We compare the 189, 190 and 491 Australian work visas

/ / Our latest posts, Working in Australia

australian work visasGeneral skilled migration is one of the most common ways to immigrate to Australia. Within the skilled migration category, there are three main Australian work visas:

  • The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
  • Skilled Nomination visa (subclass 190)
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)

Today we’re comparing these three visas so that you know what residency each visa offer, what visa could be the best fit for you, what the requirements are you must meet and what each visa allows.

What type of residency is offered by each visa?

Australian work visas either offer a pathway to residency, meaning the visa you have is the first step to gaining residency, or immediate permanent residency.

In the case of the three visas we’re discussing today, the Skilled Independent and Skilled Nomination visas offer permanent residency. This means once you have your visa, you are allowed to stay in Australia indefinitely.

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa, on the other hand, is a pathway to residency. The visa is only valid for up to 5 years. If you’d like to stay in Australia permanently, you’d have to qualify and apply for a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191).

Which visa is the right one for you?

Let us start by saying that the information we’re sharing below should only acts as a guideline. Your eligibility for a visa should always be assessed by a licensed immigration agent.

With that being said, let’s take a look at each visa:

1. Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

The Skilled Independent visa is a points-based visa and it could be the right visa for you if you:

  • Have an occupation that is one a skills shortage list
  • Want to live in Australia permanently

You do not need a job offer to apply for a subclass 189 visa.

2. Skilled Nomination visa (subclass 190)

This is also a points-based visa and meant for people who:

  • Have an occupation that is in demand in a particular state or territory
  • Have nomination from an Australian state or territory government agency
  • Possibly do not qualify for a skilled independent visa
  • Want to work and live in Australia permanently

3. Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)

Just like the 189 and 190 visas, the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa is a points-based visa. This could be the visa for you if you can meet either of the following criteria:

  • You have nomination by an Australian state or territory government agency.
  • You are sponsored by an eligible relative residing in a designated regional area.

What are the basic criteria to meet?

To qualify for any one of the visas discussed here, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You’re under the age of 45
  • Your occupation is on a skills shortage list
  • You get at least 65 points in your skills assessment
  • You have a competent level of English

What does each visa allow?

As discussed earlier, the Skilled Independent visa and the Skilled Nomination visa offer permanent residency while the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa is a temporary residence option.

The status offered by each visa directly determines what you’re allowed to do when you hold the visa:

1. Skilled Independent and Skilled Nomination visas

When you have either a Skilled Independent visa or Skilled Nomination visa, you and your family are allowed to:

  • Stay in Australia permanently
  • Work and/or study in Australia
  • Enroll in Medicare, Australia’s public healthcare system
  • Travel to and from Australia for five years after the date of issuance
  • Sponsor eligible relatives to also apply for permanent residency
  • Apply for Australian citizenship, if you’re eligible

2. Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa allows you and your family to:

Eager to know more about these Australian work visas?

There is a page for each visa right here on our site, so you can head on over to the visa you’re interested in right away:

Want to find out if you qualify for general skilled migration to Australia?

As we mentioned earlier, getting an assessment done is the only way to know if you’re eligible for the visa you’re interested in. You can book an assessment with our team on our website. You’ll discover if you qualify for a visa and learn how the immigration process works.

Return to our blog