Australian Family Sponsored Visa: Skilled - Sponsored (Provisional) Visa (subclass 489)


From 16 November 2019 the Department of Home Affairs will introduce the new Sponsored Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 Skilled Visa, with a new permanent visa pathway coming into effect from November 2022. The new Subclass 491 Visa will supersede the Sponsored (Provisional) Subclass 489 Visa and will include some significant changes.


The Skilled - Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) is an Australian family sponsored visa for skilled people wishing to live and work in a regional or low population growth area in Australia.

You must score at least 65 points (the pass mark) on the Points Test to be eligible for this visa.

Applying for the Skilled - Sponsored (Provisional) Visa (subclass 489)

To be able to lodge a valid application for this visa you need to first submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. You can do this in or outside Australia.

If you secure sponsorship from an eligible relative and meet the basic requirements for this visa, you will then receive an Invitation To Apply.

To apply for this visa you must:

  • be invited to apply;
  • be younger than 45 years of age when you are invited to apply;
  • nominate an occupation that matches your skills and qualifications and is on the relevant Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL);
  • have your skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority as suitable for your nominated occupation;
  • have at least competent English;
  • score at least 65 on the Points Test; AND
  • meet the health and character requirements.
Australian Skilled Visa Assessment

Visa Sponsorship by an Australian Family Member

To apply for this visa, you must have sponsorship from a family member who is already a permanent resident of a Designated Area of Australia. The provisional visa is valid for 4 years.

You will be expected to live in your nominated State/Territory for the first two years of your new life in Australia

If you were successful in applying under this category, you would have to undertake the following obligations:

  • Live in the nominating State/Territory for at least two years;
  • Keep immigration authorities informed of changes to your address; and
  • Take part in surveys as required.
Australian Skilled Visa Assessment

Australian Family Sponsored Visa Application Process

The Skilled - Sponsored Visa (Provisional) (subclass 489) is based on a three stage application process:

  • Stage 1

    The first stage of the application process involves completing a skills assessment with the relevant government body. Your skills assessment enables the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) to judge if you have the required level of skill in your chosen occupation to practice in Australia.
  • Stage 2

    Once you have received a positive skills assessment, you will need to submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. You can do this in or outside Australia. You will then also need to apply for family sponsorship with your Australian relative. This will require that they meet the sponsorship requirements and live in a Designated Area of Australia.
  • Stage 3

    Once you have been issued an Invitation To Apply (ITA), you can continue to the DOHA stage of the application, where you can submit your final, complete application to be approved by DOHA so your visa can be granted.

Moving from a provisional visa to a permanent visa

Through a two stage visa process, Skilled - Sponsored (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa holders must live and work in or a low population growth metropolitan area

  • Having lived in regional Australia for at least two years; and
  • Having been employed (including self employed) for at least 12 months in regional Australia;

may apply for the following permanent residence visas:

Check If You Qualify For A Skilled Visa

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