 15 points will be awarded for nomination by State or Territory government agency or sponsorship by family member. 10 points for a skilled spouse or de facto partner, 10 points for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) qualifications and 10 points for applicants without a spouse or de facto partner. Similarly, 5 points will be awarded for spouse or de facto partner with ‘competent English’.

Subclass 489 and 187 is superseded by Subclass 491 and Subclass 494 respectively. The amendment has closed the subclass 489 Skilled Regional Provisional visa and has been replaced by subclass 491, a points-tested visa for applicants sponsored by a State or Territory government agency or sponsored by a family member residing in a designated regional area.

Subclass 494 visa has been introduced, which is a new and enhanced employer-sponsored visa with two streams: Employer Sponsored and Labour Agreement.

A new Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) visa has also been announced for persons who hold a Subclass 491 or a Subclass 494 visa at the time of application. Also, the eligibility criteria for this visa includes, the primary applicant must be holding regional provisional visa for at least 3 years, have earned minimum income for at least 3 years and have complied with the conditions of regional provisional visa.