191 Visa - Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa
In late 2022, visa 191 is being introduced. It’s a way for existing regional provisional visas to get residency, and a pathway to Australian citizenship.
This skilled regional visa is designed to allow people on a provisional 491 or 494 visa to become a permanent resident of Australia indefinitely. It, at this point, does not start until 16 November 2022, so not all details are finalised yet. But there are some things that are know for sure.
About 191 Visa
This visa is perfect for you if you have been in Australia for at least three years on a provisional regional visa. This is either the 491 or 494 visa. This 191 visa converts you from the fixed term provisional visa to becoming a permanent resident of Australia. It gives you the ability to work or study anywhere in Australia, you’re no longer restricted to regional ‘in-demand’ areas. There is a travel component that allows you to travel to and from Australia as much as required in the first five years.
This visa means you can enrol in Medicare, sponsor your family to join you in Australia, and possibly apply for Australian citizenship.
This new visa replaces 187 and 489 as of November 16, 2019. There will be a bridging transitional visa between 2019 and 2022.
Step by step application process
- First, you need to check if you’re eligible for this visa. Do you meet eligibility criteria?
- You need to be in Australia not only when you apply, but also when the visa is granted.
- Get all your paperwork organised. This may include a skills assessment, English tests, or any other eligibility criteria paperwork.
- Apply for the visa via your ImmiAccount. Pay the first instalment of the fee.
- Await further instruction from the immigration department. If they request more information, provide it quickly.
- You will be advised of the outcome.
This visa is processed on a case-by-case basis. As a result, individual processing times vary. To ensure the quickest possible processing time, make sure your application includes all relevant documents, and that you respond immediately to any requests for more information.
The processing time also depends on how quickly the required checks are carried out and how long it takes external agencies to respond.
At this stage, fees are unknown. There will be a base charge for the main applicant and a charge for every family member with you. There could be a larger cost for those family members who don’t have functional English.
There are a range of basic criteria in applying for the 191 visa:
- you must be already on a skilled regional visa, type 491, 494 or 485 (HK passport holders).
- you must have earned the minimum income for at least the previous three years on that provisional regional visa.
- you must have complied with all conditions of your current visa.
There will also be a ranking system. Applicants first in line are ones without a spouse, or with a spouse skilled in an in-demand career. Secondly are applicants with a partner with fluent English. Third are applicants with a spouse who does not have competent English or are skilled in a career.
It’s unsure at this point which documents will be required. They may, or may not, require:
- an updated recent English competency certificate
- proof of good character
- proof of industry body registration or skill in the role
- proof of ID, such as birth certificate, passport, national identity card
- proof of name change and marriage certificate, if relevant
- a copy of a signed Australian values statement
- proof of continued good health
- partner and dependent documents
Can 191 lead to PR?
The 191 is a conditional PR visa. You can use a 191 visa to apply for citizenship.
Can you include family on a 191 visa?
Yes, when you submit your application you will be able to request a visa for them also. You cannot add family members after you’ve submitted the paperwork. This ‘family’ definition is broader, to encompass older children who travelled with you on your previous visa and have since turned 23.
Can a 191 visa be cancelled?
Yes. If you fail to comply with Australian visa conditions, it can be revoked. Visa conditions
You will be unable to apply for other skill-based visas until you’ve completed three years in your designated regional area.
You must inform the Australian government if you have had a child born in Australia on your current visa.
Find out more from IDP
Find out how IDP Education can help you with your visa requirements to study and migrate in Australia. Contact us today to find out if the 191 visa is right for you, and how we can help you prepare to apply.
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