More on the new subclass 491 visa to start November 2019. It will be very similar to the existing 489 subclass. The main changes are a 5-year visa validity and new visa conditions requiring visa holders to live, work and study only in regional areas for three years.
However, regional areas will now include Wollongong and Newcastle districts; a change that visa holders, migration agents and Immigration Lawyers will appreciate.

The points test for General Skilled Migration will also change from November 2019. However, the practical effect of these changes cannot be determined until invitations are offered post-November to see what points score total are receiving invitations. For example, if a points score of 75 is receiving an invitation under current laws, it might be necessary to obtain 80 or 85 points under the new points scoring system. Migration agents and Immigration Lawyers are not able to advise on your probability of receiving invitations after November 2019 until the supply and demand equation is known.

A brief summary of the new points components are as follows:
• 15 points for State or Territory nomination, or sponsorship by a family member residing in regional Australia;
• 10 points for assessed skilled partner;
• 10 points for STEM assessments;
• 5 points for a partner with competent English; and
• 10 points for single applicants.