Permanent Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 191) Commences

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November 24, 2022

If you’ve been living and working in regional Australia on Subclass 491 or 494 visa and you’re looking to migrate to Australia permanently, you’re in luck. The newly introduced Subclass 191 visa commenced November 2022 and allows visa holders to live and work in Australia permanently. Read on to find out what a Subclass 191 visa allows you to do and what you’ll need to apply.


What Is Permanent Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 191)?

The newly introduced Subclass 191 visa is a pathway to permanent migration to Australia for those who have a held regional provisional visa (Subclass 491 or 494) for at least 3 years.  While previously there was no direct pathway for permanent migration for those holding these visas, the 191 visa rewards skilled workers for their service by allowing them to migrate to Australia permanently without the requirement of living and working in regional Australia.


What Can You Do With a 191 Visa?

A 191 visa allows you to live and work in Australia permanently with the option to apply for Australian citizenship once you become eligible. You are also able to study as an Australian resident meaning you’re not subject to international student fees. As soon as your Subclass 191 visa is granted you will also be able to access Medicare. However, you may be subjected to a waiting period before you can access certain Australian Government payments and benefits. As with other permanent visas, you are able to include family members on your application in order to allow them to live with you permanently in Australia.

The 191 visa has a special travel component that allows you to travel to and from Australia for 5 years from the date the visa is granted without applying for any additional visas. After the 5 years is up you’ll still be able to travel but you’ll need to apply for a Resident Return visa until you have acquired Australian citizenship.


191 Visa Requirements

The most important requirement for applying for a Subclass 191 visa is that you must already hold a Subclass 491 or 494 visa and you must have held that visa for at least 3 years before applying. There are also some other important requirements to consider including:

  • You must have had a taxable income that either meets or exceeds the minimum income threshold for at least 3 years. The threshold changes every year and is currently $18,200 as of November 2022
  • You must meet the health requirements set out by the Australian Government. This will include undergoing a health examination
  • You must meet the character requirements


191 Visa Application Document Requirements

The 191 visa is a permanent visa so you will require significant documentation to support your application. Some of the key documents you will need to provide include:  

  • Proof that you have lived and worked in a designated regional area of Australia. Proof includes reference letters or payslips from your employer and leases/rental agreements, utility bills or title deeds to prove your residence location
  • Copies of your Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Notices of Assessment for the last 3 income years
  • A copy of your passport and national identity card (if available) 
  • Documents proving any past or present relationships (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce documents and death certificates etc.)
  • Police certificates from Australia and any other countries in which you have resided for a year or more


If your application includes a partner, you’ll need to provide identity and character documents for them and also evidence that your relationship is genuine and ongoing (e.g. joint bank accounts and joint leases). If the application also includes children or dependents, you’ll need to provide documents proving their identity and relationship.


Can You Apply For Citizenship With A 191 Visa?

Yes, a 191 visa is a permanent visa that will allow you to apply for citizenship down the line. For citizenship purposes, your permanent residence starts on the day the 191 visa is granted (if you are in Australia at the time). You will be able to apply for citizenship 4 years after the date your 191 visa is granted depending on how much time you have spent outside Australia during that period.

Are you looking to turn your Provisional 491 or 494 visa into a permanent 191 visa? Contact AustraliaMigrate today to ensure your application is correct and ready to be submitted to the Department of Home Affairs.

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