Subclass 494 Visa

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa (Subclass 494) is the new employee sponsored visa for regional areas. It will replace the previous Regional Employer Sponsored visa – 187 (RSMS). The 494 Visa is initially a temporary visa that may allow you to obtain permanent residency after 3 years.

Like all employer sponsored visas you must be nominated by an approved business sponsor to apply for this visa.

494 visa holders

can move between jobs (in a regional area) but will have 90 days to find a new nominator

can access Medicare

cannot apply for any other skilled PR or 820 partner visas for 3 years

cannot apply for any other skilled PR or 820 partner visas for 3 years

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The Application Process

Here’s a simplified process for Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa. In case of questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


Sponsorship application


Nomination application


Apply for Visa

The business must apply for approval as a business sponsor by submitting a sponsorship application:
To be successful the employer must show:

  • The business is operating in a lawful manner
  • The business can meet its financial obligations
  • The business is devoted to training their staff
The company must submit a nomination application for the employee
Once successful in receiving approval as a business sponsor, the employer can then apply to the Department of Home Affairs to nominate a foreign employee to fill the position. The Department will decide if the employer fulfills the nomination requirements.

To be successful in nominating an employee the employer must demonstrate that:

  • Employers must be located in a designated regional Australia (everywhere except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.)
  • The position must be on the approved list (over 700 occupations)
  • The position must be full time and likely be available for 5 years
  • The employer will need approval from the Regional Certifying Body (RCB)
  • The employer must pay at least the Australian Market Salary Rate (AMSR)
  • Your employer may also need approval from the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) in your area
Apply for the visa

  • After the employee has been nominated to fill a position, they may then apply for a 494 visa to fill the position.

To be successfully granted the visa the employee must demonstrate that they:

  • You must hold a suitable skills assessment in an occupation on the relevant skill list.
  • You must have at least three years of full time and relevant skilled work experience
  • You must be under 45 years of age
  • You must demonstrate Competent English
  • You must be nominated by an employer in a regional area

Permanent Residence

The Skilled Residence

If you’d like to become a permanent resident of Australia, then starting from November 2022 you will be able to apply for Skilled Regional subclass 191 visa.

However, it is not possible to apply directly for the 191 visa. You must have held the 491 visa or 494 visa for at least 3 years and earned the minimum income ($53,900) for at least three years as the holder of a regional provisional visa. You must have also maintained residency and worked in a regional area.

If you’d like to learn more about 191 Visa requirements and its benefits then please follow the link below.

Student dependent visa through Pathway to Aus

The Skilled Residence

Starting from November 2022, the Skilled Residence (Permanent Residence) – Subclass 191 will allow its holders work and study anywhere in Australia, sponsor eligible relatives and apply for Australian citizenship.

Book a Migration Consultation

We have a ton of information on our site about various visa options and FAQs that answer most of our visitors’ questions, but if you’re still not sure where to start or you need a personalised step by step walkthrough, then schedule a call with one of our Registered Migration Agent.

Simply follow the link below and you’ll be able to pick the date & time that fits your schedule.

Schedule time with me
If you’re having any trouble booking your consultation then don’t hesitate to contact us either via or by calling us 0755 265 900


Frequently Asked Questions

In case you don’t find an answer to your question, feel free to consult with one of our agents.

Where can I work on this visa?
Your employer must be located in a designated regional area of Australia (everywhere except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane).
What occupation can apply for this visa?

Your position is on the relevant occupation list (over 700 occupations)

Does this visa lead to Permanent Residency?

The 494 is a five-year visa. However, it does lead to PR. In order to obtain permanent residency, you would need to continue to live and work in a regional area. 494 visa holders can access permanent residence through the Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) when:

1. You have worked in the designated regional area for at least three years, whilst holding a 494 visa
2. You can show earnings of at least $53,900 annually for three years. If you have a partner included in your 494 application, only one of you needs to show the three years of annual salary (through tax returns) at or above $53,900.


In case of questions, feel free to reach out to one of our experienced Registered Migration Agents.

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Contact details

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2242 Gold Coast Highway,
Mermaid Beach, QLD, 4218

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Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (subclass 494) was last modified: June 26th, 2021 by Nick Yock