Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 489) 

Who is the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 489 for?

The Skilled Regional visa is a temporary visa that provides three pathways for skilled workers who want to work and live in regional Australia.

This visa is an alternative for skilled workers who have the necessary qualifications or skills, but are unable to pass the points tests as required to obtain a skilled independent visa or Nominated visa (Subclass 189 and 190).  A 489 visa provides three pathways for applicants to gain residence in Australia for up to four years, through a state sponsorship.

Like all Skilled visas, this visa is points test based, however, the unique three-way pathway allows applicants to submit an application upon either receiving an invitation by the Department, holding a previous Skilled Regional visa, or having a family member who holds a certain class of visa.

The applicant will be restricted as to the areas in which they can reside and work, and this will be dependent upon whether it is a State/Territory Government or family sponsorship. If nominated by the State/Territory, applicants must work and live in a regional or a metropolitan area nominated by the State/Territory, that has low-population growth. If sponsored by a family member, applicants may work and live in the  Designated Areas of any State or Territory.


Am I Eligible for a 489 Visa?

Applicants for this visa first need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) online and then be invited by the Department to apply for the visa.

There are three pathways to qualify for the 489 visa. The specific pathway the applicant can elect will depend upon their circumstances at the time of the application:

  • Extended Stay pathway – applicants currently hold a subclass 475, 487, 495 or 496 visa.
  • Invited pathway – applicants have been nominated by a State or Territory government agency, or by an eligible relative, and were invited by the Department to apply.
  • Subsequent entry pathway – applicants who are a family member of someone who already holds a 475, 487, 489, 495 or 496 visa.

In order to qualify for any of the three pathways under a 489 visa, you will need to demonstrate that you meet certain health and character requirements.

Depending on which pathway you qualify for, after you have been invited or sponsored, you will need to demonstrate that you meet additional eligibility requirements.

In regards to the Extended Stay pathway, applicants will need to currently hold the provisional visas mentioned above, and have complied with all the necessary visa conditions for a minimum of two years. It is also a requirement for the applicant to have held only one of these visas.

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Applicants applying for a Nominated Skilled Visa through the invited pathway  must satisfy the following additional eligibility criteria:

  • That you have been nominated by an Australian State or Territory Government agency (if applicable).
  • That you have been sponsored by an eligible relative (if applicable – please see below for sponsor eligibility criteria).
  • That you have nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list.
  • That you were younger than 45 years of age when you received an invitation to apply for this visa.
  • That you have at least ‘competent’ English language ability at the time you were invited to apply.
  • Obtained a suitable skills assessment for your nominated occupation, based on the factors in the points test below:
    • Age
    • English language ability
    • Previous Australian and Overseas skilled work experience
    • International Qualifications
    • Australian study requirements and awards
    • Credentialed community language qualifications
    • Regional Australian Study
    • Spouse skill qualifications
    • Professional year in Australia
    • Achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation.
    • Meet certain health and character requirements.

If you are being sponsored by an eligible relative for this visa, please note that your sponsor will need to be:

  • At least 18 years of age;
  • Living in a designated area of Australia;
  • An Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen; and
  • You or your partner’s relative

If applying under the subsequent entry pathway, you will also need a family member to be a holder of one of the visa options listed above. Although there is no English language skill requirement for this pathway, it should be noted that entrants over the age of 18 would be subjected to an additional fee if they do not have Functional English ability. If this is the case, they will be required to undergo a Functional English test during the processing of their visa application, or during no more than 12 months prior to applying for the visa


489 Visa Checklist

How Long Does it Take?

Invited Pathway

You will have 60 calendar days to apply for your 489 visa after being invited to lodge an application. Once received, the Department of Immigration will then commence processing your application. The average global processing time is 75% of applications in 8 months.

Extended and Subsequent Entry Pathways

The average global processing time is currently 75% of applications processed in 6 months.

Please note that the above global processing times for all three pathways are subject to change as an assessment of eligibility occurs on a case-by-case basis and vary on the applicant’s circumstances.

It is understandable that there are some circumstances that will impact the processing time of your visa application, that may be out of your control. These include; the time for external agencies, namely health and police services, and the Government, to conduct checks and provide supporting information.

While the above circumstances are unavoidable, there are some factors which will ensure you a faster processing time. These include:

  • Lodging a complete application, attached with all of the necessary supporting documents.
  • Being prompt in responding to any additional information the Department requests.


Learn More


Fees & Costs

The cost of this visa depends upon which pathway you proceed with. Please refer to the price list below for details:

  • Invited pathway – from $3,670;
  • Extended pathway – from $325;
  • Subsequent entrants – from $325 if your family member was an extended pathway application, or $$3670 if your family member was an invited pathway applicant.

Please note this is only the flat rate and you may be asked to pay additional costs to cover requirements such as health assessments, police certificates and biometrics.

If you wish to add additional family members to your application, an extra fee will be imposed upon your visa application.

If the additional family member is above the age of 18 and has less than Functional English, you will be subjected to a second instalment fee of $4,885 which is payable after you have fulfilled all of the visa requirements listed above.


