Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)

The 489 visa allows a person to work and live in a specified regional area of Australia for up to four years. It is a temporary visa which may allow you to apply for a permanent residency visa (Skilled Regional (Residence) visa (subclass 887)) if you satisfy particular criteria.

A person must be sponsored by an eligible family member living in a specified regional area, or be nominated by a State or Territory Government agency.

A 489 visa allows you to:

Sponsorship by a family member

Your family member may be eligible to sponsor you for a 489 visa if they:

The area in which the family member must live includes all of Australia apart from some parts of New South Wales (Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong) and Queensland (the Brisbane metropolitan area). Click Here for a list of the designated areas in which the family member must live.  

The family member must be your (or if your partner is an applicant for the visa, your partner’s):

Please note that the above lists are not exhaustive and other criteria may apply. Please consult us for more details.

If sponsored for a 489 visa by an eligible family member, one of the conditions of your 489 visa will be that you live in a designated area as mentioned and linked above.

Nomination by a State or Territory Government

Each State or Territory Government agency has its own process for nominating a person for a 489 visa. You may need to apply to the Government agency, or some agencies contact people directly after viewing their EOI in SkillSelect.

The agency may also have specific requirements in terms of years of work experience, English language skills, or residency or a job offer in the State or Territory. For more information, see Here for a list of the State and Territory Government agency websites.

If nominated for a 489 visa by a State or Territory government agency, one of the conditions of your 489 visa will be that you live in a regional and low population-growth metropolitan area of the nominating State or Territory. These areas, which are narrower than the designated areas mentioned above, include all of Australia apart from Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, the Central Coast, the greater Brisbane area, the Gold Coast, the Melbourne metropolitan area, and Perth and surrounding areas. For a list of these areas, see 'Regional and low population-growth metropolitan areas' at 'Specified regional areas of Australia' under the ‘Visa applicants’ tab Here

The State or Territory may also have other requirements in nominating you for a 489 visa. Contact the relevant Government agency for more information.

How to apply for a 489 visa

You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and be invited to apply for a 489 visa.

  1. Expression of Interest

You can submit an EOI from outside or inside Australia.

If you are being sponsored by a family member, your EOI will need to nominate an occupation that is on the Skilled Occupation List.

If you are being nominated by a State or Territory Government agency, your EOI will need to nominate an occupation that is on the skilled occupation list for the State or Territory from which you are seeking nomination.

Your EOI will also need to show how you meet the minimum score of 60 points where points are awarded according to factors such as:

The higher your points, the more likely it is that you will be invited to apply for a visa. For more information on the points test, see the Skilled Migration Points Test.

  1. Invitation to apply

At the time an applicant is invited to apply for a visa, they must:

In order to be granted the visa, the applicant and any eligible family members that have been included in the application (as well as family members that have not been included under certain circumstances) must also meet health and character requirements.

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive and other criteria may apply. Please consult us for more details.

If you are invited to apply for a 489 visa, you will have 60 days to apply. You can apply from outside Australia or from inside Australia so long as you do not have a ‘No Further Stay’ condition on your Australian visa and you meet any other requirements for your onshore application.

Another Pathway for the 489 visa

You may be eligible to apply for a 489 visa through the Extended Stay Pathway if you are the skilled worker who has held one of the following visas and complied with all visa conditions, for at least two years before an application for a 489 visa:

For more information about the Extended Stay Pathway, please consult us for more details.

Benefits and common issues with a 489 visa application, and how we can help you

Based on current immigration law, the 489 visa is a pathway to permanent residency by allowing you to apply for the permanent Skilled Regional (Residence) visa (subclass 887) subject to meeting other criteria for the visa. However there are several components to an application for a 489 visa, and the common issues that arise include:

Our experienced Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents can advise you on your eligibility for a 489 visa and facilitate the application process for you. Once you are granted a 489 visa, we can advise you of your obligations so that you can transition seamlessly to the subclass 887 permanent residency visa. Please contact us today to schedule with one of our Solicitors and Migration Agents.

This page provides a summary of the 489 visa as at September 2016. Australian immigration law is complex and it changes frequently. We therefore recommend that you contact us to confirm the requirements for a 489 visa and consult with one of our lawyers and Registered Migration Agents.

Let us help you. Phone: +61 2 8268 4000 or Book a conference