Subclass 491 Visa Processing Time 2023

Subclass 491 Visa Processing time 2023

Subclass 491 Visa Processing Time 2023


The Subclass 491 Visa, officially known as the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa, is a beacon of hope for skilled workers who aspire to live and work in regional Australia.

This visa not only offers a pathway to permanent residency but also allows the holder to experience the diverse culture and opportunities that regional Australia has to offer.

However, like all visa applications, the processing time can be a source of anxiety for many applicants.

In this article, we delve deep into the factors influencing the processing time of the Subclass 491 Visa in 2023.


1. Determinants of the Processing Time

The processing time for the Subclass 491 Visa is not set in stone. It’s influenced by a myriad of factors, including:



2. The Importance of Documentation

One cannot stress enough the significance of proper documentation. The Department of Home Affairs provides a comprehensive document checklist to aid applicants.

Ensuring that all required documents, as mentioned in the Subclass 491 Visa Checklist, are attached can expedite the process considerably.

3. Individual Circumstances: The Variables

Every visa application is unique, and several variables can affect its processing time:

  • Completeness of the Application: An application that comes with all the necessary supporting documents is processed faster. Missing out on even a single document can lead to delays.

  • Response Time: The Department might, at times, seek additional information or clarification. The swiftness with which applicants respond can influence the processing time.

  • External Checks: Some applications require more rigorous checks, especially concerning the information provided. The time taken for these checks can vary.

  • External Agencies: Information related to health, character, and national security is often sourced from external agencies. Delays at their end can impact the overall processing time.

  • Application Volumes: A sudden surge in the number of applications can lead to extended processing times.

  • Ministerial Policies: Changes in immigration policies or ministerial directions can also influence how quickly applications are processed.

4. Recent Processing Times: A Snapshot

Recent data provides some insight into the processing times:

For the Points Tested Stream (Main Applicant):

  • 25% of applications took 5 months.

  • 50% took 7 months.

  • 75% took 15 months.

  • 90% took as long as 16 months.

For the Points Tested Stream (Subsequent Entrant), the times were similar, indicating a consistency in the processing approach.

5. Setting Expectations Right

One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How long does the 491 visa take to process?”

While it’s challenging to provide a definitive answer due to the variables involved, in the absence of any special circumstances, applicants can reasonably expect a processing time ranging between 11 to 19 months.


The journey to obtaining the Subclass 491 Visa can be arduous, but understanding the factors influencing its processing time can set realistic expectations.

Proper documentation, prompt responses, and a bit of patience can go a long way in ensuring a smooth visa application process.

As always, staying updated with the latest from the Department of Home Affairs can provide clarity and peace of mind to applicants.

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