The Difference Between Subclass 190 and 491 Visa

The Difference Between Subclass 190 and 491 Visa

Have you ever thought of starting a whole new life in Down Under? Australia is well-renowned for its captivating landscapes and busy cities with friendly residents. It serves as a place of dreams for all those skilled migrants from all over the world. However, dealing with Australia’s complicated immigration is something that certainly tests the strength of your nerves. One of the most important details pertaining to the topic – the difference between subclass 190 and 491 visas are discussed in this article.

After unlocking some of the riddles surrounding these two methods that are so popular and efficient for Australian immigration, you will have enough background knowledge to make a personal decision. A decision that is your confirmation of your wishes and preferences, that is, personally exploring the wonderful adventure.

What is an Australia 190 visa?

The Subclass 190 visa, also known as the Skilled Nominated visa (Skilled Work Regional), is a permanent residence visa issued by a specific Australian state or territory It gives you direct access to Australian permanent residence, and allows you to live, work, and study thing anywhere in the country.

What is an Australia 491 visa?

The Subclass 491 visa, or Skilled Work Regional (Provisional), is another skilled migration visa sponsored by a state or territory. However, unlike the 190 visa, it is a temporary visa valid for five years. You can apply for permanent residence through a subclass 191 permanent residence visa after meeting specific requirements.

Similarities Between Subclass 190 & Subclass 491

While there are distinct differences between the two subclasses, they also share some key similarities:

  • Skilled Migration Focus: The policy on skilled immigrants is the same for both visas. It doesn’t matter whether your occupation is on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) or national/territorial registers, you can get it in both cases.
  • Sponsored State/Territory: Also, it is equivalent if you are nominated by a particular Australian state or territory indicating a demand for your expertise in this region.
  • Score-based system: Both visas are based on the score-based system that lets you get points as per your age, English proficiency, work experience, qualifications, or other factors. If your grading is high enough, your likelihood of acceptance will be tripled.
  • Path to Permanent Residency: Both of them guaranteed a permanent residency visa to Australia.

Difference Between Subclass 190 and 491 Visa

Now, let’s delve into the critical difference between subclass 190 and 491 visas:

  • Visa status: The main distinction lies in the visa’s status. Subclass 190 leads to performing a permanent settlement at the time of arrival in Australia. On the other hand, subclass 491 is a temporary visa where a candidate is required to demonstrate their proficiency (usually, staying and working in a particular area) for about three years before they are allowed to apply for permanent residence under subclass 191 visa.
  • Restrictions: While subclass 190 is more flexible as far as the issue when it comes to the choice of settlements in Australia, subclass 491 is specific in that it is state and territory-based.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Subclass 190 might carry more qualifications than subclass 491, but both of them implement a certain amount of point-based system with some variations, especially in terms of work experience and English speaking skills according to the country from which the skills were attained.

What are the benefits of a 491 visa in Australia?

Despite being a provisional visa, the Subclass 491 offers some attractive advantages:

  • Lower Score: The 491 subclass could be a bit lower scored than subclass 190 really, as it is believed to make the qualification more accessible for the candidates in question, most likely, primarily, those ones who don’t have so much work experience at all.
  • Focus on regional development: The 491 visa is an attempt to draw more population and a highly skilled workforce into the rural areas. As a result, it adds new job positions as well as those that already exist and at very affordable living standards Usually, these smaller areas provide more work opportunities and lower cost of living compared to big cities.

Also Read: Difference Between 189 and 190 Visa Australia.

What is the benefit of subclass 190 visa in Australia?

The Subclass 190 visa boasts some compelling benefits:

  • Immediate Permanent Residency: You do not waste time in achieving the status of permanent residency, and thus have the freedom to travel and work with no limitations within the country of Australia.
  • Fast Track to Citizenship: Moreover, you can apply for citizenship in Australia as a green card holder when the required timing for residency (approximately four years) is tamed-based.

