Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 Visa

Please note that the 489 visa is closed to new applications and has been replaced by the 491 visa.

The Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa is a 4-year provisional visa which requires holders to live and work in a regional area to obtain permanent residence. To qualify, you would need be sponsored by either a relative living in a designated area or a State or Territory Government.

The applicable occupations list if sponsored by a relative is the same as the list for the Skilled Independent visa. The state sponsored 489 occupations list can be seen here.

If you are sponsored by a relative, you will need to live for 2 years and work full time for 12 months in a regional or low population growth area to qualify for permanent residence through the Skilled Regional Subclass 887 visa.

The applicants can either be in Australia or overseas to lodge this visa.

If the applicant is in Australia:

Must hold a Substantive Visa or a Bridging A, B or C visa.


SkillSelect Only Application

1.     In order to apply for a Skilled Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa, you must first lodge an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect and be invited by the Department of Immigration to apply.

2.     Once you are invited to apply for a skilled visa, you must lodge your application within 60 days, otherwise the invitation lapses.

Accordingly, it is very important that you have all required documentation prepared to lodge as soon as possible after receiving the invitation.

Visa Criteria In order to qualify for a Subclass 489 visa, you would need to:

  • Lodge an EOI and be invited to apply
  • Be sponsored by a relative living in a Designated Area or nominated by a State or Territory Government.
  • Meet the pass mark in the skilled migration points test – currently 65 points (as of 1 July 2018)
  • Be aged between 18 and 45 inclusive
  • Pass Skills Assessment in an occupation on the relevant Skilled Occupations List
  • Have Competent English or higher
  • Meet health and character requirements
Sponsorship by a Relative Living in a Designated Area


You can apply for a Subclass 489 visa if you are sponsored by a relative living in a Designated Area.

The relative must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or Eligible New Zealand Citizen. The following relatives can sponsor for the Subclass 489 visa:

  • Parents
  • Brothers and Sisters
  • Uncles and Aunts
  • Nephews and Nieces
  • First Cousins
  • Grandparents
Including Family Members You can include the following types of family members in your application:

  • Spouses, de facto partners and same-sex partners
  • Dependent children
  • Other dependent family members – eg parents who live with you and are financially dependent

It is possible to include partners and dependent children after lodgement of the application, but other dependent family members must be included at lodgement.

Duration and Conditions


The visa is a 4-year provisional visa. Whilst in Australia you and your included family members can only live, work and study in an approved regional area. The approved regional areas vary depending on whether you are sponsored by a relative or by a State or Territory Government:

Designated areas are wider than Regional or Low Population Growth areas – in particular the major cities of Melbourne, Canberra, and the Gold Coast are considered Designated Areas.

If you are outside Australia when the visa is granted, you and your family members will need to enter Australia for the first time prior to expiry of your health and police clearances.

I’m in Australia and want to Stay in Australia during COVID-19

You can stay in Australia on a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) until your visa expires.

If you wish to stay longer, you must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.

You may be able to get a bridging visa. This will allow you to stay until:

  • you have a new visa or,
  • have made arrangements to leave.

If your visa has expired or is expiring book a consultation to discuss your options.

Leaving Australia

If you leave Australia you may not be able to return.

All visa holders must comply with current travel restrictions.

I’m overseas and want to travel to Australia during COVID-19

Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) holders are currently not allowed to travel to Australia.

As you are not a permanent visa holder, you must comply with the current travel restriction.

If you are unsure about your general visa requirements book a consultation to discuss your options.

Travel restriction exemption

If you think you have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia, you can apply for an exemption.

Do not travel to Australia until we confirm that you can.

If you are not granted an exemption, you cannot travel to Australia.

All travellers applying for an exemption must apply online.

Apply online for a travel exemption.

Select a state below to see it’s requirements:

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State and territory requirements

Each state and territory has its own list of occupations, requirements and processes you must follow.

More information about the requirements and processes on how Australian states or territories nominate applicants is available.