Being one of the leading economic powers in the world and actually the second wealthiest nation out there, Australia is nothing short of an ideal target country for those who are considering migration for work purposes. And depending on your circumstances and what exactly you have in mind when it comes to long-term plans, you’re going to need to consider your visa options. Especially for skilled and semi-skilled professionals, immigration opportunities abound. The most-often explored options include Australia Skilled Independent (subclass 189) and Australia Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visas, both of which are permanent. A less-known Aussie visa that escapes many people’s attention is, however, the Skilled (Nominated or Sponsored) Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489), which might prove to be exactly what you need if you failed to obtain the previously mentioned ones for one reason or another, or you’re simply looking for a temporary visa. Therefore, we compiled a number of facts you should be aware of when it comes to this option.1. The length of stay is limited but there is wiggle room
As opposed to some other skilled visa options, the 489 is valid for up to four years. What is also important to mention is that while you are a holder of visa 489, you will not be able to apply for a Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (190). However, after a certain period of time passes (two years of living in the area and at least 12 months of working with your 489 visa), you have the option of elongating your stay by applying for a Skilled Regional visa (subclass 887), which, on the other hand, is permanent.2. There are some area restrictions
This visa is for you if you are nominated by a state or territory to live and work in a regional or low population growth metropolitan area, or if you are sponsored by an eligible relative in such an area in Australia. What “regional or low population growth area” means is that you should forget about Sydney, Brisbane and the like; however, there’s no need to worry as there are plenty of areas that belong in this category. You should, in any case, study this table well in advance before you begin the migration process.3. You have to be eligible on many fronts
Besides being nominated or sponsored, there are a few more requirements that make you eligible to apply for this visa. Firstly, you have to hold a subclass 475, 487, 495 or 496 visa, you have to have a relevant occupation and experience in said occupation, there are certain age restrictions as well (you have to be between 18 and 45 years old) and, of course, speaking English is a must. Essentially, you have to collect 65 points on the points test, which is not a difficult task at all. Moreover, you have to submit an Expression of Interest. Since the process can be a bit complicated, the best way to know for sure whether you are eligible for the visa you want is turning to an Australian work visa agent. They will provide you with a comprehensive assessment report, which will help you proceed in the best direction. In case you are evaluated negatively, they will also provide you with suggestions on how to remedy this.4. Not all occupations are equal
As mentioned in the eligibility section, you have to possess an occupation and experience in it in order to apply. In certain areas, such as Queensland, the nature of the occupation is relevant as well, given that having experience in one of the occupations listed on the Queensland skilled occupation list gives you an advantage at obtaining the visa. Moreover, for certain occupations, you might need specific licenses in order to work in this area. It is recommended thus that you research in detail this issue concerning your target destination.5. The processing time can vary
If you apply for visa 489, be prepared to wait at least six months at the very minimum. This visa might take a longer time to process than subclass 190 and 189. Most often, the processing time is between 6 and 12 months, as months can pass between each step of the process, but it can vastly depend on factors such as the number of applicants, your occupation, and the number of points you have – needless to say, the more points you have, the higher the chance that your application is processed faster. In any case, have in mind that it might take a year to obtain your visa.
It is true that the 489 visa is still less-known than some other types of skilled visas, however, it’s been gaining attention in the past years as it still represents a fairly straightforward way to gain permanent residence in Australia in time. If you are willing to go through the procedures, you can start a lucrative life in one of the most developed countries in the world.