Transitioning from Subclass 491 Visa to Subclass 191 Permanent Residency: Exploring Opportunities for Skilled Migrants


As immigration lawyers at Augustine & Co., we strive to stay updated on the latest regulations and policies that affect skilled migrants seeking to establish their lives in Australia. In this blog post, we will shed light on the transition from the subclass 491 visa to the subclass 191 visa, offering valuable insights and clarifications for prospective applicants. The subclass 491 visa, also known as the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (General Skilled Visa), serves as a pathway to the subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa, which grants permanent residency. Let’s explore the requirements and possibilities associated with this transition.

Understanding the Pathway: Subclass 491 to Subclass 191

The subclass 491 visa provides skilled migrants with an opportunity to live and work in Australia on a temporary basis. This visa is often pursued by individuals with in-demand skills who wish to contribute to the Australian economy. However, as temporary work visas have limitations, many visa holders aspire to obtain permanent residency. This is where the subclass 191 visa (Permanent Work Visa), comes into play.

Transitioning as a Primary or Secondary Applicant

The regulations do not stipulate that a primary applicant for a subclass 191 visa must have been either the primary or secondary applicant in the provisional visa application. Therefore, a subclass 491 visa holder can apply for a subclass 191 visa if they meet the relevant requirements, regardless of whether they were granted the subclass 491 visa as the primary or secondary applicant.

This flexibility provides an opportunity for skilled migrants who initially entered Australia on a temporary work visa to later secure a permanent work visa, thereby granting them long-term residency and stability in the country.

Eligibility Criteria for Subclass 191 Visa

Unlike some other visa subclasses, the subclass 191 visa does not have a minimum income threshold for applicants. There is no instrument that specifies a minimum income requirement for this visa. The only income-related requirement is that the primary applicant must provide notices of assessment from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for three of the five years while holding their eligible visa.

This means that applicants are not required to meet specific income criteria, making the subclass 191 visa an attractive option for skilled migrants who may not have attained a high-income level during their provisional visa period.

Benefits of Subclass 191 Permanent Residency

Obtaining a subclass 191 visa grants several advantages to skilled migrants. Firstly, it provides a secure pathway to permanent residency in Australia, offering stability and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Additionally, permanent residents enjoy access to various benefits, including Medicare, the Australian healthcare system, and educational opportunities for their children.

Moreover, permanent residency through the subclass 191 visa enables individuals to sponsor eligible relatives for visas, thus fostering family reunification. It also opens up possibilities for Australian citizenship in the future, allowing individuals to fully integrate into Australian society.


Transitioning from the subclass 491 visa to the subclass 191 visa offers skilled migrants an excellent opportunity to establish themselves in Australia permanently. The absence of a minimum income threshold for subclass 191 eligibility and the flexibility in terms of primary or secondary applicant status make this pathway accessible to a broader range of skilled individuals.

At Augustine & Co., we understand the complexities of immigration law and the aspirations of skilled migrants. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers and consultants are dedicated to guiding our clients through the visa application process and ensuring they have the best chance of success.

If you are a skilled migrant seeking to transition to permanent residency through the subclass 191 visa, we are here to assist you. Contact our team of Immigration Lawyers today to embark on your journey towards a prosperous future in Australia.

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information provided is subject to change, and individuals should consult with a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant for personalized guidance regarding their specific circumstances.


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Calvin Augustine is the founding solicitor of Augustine & Co. Immigration Lawyers. He graduated with Honors from the University of London law school, before being admitted to practice in Malaysia and Australia (admitted in SA, appears in all Victorian Courts and Tribunals, at trial and appellate levels).