The Subclass 494, Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa, is a provisional (temporary residence) visa that allows a visa holder to live, work, and study in a regional area of Australia. If the visa holder can meet the residence requirements, he or she can apply for a Permanent Regional Visa.

This visa supports regional employers to address recognized labour shortages within their area by sponsoring skilled employees where employers can’t source an appropriately skilled Australian worker

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

To be eligible for this visa, you must

  • be nominated to work in an occupation which is listed on the skilled occupation list
  • have at least 3 years relevant work experience in your nominated occupation
  • have a positive skills assessment outcome
  • work only for your sponsor or associated entity, unless an exemption applies
  • be under 45 years of age, unless an exemption applies
  • meet minimum of English language proficiency test score
Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

The application process for the Employer Sponsored stream, Subclass 494, is very similar to those for a Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa. There are mainly 3 steps:

Step 1 – Sponsorship

To apply for endorsement as a Standard Business Sponsor, the company would need to provide evidence that it is running actively, and has the capacity to meet its sponsorship requirements.

Australian employers who have already been approved as sponsors for 457/TSS visas will be allowed to use the existing SBS to nominate for the Subclass 494 visa subclass. It is not possible for overseas businesses to sponsor for the 494 visa.

Step 2 – Nomination

Employers will then nominate for a job that is located in regional Australia, and identifies the person they wish to sponsor for the role. To meet the nomination requirements, employers must show:

Step 3 – Visa Apply

The employee would then apply for a visa to work in Australia to fill the nominated work position. The visa applicant must prove that they:

  • are aged between 18 and 44
  • Have Competent English test score and their dependent spouse must have a functional English test score
  • hold a positive skill assessment in the nominated occupation
  • have at least 3 years of relevant skilled work experience
  • meet health and character requirements
Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia
  • Your personal document to prove your identity
  • A Positive Skills Assessment report from a recognized assessing authority
  • Proof of age like passport or birth certificate
  • English Language test result (IELTS, PTE or TOEFL IBT)
  • Evidence of functional English ability of spouse
  • 2 color recent passport size photographs
  • Skilled employment documents
  • Educational qualification degree
  • Partner skills, if partner’s point is claimed
  • Documents about relationships
  • Marriage documents
  • If in a de-facto relationship, provide evidence that you have been in a relationship for at least 12 months.
  • If divorced/widowed, provide all required documents
  • Health and Character documents
  • Job reference letter
  • All application forms

*You might need to provide more documents as per DHA requirements

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

From AUD 4,115

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

This visa is a provisional visa that would allow you to stay for a temporary period but it is possible to convert this visa into Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional). In that case you may need to apply for Subclass 191 Permanent Residence. Unlike the transitional pathway for ENS or RSMS visas, visa Subclass 191 visa will not require that applicants have been working for the same employer for the 3-year period, and does not need any nomination from an employer in order to apply for the permanent visa. There are certain stay requirements which is 3 years. Applicant must also demonstrate that he or she has earned the appropriate salary during the time in Australia. The applicant must not have any criminal records in order to apply for the 191 permanent residence visa.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia