Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Subclass 494 Visa

The 494 visa enables the sponsored skilled worker to live and work in a regional area for up to 5 years.

Businesses based in regional areas who are unable to fill a vacancy with an Australian worker can nominate positions on this visa to sponsor a skilled worker from overseas.

Regional areas are defined as any area excluding Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Perth and Gold Coast, however, are classified as regional areas. 

This visa enables the holder to live, work and study in regional areas of Australia and to travel in and out of Australia for 5 years.

The 494 visa also offers a pathway to permanent residency for visa-holders after 3 years.

494 Visa requirements

1.The employer must be an approved standard business sponsor and nominates the position from the skilled occupation list.

2.The employer nominates a suitable candidate for an eligible occupation, showing their business is:

  • unable to find an Australian worker, Australian work visa
  • will pay the annual market salary rate,
  • and engage the nominated skilled worker under a written employment contract.
  • And that work conditions are equivalent to those for Australian workers

3.The Department of Immigration approves the nomination.

4.The candidate applies for the visa. For a candidate to qualify for this visa, they must:

  • show that they are qualified in the nominated occupation by presenting recognized qualifications and experience; and have their trade skills assessed by the relevant assessment authority.
  • demonstrate they have competent English language skills. For the Subclass 494, this must be the equivalent to an IELTS score of 6. This is not required if the candidate holds a passport issued by the UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand or the United States.
  • pass character and health checks.

494 Visa Fees

The government fee for the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional subclass 494 visa is AUD 4640.

This doesn’t include other charges you may incur for police and health checks.

Visa Processing Times

The subclass 494 visa takes at least 5 to 12 months to process for Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Visa application processing can be expedited if all the required supporting documents are appropriately prepared at the time of lodgment.

We guide businesses and visa applicants through these steps so that both nominations and visa applications are well-placed for success.


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