Visa Status: 190 vs 491

FeatureSubclass 190 (Skilled Nominated)Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional))
Visa TypePermanent ResidencyProvisional Visa (5 years)
Pathway to Permanent ResidencyN/AYes (via Sub visa)
LocationNo restrictions – can live May have specific regional requirements, work anywhere in AustraliaNo restrictions – can live May have specific regional requirements, work anywhere in Australia

Eligibility criteria for 190 visa vs 491 visa

While both visas utilize a points-based system, there might be subtle variations in the specific eligibility criteria. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Points Threshold: The minimum points threshold for a skilled state nomination (Subclass 190) can be slightly higher than that of the Skilled Regional (Subclass 491). Thus, you might need a more competitive profile (further qualifications, additional work experience) to get the 190 visa.
  • Skill Relevance: The nominating state or territory of Subclass 190 may prioritize the provision of evidence showing how skilled your occupation is with the company.

Visa Cost: 491 vs 190

The visa application fees for both subclasses are generally comparable. However, additional costs like skills assessments, health checks, and police clearances can vary depending on individual circumstances.

Visa TypePrimary ApplicantAdditional Adult ApplicantAdditional Child Applicant
Subclass 491AUD 4,640AUD 2,320AUD 1,160
Subclass 190AUD 4,640AUD 2,320AUD 1,160

Processing time: 491 vs 190

Processing times for both visas can fluctuate depending on case complexity and workload at the Department of Home Affairs. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that the Subclass 190 application process might be slightly faster due to its higher eligibility requirements, resulting in a smaller applicant pool.

Visa TypeProcessing Time Range
Subclass 4916 to 12 months
Subclass 1906 to 10 months

Which one is better? 190 vs 491 visa

There’s no single “better” option – the ideal visa subclass depends on your individual circumstances and priorities. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Your Long-Term Goals: The Subclass 190 visa will yield immediate residency and will allow you to live and work anywhere in Australia. Its simplicity matches your first priority. On the other hand, Subclass 491 can be selected as an option if you are ready to shift to a rural area and the shallower cutoff for points is not an issue for you.
  • Your Points Score: Utilize the Australian Immigration Points Calculator and examine the Points Assessment Tool to determine whether you have sufficient points. If your points closely converge with the minimum benchmark for Subclass 190, it is superfluous at best, in order to get a higher score so you can satisfy the program’s main benefits so that you can become a permanent resident of Australia immediately.

Expert Tips for a Smooth Application Process

Having navigated the intricacies of Australian immigration myself, here are some insights to streamline your application journey:

  • Research in-depth: Discover all about the special requirements, registration processes, and also the time for both Subclass 190 and Subclass 491 visas. Use the Australian Home Office and other reliable sources for the latest information.
  • Get Help from an Expert: Look for a good immigration consultant who can check your eligibility and help you with all of the documentation, assist you, and guide you thoroughly through the process.
  • Begin early: Take the first steps and avoid surprises. The visa entitles a person to visit Australia as a tourist, study, or earn a livelihood for the specified period but in some cases, the visa can also be used for other activities at the request of the visa holder.

Helpful for you: Reasons to Hire Immigration Consultants for Australia.


Knowing the distinction of a subclass 190 and 491 visa is a powerful tool that can lead you to make a well-informed choice about the method of your Australian journey. Don’t forget that inspired by skilled migration, Australia provides a wide field for a possible happy life. With detailed as well as careful preparation as well as with some hard work sprinkled into your process of applying for a visa that you wouldn’t have to postpone your dream of going to Australia anymore.


Can I apply for Subclass 190 while on Subclass 491 visa?

Yes, you can apply for a Subclass 190 visa while holding a Subclass 491 visa if you meet the eligibility criteria for the Subclass 190 visa, including nomination by a state or territory government.

Are there any designated areas for subclass 491 visa?

Yes, the Subclass 491 visa is for regional areas of Australia. Designated areas include all of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

How will my subclass 491 visa lead to PR?

The Subclass 491 visa is a pathway to permanent residency through the Subclass 191 visa (Skilled Regional Permanent Residence visa), provided you meet the conditions, including living and working in a designated regional area for a specified period.

Why choose a subclass 491 visa when I can get a subclass 190 visa?

The Subclass 491 visa offers an alternative pathway to permanent residency for individuals who may not meet the eligibility criteria for the Subclass 190 visa or prefer to live and work in regional areas. It also allows for additional points for skilled migration.

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