Guide to applying for a Subclass 491 Visa


This Student’s Guide is for international students studying at a Western Australian college or university and for international graduates of WA’s colleges and universities.

A subclass 491 visa is a State nominated, points tested skilled visa. Lots of WA’s international graduates hope to apply for a subclass 491 visa. You can use this Student’s Guide when working out your own eligibility to apply for a subclass 491 visa and securing a nomination from the WA State Government.

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A STEP BY STEP GUIDE ... to working it out!

STEP 1 -

Check the basic eligibility requirements for the subclass 491 visa on the Department of Home Affairs website.

STEP 2 -

Check the Department of Home Affairs Skilled Occupations List to see whether your occupation is listed on the list of occupations that can be used in connection with a subclass 491 visa application AND note whether your occupation can be used in connection with a State or Territory nomination and/or a family sponsorship. The family sponsorship option does not apply to all occupations.  

STEP 3 -

Check whether you can meet the skills assessment requirements for your occupation. The assessing authorities are listed on the Skilled Occupation List.

STEP 4 -

If you wish to pursue a subclass 491 visa on the basis of a family sponsorship, check that you have an “eligible family member” who can sponsor you. 

STEP 5 -

Check whether your nominated occupation is listed on Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List (WASMOL) or on Western Australia’s Graduate Occupation List (GOL). This is only applicable to international students or recent graduates seeking WA State nomination.

STEP 6 -

Check your point score. You need to be able to score a minimum of 65 points if you hope to apply for a subclass 491 visa. The Department provides a useful online tool to help you to calculate your point score:

STEP 7 -

State/Territory Invitation Rounds

Check the most recent Invitation round results on the Skilled Migration WA website, which provides useful data on the number of invitations issued and the points score held by the invited applicants.  


Nomination by an “Eligible Relative”

Check the most recent Invitation round results, which are available on the Department of Home Affairs website. Visit the following link for more information

STEP 8 -

Read all of the SkillSelect webpages carefully before you submit an Expression of Interest.

When you are ready to prepare and submit an Expression of Interest you must login to SkillSelect to prepare and submit the Expression of Interest.

The Department provides instructions on how to make an Expression of Interest. It is important to read the instructions carefully.

STEP 9 -

State Nomination

If you receive an invite from the WA State Government to submit an application for WA State nomination, ensure that you submit the application within the required timeframe and provide all necessary documentation. 

STEP 10 -

Visa Application

If the Department of Home Affairs invites you for the subclass 491 visa ensure that you submit the application within the required timeframe and provide all necessary documentation.


A surprising number of subclass 491 visa applications are refused. A common ground for refusal is claiming more points in the Expression of Interest than you can actually score. If you are managing the visa application process yourself, consider engaging an experienced registered migration agent to double-check your points score. If your actual points are lower than the points claimed in your Expression of Interest, your visa application is likely to be refused.


Disclaimer: This Student’s Guide is provided as general information only and must not be used as migration advice. Each visa applicant’s circumstances are unique. If you need migration advice, consider booking a consultation with an experienced Western Australian registered migration consultant or migration lawyer with an excellent success rate. 

Benjamin Franklin once said “Failing to Plan is planning to fail.” When it comes to your visa application, it’s important to plan well!

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