If you want to study in and move to Australia, you should consider studying in Tasmania, an island state of Australia. Studying in Tasmania allows you to earn state or regional nomination unlike any other state in Australia via its graduate nomination pathways.
The two Tasmanian Graduate Nomination Pathways are Visa Subclass 190 (state nominated) and Visa Subclass 491 (regional nominated). While Visa 190 does have its benefits, Visa 491 has the upper hand. 491 is easier to apply for, does not require sponsorship, has priority processing for regional applications, and there are more points available for the EOI skill assessment. So, here’s everything you need to know about Tasmania Visa 491.
What is Tasmania 491?
Tasmania 491 visa is a type of Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) offered by the Tasmanian state. The visa allows you to work and live in Tasmania for up to five years; this means, it is originally a temporary visa which can be converted to Permanent Residency (PR) after five years. Plus, it is not dependent on employer-sponsorship, thus requiring you to commit to living and working in the regional area.
What are the Educational Eligibility Criteria?
Like all graduate nomination pathways for an Australian visa, 491 also has some educational eligibility criteria that you must meet or exceed. Since you do not need sponsorship for the visa, you do need the right educational qualifications. Here are the educational requirements for Tasmania 491:
- You must have studied in Tasmania (on-campus) for at least one academic year or 40 weeks.
- You must have graduated from a CRICOS registered tertiary institution in the state with one of the following qualifications:
- A bachelor’s degree or higher
- A diploma, including standard, advanced, associate, or graduate
- Trade qualifications with minimum Cert III level for a skilled occupation in Major Group 3 in ANZSCO.
- You must have lived in Tasmania for a year during the time of application, and you must be able to provide proof of your commitment to living in Tasmania.
What are the Occupational Eligibility Criteria?
One good thing about Tasmania 491 visa is that although there are a few occupational eligibility requirements, you still don’t need to be working actively.
The state does not put an emphasis on employment for its graduate nomination pathway, unlike most other states, as it knows that you have committed to studying and may not have time to focus on your career. Thus, 491 does not require you to acquire employer-sponsorship, either.
All you need to submit is a detailed career plan to prove your commitment to working in Tasmania, especially if your course is not related to the occupations mentioned in the Tasmanian Skilled Occupation List (TSOL). Your career plan’s occupation should be included in the TSOL, but since the list only contains a few occupations, the state also gives priority to high-demand jobs from the field of healthcare, trades and construction, engineering, and community services. If your career plan is related to the high-demand jobs, your chances of refusal are quite less.
What are the Steps for Tasmania Graduate Nomination?
If you meet all the criteria mentioned earlier, then you can begin the application process for the Tasmania 491 visa. The process for applying for a regional nominated visa is quite simple, as follows:
Step 1. Choose the Right Course
The first step is to choose a course in Tasmania that is at least one year long, from a CRICOS registered tertiary institution in the state. As mentioned earlier, the course can be anything from a diploma course to a master’s degree, as long as it meets the minimum requirements of the 491 visa. Remember, you do not need sponsorship for this visa, but you do need the right course that is related to TSOL or high-demand jobs.
Step 2. Submit the EOI SkillSelect
Once your course comes to an end, the next step is to submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) SkillSelect, which is different from a visa application. You can submit the same through the Department of Home Affairs.
For your EOI skill assessment, you will be graded for things like your age, educational qualifications, English proficiency, work experience, regional nomination, and more. You need at least 65 points to be able to lodge an EOI, but don’t worry, you will receive additional 15 points if you receive a regional nomination! You can check your points on the Department of Home Affairs’ points calculator.
Step 3. Receive the Nomination
Once you have lodged the EOI, your next step is to apply for a Tasmanian Government state nomination through its website. Your EOI will be notified to the state and territory governments to indicate your interest in being nominated.
The nomination processing time depends on the overall quality and thoroughness of your EOI and application. Generally, the processing time ranges from two to eight weeks. So, make sure all your documentation is prepared to avoid any delays.
Migration Tasmania also recommends not including more than 20 documents in your application to reduce the processing time. Plus, lax behaviour while applying can also lead to visa refusal from the authorities, so always respond soon to any correspondence.
If you meet the requirements and score well, and if they nominate you, you will receive an invitation to apply for the visa within two to eight weeks, depending on the processing time of your EOI.
Step 4. Apply for the Visa
If the state nominates you, you can now apply for the visa. The offer for the 491 visa is valid up to 60 days from the date of notification, so you can take your time to consider the offer. You can apply for the 491 visa with the Department of Home Affairs then. If you fail to apply within 60 days, the visa offer will expire, and no extension will be granted.
The visa application for a 491 visa is AUD 4,046, plus any credit card payment fees. Do note that these prices are subject to change, so refer to the Home Affairs website.
Once you apply for the visa, you will get a notification if you are granted the bridging visa. Remember that there are some conditions you need to meet during the visa application process. While you can travel outside Australia during the process, please make sure your current visa allows you to return to the country.
Moving permanently to another country may seem daunting, but if you know the right process, it can be relatively straightforward. You don’t need agents who may not always be reliable; all you need is the right approach to avoid visa refusal. Stay tuned for more up-to-date information on Australian visa processes.