Did you know that Adelaide is classified as a ‘designated regional area’ of Australia for migration purposes? This means that if you are prepared to settle in Adelaide, you will have more visa options available to you, and more opportunities to qualify for permanent residence in Australia, provided you meet prescribed requirements. This is part of an overall push by the Government to attract migrants to regional areas, to help fill labour and skills shortages, and to promote economic growth in these regions.

If you are thinking about speaking with a professional as you embark on your migration journey, you might consider PAX Migration Australia. Its team of Registered Migration Agents (RMAs) are highly-regarded experts in the industry with a wealth of experience, and being located in South Australia, they are uniquely placed to provide advice and assistance on migration matters pertaining specifically to South Australia, including Adelaide, to help you get the best outcome for you based on your individual circumstances, and what you hope to achieve. Contact us to discuss your needs today.

To learn more about how a migration professional like PAX Migration Australia can assist you in this matter, please see the following articles:

Selecting a migration agent in Australia

Should I use a migration agent or immigration lawyer for my application?

Migration Agent in Adelaide

Immigration Agent Adelaide

Adelaide Visa

One option you may like to consider is the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa. To qualify for the 491 visa Adelaide, you must either be sponsored by an ‘eligible family member’ who resides in Adelaide, or be nominated by Immigration South Australia (SA), a state government agency. The subclass 491 visa is points-based and has a visa term of five years.

Another visa which you might consider is the Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa, which is employer sponsored (rather than state nominated). It comprises of two visa streams, an employer sponsored and labour agreement stream. The visa period is five years. There is no points test for this visa.

Both the subclass 491 and 494 visas provide a pathway to permanent residence in Australia after three years with the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (to be introduced from 16 November 2022). Among the requirements to qualify for this visa, Subclass 491 and 494 visa holders will need to have earned at or above the minimum taxable income threshold for three years (currently set at $53,900), and complied substantially with their Subclass 491 or 494 visa conditions.

The Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) visa is another state nominated visa which you may be eligible for. This visa subclass does not apply the designated regional area criterion but, like for the Subclass 491 visa discussed above, you will still require a nomination by the South Australian government to qualify. The 190 Adelaide visa is points based and offers immediate permanent residency in Australia.

Adelaide Business Visa

Alternatively, if you are looking to establish a new or existing business, or to invest funds in a business or investment activity in Adelaide, you might be interested in exploring your options for an business visa in Adelaide. The Subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa is another type of temporary visa, which provides a pathway to permanent residence in Australia via the Subclass 888 Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa after between one and four years (depending on the visa stream under which you apply). The ‘extension’ streams extend the temporary visa term.

The subclass 188 business visa comprises the following visa streams:

  • Business Innovation
  • Business Innovation Extension
  • Investor
  • Significant Investor
  • Significant Investor Extension
  • Premium Investor
  • Entrepreneur

A points test applies to the Business Innovation and Investor streams.

​With the Business Innovation Extension stream, you may be able to extend your stay for up to two more years. This means you can stay in Australia for a total of six years from the date of grant of your Subclass 188 business visa.

In the case of the Significant Investor stream, you may extend your stay for up to four more years. This means you can stay in Australia for a total of 8 years from the date of grant of your Subclass 188 visa business visa.

There is also another business visa option, which offers immediate permanent residency in Australia. The Subclass 132 Business Talent visa is designed for applicants who are seeking to establish a new or existing business in Australia. There is no points test for this visa.

It comprises the following visa streams:

  • Significant Business History stream; and
  • Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream

Although the designated regional area criterion does not apply to either the subclass 188 or 132 business visas, like for the subclass 491 visa, you will still require a nomination by the South Australian government to qualify.

More Information

We have prepared a series of guides to explain how the Adelaide skilled and business visas work and the requirements you need to meet to qualify for these visas. We recommend that you refer to these for further information, as outlined below.

Subclass 491 and 494 Visas

To learn more about the subclass 491 and 494 visas, please see the following articles:

New Skilled Regional Visas to be introduced

Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa

Further Regulations released for the new regional sponsored visas to commence from 16 November 2019

Applications for the new provisional regional sponsored visas are now open

Subclass 491 Regional Visa

State Nomination

You will also find information on applying for State Nomination for the subclass 491 visa in the following articles:

State Sponsorship Options

Why should you consider SA skilled regional sponsorship visa as a pathway to live the Australian dream

Please be aware that the above articles on State Nomination refer to the Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa, the predecessor to the current subclass 491 visa (it was abolished from 16 November 2019).

See also our Spotlight on South Australia article, for more information on what it is like to live in the State (whose entire area is classified as a designated regional area for the subclass 491 visa).

Subclass 190 Visa

For further information on the Subclass 190 visa, please see the following:

Subclass 190 State Sponsorship Visa

State Sponsorship Options

Roadmap for skilled applicants – which road should I take?

Adelaide 190 Visa

Business Visa

To find out more about the Adelaide business visa, please refer to the following guides:

A Comprehensive Guide to a Business Investment Visa

Investor Visa Australia

How to get sponsored by South Australia for a Business Visa

Which business visa?

What financial documents are required for a business visa

You can also calculate your points score by using the PAX Migration Points Test Calculator.

In this article, we take a closer look at the requirements that need to be met for your relative in Australia to sponsor you for a subclass 491 visa. We also take a look at the alternative options of being nominated by the state government for either the subclass 491 or 190 visas, or for a business visa, and how this differs to sponsorship by an eligible relative for the subclass 491 visa.

Who Is An ‘Eligible Relative’?

To be eligible to sponsor you for a subclass 491 visa, you family member must meet the following requirements:


Your sponsor must be at least 18 years of age.

