applying for a Regional Visa in Australia

7 Mistakes to avoid when applying for the new 491 Regional Visa in Australia

Bravo Migration was founded in 2008 and since then, we have seen many mistakes people make when applying for Australian Visas that have cost the success of the application, and which mostly would have been easy to avoid.

The 7 most common mistakes you should avoid when applying for the 491  Regional Visa in Australia


1)    Not checking the relevant Occupation Lists

A lot of people think that because their occupation is on the Department of Home Affairs lists for the new Regional Visas, they can apply for them.

Be very careful! The new Subclass 491 Skilled Provisional Regional Visa requires applicants to have an approved State Nomination to apply (unless you are applying under Family Sponsorship).

Each State and Territory has their own Occupation lists, featuring the professions they believe are in most demand in their region, and your occupation needs to be in their list too.

Each State and Territory has their own requirements to nominate people as well so you must check if you meet all those requirements before applying for State Nomination, otherwise you will be wasting your time and your money!

2)    Not sitting for the IELTS Exam in time

As with many visa applications in Australia, the new 491 visa requires applicants to sit for an English Exam before they apply for State Nomination and the visa. Applicants can take the IELTS, PTE, TOEFL, OET or Cambridge Advanced and score the minimum required before they lodge anything. A lot of people leave that for the last minute and then find themselves in a bad situation because there is no more time left to sit for the exam.

Don’t find yourself in this situation – plan ahead and take the exam as soon as you can!

3)   Failing to obtain a positive Skills Assessment in time

Not only you must have an occupation on the relevant lists, but you must apply for, and obtain, a positive Skills Assessment in your occupation before applying for the Subclass 491 visa and State Nomination.

Each occupation has a different Skills Assessment Authority and each authority has different requirements, fees and processing times. So just like the people who leave the IELTS exam for the last minute and end up missing out on applying for these visas, those who do not apply for a Skills Assessment with ample time before lodging their applications, also may miss out on applying for these visas!

4)    Presuming their Skills Assessment will be approved

As each Skills Assessment authority has different requirements, many people have a bad surprise when they get a refusal. Don’t presume you have what they need.

Some authorities require only relevant qualifications, others require qualifications and work experience and other could approve you just on the basis of your work experience. But a common mistake we see is that people think they will be approved because in real life they work in that occupation, or their studies were in the relevant occupation.

Skills Assessment authorities sometimes refuse applications even when people work in the occupation but because of small details or issues that would not matter in real life.

5)    Calculating their Points incorrectly

The Subclass 491 visa is a points-tested visa and applicants must score at least 65 points to be able to apply and have that visa granted.

Many people calculate their points in websites (even the Department of Immigration website) and think they will be ok, but those automated calculators cannot take into consideration the small details and subtleties that are relevant to your qualifications and work experience, as well as other items in the points test, such as your studies in Australia.

Ideally, you should check with a human if you are counting your points correctly and if you really have 65 points!

6)    Not checking if Nominations are open

At the moment all States and Territories are closed for nominations for the 491 Visa.

This is due to the global pandemic and the fact that the Federal Government hasn’t yet allocated quotas to each State and Territory so they can nominate for this visa.

Normally this happens in May during the announcement of the Federal Budget but this year, this has been postponed to October. There may be a few allocations before then, but at the moment the program is closed.

No Nomination means no visa, so please check this before you move forward with your application!


7)    Doing it alone!

The whole process of understanding the requirements, checking if you really qualify, organizing all the documents and providing accurate evidence involves several crucial details that might impact in the final result of your application.

So choose to work with an experienced Registered Migration Agent to guide you when applying for a Regional Visa in Australia: only someone who has worked in thousands of applications can know all subtleties of the legislation, what really applies and what doesn’t apply to you, and what is the best strategy for you.

We would love to be part of your visa journey and have worked in more than 5000 visa applications, so we would be delighted if you choose us to assist you!