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What Steps Should I Take to apply for a 489 Visa?

Unlike other Migration law firms, Results Migration makes the process of applying for visas straightforward. Our team of expert lawyers will work with you every step of the way and have devised a step-by-step process to ensure your application is processed as fast as possible.

1. Schedule a free consultation with our team of expert lawyers, where we will assess and advise you on the Australian visa option that best suits you.

2. Conduct an assessment of your English language skills point score. In order to be invited to apply, you will need to score at least 60 points in the Points Test. If you are below this threshold, you will need to sit an International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) test in Australia or in your country of origin.

At this stage, we will also gather and prepare all of the documentation as well as perform any additional checks that are required to lodge a visa application.

3. Organise a skills assessment within your nominated occupation. This must be performed by the relevant Australian Assessing Authority for your nominated eligible skilled occupation.

4. If you are applying through the invited pathway, we will prepare and submit your expression of interest for you through SkillSelect. You will then wait to receive your invitation to apply from the Department.

5. Now it is time to begin preparing your application. As we have already performed the necessary assessments, prepared the required paperwork and gathered supporting documentation, we can lodge your application in a timely manner.

In the meantime, if you are an onshore applicant you will be granted a bridging visa until your current visa expires. This will give you the right to stay in Australia until the outcome of your 489 visa is decided.

6. Finally, we will notify you of the outcome. If granted, you will receive the rights listed below.


Entitlements of the Skilled Independent Visa

The Skilled Regional visa is valid for four years from the date of the visa grant. This will allow you and your eligible family members:

  • To live, study and work in a specified regional area of Australia,
  • Travel in and out of Australia as many times as you want, while the visa is valid, and
  • To apply for permanent residency if eligible, through the Skilled-Regional (Residence) Visa (subclass 887)


489 Visa FAQs

Where must I live if I am granted a 489 via State or Territory nomination?

You and your family must live in a regional Australia or low population growth area of Australia if you are granted the visa via a State or Territory nomination. Please find a list of all regional Australia or low population growth areas.


State Areas Postcode
New South Wales Everywhere except Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Wollongong 2311 to 2312, 2328 to 2411, 2420 to 2490, 2536 to 2551, 2575 to 2594, 2618 to 2739, 2787 to 2898
Northern Territory Everywhere in the territory All postcodes
Queensland Everywhere except the greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast 4124 to 4125, 4133, 4211, 4270 to 4272, 4275, 4280, 4285, 4287, 4307 to 4499, 4515, 4517 to 4519, 4522 to 4899
South Australia Everywhere in the state All postcodes
Tasmania Everywhere in the state All postcodes
Victoria Everywhere except the Melbourne metropolitan area 3211 to 3334, 3340 to 3424, 3430 to 3649, 3658 to 3749, 3753, 3756, 3758, 3762, 3764, 3778 to 3781, 3783, 3797, 3799, 3810 to 3909, 3921 to 3925, 3945 to 3974, 3979, 3981 to 3996
Western Australia Everywhere except Perth and surrounding areas 6041 to 6044, 6083 to 6084, 6121 to 6126,6200 to 6799


Which areas are classified as Designated Areas for the visa?

If you are sponsored by a relative you will need to live and work in a Designated Area in Australia. Please see below for a copy of all Designated Areas in which you may live and work while on a 489 visa.


State Areas Postcode
Australian Capital Territory Everywhere in the territory All postcodes
New South Wales Everywhere except Sydney, Newcastle, and Wollongong 2311 to 2312, 2328 to 2333, 2336 to 2490, 2535 to 2551, 2575 to 2739, 2787 to 2898
Northern Territory Everywhere in the territory All postcodes
Queensland Everywhere except the greater Brisbane area 4019 to 4028, 4037 to 4050, 4079 to 4100, 4114, 4118, 4124 to 4150, 4158 to 4168, 4180 to 4899
South Australia Everywhere in the state All postcodes
Tasmania Everywhere in the state All postcodes
Victoria Everywhere in the state All postcodes
Western Australia Everywhere in the state All postcodes


Which Eligible Family Members can sponsor me for a 489 visa?

  • Eligible family members are family members related to you or your spouse of de facto partner who are 18 years or over, who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who usually resides in a Designated Area of Australia. These include
  • A parent;
  • A child or stepchild;
  • A brother, sister, adopted sibling, step sibling;
  • An aunt, uncle, adopted aunt/uncle, step aunt/uncle;
  • A nephew, niece, adopted nephew/niece, step nephew/niece;
  • A grand parent; or
  • A cousin


How do I convert a 489 provisional visa to a 887 permanent visa?

If you have complied with the conditions of you 489 visa you will then become eligible to apply for a 887 permanent residence visa. Once you have converted to this visa, you will be granted unconditional permanent residency where you can live and work anywhere in Australia. In order to qualify for the conversion you must have lived in your specified area for at least two years and have worked full time for 12 months in your specified area while on your 489 visa.

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