Migration Status

Your sponsor must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

Designated Regional Area

Your relative must be ‘usually resident’ in a designated regional area of Australia. All of South Australia, including Adelaide, is classified as a designated regional area for this purpose.

What is meant by ‘usually resident’?

In assessing whether your relative meets this requirement, the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) will consider their actual physical residence, that being where they eat, sleep, and have their usual home.

Your family member in Australia should supply the following evidence (as applicable) to demonstrate their physical presence in a designated regional area:

  • council rates notices
  • rental agreements
  • leases
  • utility bills
  • address on the electoral roll
  • tax returns.

The Department will examine the evidence provided to confirm your relative’s residence, including the length of that residence.


To be an ‘eligible relative’ for this purpose, your family member in Australia must either be directly related to you as the primary visa applicant, or to your spouse or de facto partner (but only if your partner is also applying for a subclass 491 visa as a secondary applicant).

Family members who are deemed to be ‘eligible relatives’ are listed below:

  • a parent;
  • a child or step-child;
  • a brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step-brother or step-sister;
  • an aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle;
  • a nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step-nephew or step-niece;
  • a grandparent; and
  • a first cousin.

Another important point to note is that each member of your family unit who is applying with you  for a subclass 491 visa must also be sponsored by the above family member who acts as the sponsor for your visa application.

Your sponsoring family member will be required to complete a formal declaration as part of the visa application which confirms their understanding that they have undertaken to accept their obligations as a sponsor, which are as follows:

They must, to the extent necessary, undertake to assist each visa applicant, financially and in relation to accommodation, for the following period:

  • if you and your secondary visa applicants are in Australia – during the two-year period immediately following the grant of the visa; and
  • if you and your accompanying family members are offshore – during the two years immediately your first entry into Australia after grant of the visa.

This sponsorship obligation includes any period that you or your accompanying family members participate in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) (which is administered by Immigration) that falls within this period. As a subclass 491 visa holder, you will be entitled to up to 510 hours of English language tuition to help you learn foundation English language and settlement skills so that you can participate socially and economically in Australian society.

How Can Your Eligible Relative Sponsor You For A Subclass 491 Visa?

Applying for the visa involves a two-stage process.

First, you need to lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the Department (this is not a visa application but rather a way to express your interest in applying for the visa).

As part of this process, each month, the Department grants a certain number of invitations (which varies from month-to-month) to successful applicants in what are called “invitation rounds.” Places are allocated based on the points score achieved in the Migration Points Test.

You need to score at least 65 points to submit an EOI, although in practice, this score has, in recent times, not been sufficient to secure an invitation. As there only a limited number of invitations available to be allocated each year, the process is very competitive to secure an invitation. This means you need to score as high a points balance as you can to improve your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for the subclass 491 visa.

You can read more about how this process works in our article on the Subclass 491 Regional Visa. Be mindful that apart from the points score, you also need to meet a number of other requirements to be able to lodge an EOI (these are further discussed in the article referred to).

Once you have secured an invitation, you may then proceed to apply for the visa (which you must do within 60 days of receipt of the invitation).

How Can The State Government Nominate You For An Adelaide Visa?

When applying for the 491 visa in Adelaide, instead of being sponsored by an eligible relative in Australia, you may elect to be nominated by Immigration SA. In this case, the application process involves three steps:

First, you need to lodge an EOI with the Department (the same as if you were to apply for sponsorship by a family member).

At the same time as the EOI is submitted, you must also apply to Immigration SA for nomination approval. This will require you to complete an application form and submit supporting documents directly to this state government agency. Ensure that you are fully informed about all of Immigration SA’s nomination requirements, and that you meet them, before applying.

Be aware that the process for issuing nomination approvals is different for the subclass 491 visa is different to the process that applies if you are being sponsored by a family member for the visa (as was described above). Although there too are a set number of invitations which are available to be issued each year (a certain number of places are allocated to each state and territory by the Department each year), the process of assessing applications and issuing nomination approvals is conducted by each jurisdiction on their own behalf (rather than by the Department).

Whereas the process for allocating invitations for family sponsored applicants is purely based on the points score achieved, for a state nomination, Immigration SA will examine whether you meet its nomination requirements to determine whether to grant nomination approval. In this case, just achieving the base-line points score of 65 may be enough to secure a nomination.

Nominations are also issued throughout each month (rather than being allocated in invitation rounds as is the case under the family sponsored applicants).

Subclass 190 visa invitations are allocated in the same way as for the subclass 491 visa under the state nomination option.

Also be aware that when you apply for state nomination or family sponsorship for the subclass 491 visa, you will earn an additional 15 points in the Migration Points Test.

A nomination by Immigration SA for a subclass 190 visa will grant you an extra 5 points.

How Can You Apply For State Nomination For An Adelaide Business Visa?

You must lodge an EOI with Department, and apply to Immigration SA for state nomination approval (except for the Premium Investor stream, which requires a nomination by Austrade. The Significant Investor stream also includes an option for Austrade nomination approval).

You must also achieve a score of 65 points in the Migration Points Test to lodge an EOI in the Business Innovation and Investor streams.

The alternative business visa, the Subclass 132 Business Talent visa, does not have a points test. But the same process to lodge an EOI and apply for state nomination applies as discussed above for the subclass 188 visa.

We recommend that you refer to our article A Comprehensive Guide to a Business Investment Visa which discusses in more detail how the nomination process works and the requirements that you need to meet to qualify for a business visa.

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Government of South Australia – Immigration South Australia


Australian Government – Australian Trade and Investment Commission


Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs – Immigration and Citizenship – Settling in Australia – Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP)