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Subclass 489 requirements, points table, eligibility, application process and guidelines

Subclass 489 visa, is a part of the work migration program and allows you to live and work in Australia. You can only get this visa if you’ve had a previous visa and you lived in Australia.

What Are the 489 Visa Requirements?

Here are the requirements for a 489 visa:

  • Submit a copy of your passport- make sure you include the important pages that contain all your details and passport details, i.e., the issue and expiry date.
  • National ID card. You must also provide a copy of your national ID card- if you have one. Along with your card provide any additional identification, such as proof of name change, if applicable.
  • Evidence that you have a good character. You need to provide any type of documentation that shows you were not involved in any criminal activities or convicted of a serious crime. You are also required to fill in and submit form 80 and form 1221
  • English language documents. You need to provide evidence that you have at least a functional level of the English language.
  • Help documents. Make sure you fill in form 956 or form 956a if you are getting help from someone with your application.
  • Partner documents. If you are applying with your spouse or partner, then submit the following documents:
    • Your partner’s identification documents
    • Character documents
    • Marriage certificate
    • Proof of registered relationship
  • Documents for children under 18. If you are taking your minor children with you, then you must submit documents such as:
    • Children’s birth certificate or family book
    • Adoption papers (if applicable)
    • Parental consent form 1229
    • Statutory declaration
  • Documents for children over 18. You can only bring adult children with you if they are dependent on you:
    • Identity documents
    • Proof of dependency
    • Form 47a
    • Proof of other relationships (if applicable)

Eligibility Criteria for a 489 Visa

You are eligible for a 489 visa if:

  • For at least two years you held one of the following visas:
    • Skilled regional sponsored visa- subclass 475
    • Skilled regional sponsored visa- subclass 487
    • Skilled independent regional visa- subclass 495
    • Skilled designated area sponsored provisional visa- subclass 496

You must have held only one of these visas and you must have had the extended pathway stream. When you apply for visa 489, you don’t need to be nominated or sponsored if you were already nominated or sponsored for your current skilled visa.

If a state or territory nominated you for your skilled visa, then you need to live, work and study in regional and low populated areas. However, if you were sponsored by a relative for your skilled visa, you need to live, work or study in that specific area in Australia.

How Do I Apply for a 489 Visa?

For a 489 visa, you must submit an online application via ImmiAccount. If you don’t have an account at the time of the application, then open a new account and you can start your application process. You must attach scanned copies of your documents- see how to get your documents ready.

You have to pay the visa fee before you submit your application, otherwise, the Department of Home Affairs will not take into account your application.

What Is the Fee for a 489 Visa?

The fee for a 489 visa is AUD365. You may also be required to pay a second instalment fee for your family members who don’t have a functional level of the English language. The second instalment fee costs AUD4,890, but you have to wait for the Department to let you know if and when you can pay this fee.

Please keep in mind that you have to pay extra fees for every family member that applies with you. You can find the additional applicant visa fees here.

489 Visa Points

You will need to meet the points criteria for your 489 visa application:

You are between 18-25 years old25 points
You are between 25-35 years old30 points
You are between 33-40 years old25 points
You are between 40-45 years old15 points
English Proficiency
You have a Competent English level0 points
You have a Proficient English level10 points
You have a Superior English level20 points
Work Experience
You have 3 years of work experience (overseas)0 points
You have 3-5 years of work experience (overseas)5 points
You have 5-8 years of work experience (overseas)10 points
You have 8 years and more of work experience (overseas)15 points
You have 1 year of work experience (in Australia)0 points
You have 3 years of work experience (in Australia)5 points
You have 3-5 years of work experience (in Australia)10 points
You have 5-8 years of work experience (in Australia)15 points
You have 8 years and more of work experience (in Australia)20 points
Level of Education
You have a PhD from a recognized institution20 points
You have a BA from a recognized institution15 points
You have a Masters by research from a recognized institution10 points
Diploma or trade certification
(recognised institution)
10 points
Qualification or award for your relevant occupation10 points
A doctorate with two years of academic study (by an Australian institution)10 points
You meet the Australian study requirement (you have at least 1 degree, diploma or trade certificate from an Australian institution that meets the study requirements)5 points
You completed a professional year in Australia5 points
You have a recognised qualification in a credentialled community language5 points
You have studied for your degree, diploma or certificate in regional Australia for at least a year5 points
Marital Status
Your partner is under 45 years old, they have a competent level of English, have relevant skills, and are nominated in a profession registered in the skilled occupation list.10 points
Your partner has a competent level of English5 points
You are either single or if you are not your partner is an Australian citizen or permanent resident10 points

Please note that you don’t have to be nominated or sponsored again for a 489 visa if you were already sponsored or nominated for your current visa.

Can My Family Members Apply With Me on a 489  Visa?

Your family members can apply with you at the same time for a 489 visa, or they may apply at a later date but before a decision is made on your visa application.

Keep in mind that you can only include close family members:

  • Your partner or spouse.
  • You or your spouse’s children (minor or dependent).
  • You or your spouse’s step-children (minor or dependent).
  • You or your spouse’s grandchildren (minor or dependent).

Can I Travel With a 489 Visa?

Yes, you can travel as many times as you wish during the time you hold a 489 visa. You don’t have to apply for a resident return visa if you want to travel under a 489 visa. However, remember that the time you spend out of Australia counts towards the validity of your visa.

Is a 489 Visa Permanent?

No, a 489 visa is only valid for 4 years from the grant date of your current skilled visa. You are also not able to extend this visa or apply for another 489 visa, but you may be eligible for another permanent visa if you meet the permanent visa conditions.

How Do I Get a Permanent Visa With a 489 Visa?

You can get a permanent visa under subclass 489 if you apply for a skilled visa 887.

Does 489 Visa Have Medicare?

No, unfortunately, you don’t have access to Medicare with a 489 visa. However, after having the visa for two up to three years you can apply for a permanent visa and that will allow you to have access to Medicare and other state services.

489 Visa Benefits

Unfortunately, benefits such as Medicare, Centrelink, JobSeeker and similar state services are limited for holders of a 489 visa. However, with this visa, you can live, study and work in Australia for four years- as long as you live in a specified region in Australia.

489 Visa Conditions

There are some conditions that apply to your 489 visa which you must adhere to or your visa may be cancelled:

  • Condition 8539. You can only stay, work, and study in a low-population growth area in Australia. The visa grant letter will list the areas you are allowed to stay in.
  • Condition 8549. With this condition, you are only allowed to work, live and study in designated areas in Australia:
    • Australian Capital Territory. Anywhere in the territory.
    • New South Wales. Anywhere with the exception of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.
    • Northern Territory. Anywhere in the territory.
    • Anywhere in the territory except the greater Brisbane area.
    • South Australia. Anywhere in the territory.
    • Anywhere in the territory.
    • Anywhere in the territory.
    • Western Australia. Anywhere in the territory.

489 Visa Changes

On November 16, 2019, the skilled regional visa-invited pathway was closed. This was due to the introduction of visa subclass 491 that was intended to replace visa 489. However, at this time you may still apply for a visa 489 extended pathway stream.

489 Visa Subsequent Entry Pathway

Your family members who want to join you, later on, can apply for the subsequent entry pathway. They must have been included in your visa application as close family members to be eligible for the subsequent entry visa. The fee for this pathway is AUD4,114.

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