Attention everyone living/working (or planning to) in regional areas for the 489 visa!
In the lead up to the 489 visa program closure, Immigration has recently announced that 10 September 2019 will be the last day state governments can invite you to apply for the 489 visa! Missing this window will likely mean you need to apply for the new 491 visa instead, which will delay your PR plans by at least 1 year.
What does this mean? What should you be doing now? Read more below.
Who Does This Affect?
Those who are eligible, or planning to apply for, 489 state nomination.
Earlier this year, Immigration announced that the 489 Skilled Work Regional visa will be replaced (see blog post with detailed summary of changes) by the new 491 visa on 16 November 2019. The new visas will have stricter regional-living requirements, stricter work requirements, so applicants will take longer to get PR!
Immigration has recently published their transition plans in the lead up to these changes (screenshot below).
How Does It Delay My PR Plans?
Currently, 489 visa holders can apply for PR via the 887 visa after 2 years (with 1 year of full-time work). Under the new system, holders of the new 491 visa will only be able to apply for PR via the 191 visa after at least 3 years.
You should also note that to be eligible for PR via the new permanent 191 visa, you will need 3 tax returns with a taxable income that meets the minmum threshold (this threshold is still to be determined). This is much harder than simply working full-time for 1 year at any salary level, which is the current requirement for PR via the 887 visa.
What Should I Be Doing Now?
Here are some recommendations from our experts:
Immigration's timeline shows that if you don't receive an invitation by state governments to apply for your 489 visa by 10 September 2019, you will not receive one at all. We find that it typically takes the states between 2 - 8 weeks to give out invitations.
Working backwards, if you are eligible, then you should lodge your 489 Visa EOI asap, ideally before the end of July.
In addition, applications for the new 491 visa only opens in November. If you lodge your 489 visa nomination and EOI too late, and miss the 10 September invitation, you won't be able to do too much until 2 months later.
Therefore, it is highly adviseable to lodge your 489 visa EOI ASAP, ideally before the end of this month.
Worried you won't make this date? Have questions? Book in for a free consultation with our migration experts today!