After a 12-year-long struggle, Bhupinder Singh has received a state nomination from Victoria at 55 points.
It took 12 years for Bhupinder Singh to see the day. He has finally received a state invitation from Victoria.
Melbourne-based Mr Singh had applied for a 491 regional visa with a business sponsorship. He is one of the first invitees of this new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) when the visa was opened in November last year.
- Bhupinder Singh had applied for temporary regional visa 491 in November 2019.
- 489 visa was replaced by 491 visa in November last year.
- 491 visa is available for eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in regional Australia for five years.
Bhupinder Singh says he is delighted.
“Honestly, I was not very hopeful. I had 55 points, and they say applications with higher points get priority. I had also applied for 489 visa, but that visa was scrapped,” he told SBS Hindi.
Bhupinder Singh arrived in Australia on a student visa in 2008. He hopped from one course to another in the hope of a permanent visa.
“I was studying Community Welfare, but they removed this occupation from the skilled occupation list. Then I studied cookery and applied for temporary residency. I earned my experience as a cook to apply for the visa, but then 489 visa was scrapped. So it took me really long to get this invite for residency,” explains Bhupinder.
489 visa was replaced by 491 visa in November last year.
Migration expert Chaman Preet says 491 visa is available for eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in regional Australia for five years.
“It is a point-based visa where an applicant requires state nomination. One needs a minimum of 50 points to apply for this visa. 15 points from state nomination bring you up to 65 points,” explains Chaman Preet.
Bhupinder Singh has been through a tough time in Australia while studying.
“It was hard initially. I did not get any work for the first six months. Paying rent was a challenge. I used to eat once a day. I survived on eggs and bread for days on end.”
He says there seems stability in life after the state invitation, which will help him plan his life.
Chaman Preet says the 491 visa could be a good option for skilled workers who are willing to move to regional Victoria.
“It is an excellent opportunity. Businesses in regional Victoria need skilled workers, and the state is pushing migrants to move to regional areas. So, if an employer, based in regional Victoria, is genuinely interested in the applicant’s skills and offering sponsorship, 491 visa could be a good option.”