AustraliaAustralia Immigration- Sub Class 189July 4, 2022by Prominent Overseas CareerAustralia Subclass 189 Visa vs. Subclass 491 Visa: Which One Should I Apply for?

Subclass 189 and Subclass 491 visas both allow foreign nationals to move to Australia and work legally. The Subclass 189 visa, often known as the Skilled Independent Work Visa, is a permanent resident work visa. Subclass 189 requires no sponsorship from a relative, employer, or State/Territory government in Australia.

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa is another name for the Subclass 491 visa. It enables skilled people and their families to live, work, and study in specific Australian states for a period of five years. After three years, foreign employees in this category can seek for permanent residency. Here’s a comparison of Australia Subclass 189 vs 491 visas. Continue reading to learn about the qualifications, benefits, and fees involved.


Visas of Subclass 189 vs. Visas of Subclass 491

Both of these immigration routes attract qualified employees from all around the world. Both of these visas are classified as General Skilled Migration (GSM).

The Independent Skilled Visa (Subclass 189)

Regional Skilled Work (Provisional) (Subclass 491)

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


General Skilled Migration Visas
Subclass 189 & Subclass 491 Features
Permanent Skilled Independent 

Subclass 189 Visa

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) 

Subclass 491 Visa

The number of invitations depends upon places available in occupation and your points total An invitation is guaranteed if sponsorship is approved by the state/territory
Permanent residence status Provisional residence status
Full access to movement & other social benefits Candidates have to live and work in the sponsoring state
Unconditional & unrestricted PR Can apply for PR visa after 3 years
Medicare benefits No medicare benefits
Free to work in any occupation Free to work in any occupation
Can take your partner along Can take your partner along
Can sponsor parents after 2 years of residence in Australia Can sponsor parents 2 years after gaining permanent visa in Australia
It is the most competitive visa, and only certain professionals can apply. Visa holders have to earn a minimum of $53,900 every year.
Requirements for Subclass 189 & Subclass 491 Visas 

It is important that you ensure that you meet the requirements of the visa you are applying for.


Subclass 189 & Subclass 491 Visa Requirements
Permanent Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 Visa Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 Visa
·         The applicant must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) to be invited to apply. ·         The applicant must hold a valid Skill Assessment for the nominated occupation listed on the State or Regional list.
·         Applicants must be aged between 18 – 44 years inclusive. ·         Applicants must be aged between 18 – 45 years.
·         Competent English proficiency score of 6 in IELTS or more. ·         Competent English proficiency score of 6 in IELTS or more.
·         Must pass the Skills Assessment test in an eligible skilled occupation in the list. ·         State nomination or Regional nomination to apply for this visa is required.
·         Meet health and character requirements. ·         Meet health and character requirements.
·         Meet the 65 pass mark requirement in the Skilled Migration points test. ·         Meet the 65 pass mark requirement in the Skilled Migration points test.


Documents Required for Subclass 189 & 491 Visas

When applying for a visa, supporting papers are essential. Along with your visa application, you should send as many papers as feasible. It is preferable to get expert assistance and give all essential documentation to the Australian immigration authorities.

Before submitting documents, keep these important considerations in mind.

  • Scanned documents should be supplied with the application.
  • Documents must be certified copies of originals.
  • Unless requested by immigration officials, do not attach original papers.
  • Documents in other languages should be supported by certified English translations.

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Documents Required for Subclass 189 & 491 Visas

Identical documents are required for both visas except for different application forms. Here is a list of documents.

  • Requisite application form
  • Passport with photo
  • Skill assessment report
  • IELTS or PTE English language test report
  • Skilled employment documents
  • 2 coloured passport size photographs
  • Education qualification documents (including highest degree)
  • Australian study requirement
  • Partners’ skills
  • Relationship documents
  • Health documents
  • Character documents
  • Employment reference letters
  • Any other documents asked for

Collect all the documents with the utmost care. A single mistake can hamper your chances. Make sure to double-check with the Australian immigration officials to avoid delay in processing.

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Costs Involved in Subclass 189 & Subclass 491 Visas

Here are the tables showing the estimated costs for both these visas.

Application Fees for Subclass 189 & Subclass 491 Visas

Primary Adult Applicant AUD 4,115
Additional Adult Applicant (above 18 years) AUD 2,055
Dependent Child (below 18 years) AUD 1,030


Other Expenses Associated with Subclass 189 & Subclass 491 Visas
Type of Fee Fee to be Paid per Individual
Education Credentials & Work Assessment (ACS) USD 390
Police Clearance Certificate (varies by country) USD 18
English Proficiency Test USD 200
Medical Examination (varies by country) USD 350


Obtaining an Australian visa is a time-consuming and laborious procedure. Visa fees can be paid online using debit or credit cards. When you pay with a credit card, you may have to include some additional transaction fees.


Subclass 189 and Subclass 491 Visa Processing Times

There are various factors that influence the processing timeframes for these visas. Time spent by skill evaluating authority, state sponsorship, invitation rounds, and so forth. Here’s a step-by-step approach to getting your Subclass 189 and Subclass 491 visas processed.


            Subclass 189 and Subclass 491 Visa Processing Times
Processing Time for 189 Visa Permanent Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 Visa Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 Visa Processing Time for 491 Visa

7 – 12 Working Days

Check if your occupation or profile is present in the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) State Sponsorship

Except for NSW, Victoria & Queensland presently


8 – 12 Weeks

0 – 15 days Ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements Ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements 0 – 15 days
2 – 3 Months Complete the Skills Assessment Tests Complete the Skills Assessment Tests 2 – 3 Months
15 Working Days Submitting an EOI through Skill Select Processing time for Invitations after submitting EOI  

2 months

2 Months Filing Application for the Visa Filing Application for the Skilled Nomination Visa 2 Months
15 – 30 Days Waiting for a decision State or Region Nomination Application 2 – 8 Weeks


After submitting the Skilled Independent Visa application, the entire processing period for the Subclass 189 visa might range between 8 and 9 months.

After submitting the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa application, the entire processing period for the Subclass 491 visa might range between 7 and 11 months.


Other Important Frequently Asked Questions

Which Visa is superior? Subclass 491 or Subclass 189?

Immigrants like the Subclass 189 visa because it allows for permanent stay. The Subclass 491 visa is a temporary visa. After three years, it only permits for permanent residency and the ability to relocate to other regions of Australia for employment.


Is it possible to apply for a Subclass 189 visa while on a Subclass 491 visa?

No, the immigration authorities have limited the types of visas you may seek for while holding one of the 491 skilled nominated visas. This is to prevent immigrants from relocating after acquiring 491 visas. The bearer of a 491 visa will be unable to apply for subclasses 189, 190, 186, 820, and many more.


What is the duration of the Subclass 189 visa?

The validity length of the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) Visa is indefinite. It is a permanent resident visa that also covers close relatives in the application.


Are 70 points sufficient for a Subclass 189 visa?

At the end of 2019, the minimum points required for the Subclass 189 visa was 90 points to get an invitation. These hopefuls had to wait four months for an invitation as well.

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What are the advantages of a skilled visa under Subclass 491?

The Subclass 491 provisional visa allows the bearer and immediate relatives to live, work, and study in Australia’s specified territory. The Skilled Nominated Visa 491 also allows the nominated visa holder to enter and exit the country several times within the visa’s validity period.


Is 80 points sufficient for a Subclass 491 skilled visa?

Yes. To apply for the Subclass 491 skilled visa grant, you must have at least 65 points. If the nominated skilled occupation is in high demand in your state or area of Australia, you can submit an expression of interest.


How can an Australian PR candidate improve his standing?

There are other options for Australian PR candidates to acquire extra points. Some examples are shown below.

  • Participate in an English proficiency exam.
  • Get nominated by a state or territory
  • The abilities of your partner are also beneficial.
  • Get some job experience in Australia.
  • STEM credentials to become an authorised translator


How many different sorts of general skilled migration visas are there?

The skilled migration programme of the Australian government offers three categories of visas.

  • Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa
  • Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa
  • Subclass 491 Skilled Regional Nominated Visa

These are either permanent residency visas or visas that lead to permanent residence.


What’s the distinction between subclass 189 and subclass 190 visas?

These subclass requirements are distinct. The 189 visa does not require any sponsorship, however the 190 visa requires a nomination from a state or territory.


What is the distinction between subclass 489 and subclass 491 visas?

Since November 16, 2019, the subclass 491 visa has overtaken the subclass 489 visa. The 491 visa is based on points. It also includes a 45-year age restriction and a skills evaluation in the specified occupation.


How much work experience is necessary for an Australia permanent residency visa?

With the PR visa, you can seek for Australian citizenship after three years. In general, 8 to 10 years of work experience inside or outside of Australia is required.


Can I study at an Australian university and then apply for PR?

Foreign nationals must have job experience after studying in Australia for at least two years. Furthermore, before applying for PR, they must first apply for post-study work permits. Work experience in the specified career sectors improves one’s chances of obtaining PR.


What is the worth of a migration agent for Australia PR?

They are extremely important since they have done it hundreds of times for different clients. Choose a registered migration agency who is up to speed on current rules and regulations.



The Australian Subclass 189 and Subclass 491 visas are extremely competitive. However, while the 189 visa is more difficult to obtain, it is a winner since it grants you permanent residency in the nation from the start. Regional 491 visas may be faster to acquire, but they are just temporary, and you would have to wait another three years to apply for permanent residency.

Obtaining a PR in Australia is a difficult procedure. The immigration policy has recently been tightened. As a first step, studying in Australia may be an excellent alternative. Many students decide to apply for permanent residency in Australia after finishing their education. You may also select an in-demand vocation this way. The good news is that obtaining a Ph.D. study visa grants you immediate access to permanent residency.

Topics include migration and Australia.