Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa 494

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Provisional Visa

This visa enables regional employers to address identified labour shortages within their region by sponsoring skilled workers where employers can’t source an appropriately skilled Australian worker

skilled employer sponsored visa 494


5 years


From AUD4,045

Processing times

Processing times for this visa are not currently available

With this visa, you can

  • live, work and study only in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years
  • travel to and from Australia for 5 years
  • if eligible, apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time your visa is granted

You must

  • be nominated to work in an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • have at least 3 years relevant work experience in your nominated occupation
  • have a relevant skills assessment, unless an exemption applies
  • work only for your sponsor or associated entity, unless an exemption applies
  • be under 45 years of age, unless an exemption applies
  • meet minimum standards of English language proficiency

With this visa, you can

  • live, work and study only in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years
  • travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while the visa is valid
  • if eligible, apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time your visa is granted

Specified region

You can live, work and study only in a designated regional area. Designated regional areas include all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Pathways to permanent residence

  • If eligible, you can apply for permanent residence after you have held your 494 visa for 3 years.
  • Unless you have held your subclass 494 visa for 3 years, holders of the subclass 494 visa are unable to:
    •  Make a valid application for a subclass 820 (Partner) visa 
    •  Be granted any of the following visas:
      • Subclass 132 (Business Talent) 
      • Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme)
      • Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional))
      • Subclass 189 (Skilled (Independent))
      • Subclass 190 (Skilled (Nominated))
      • Subclass 858 (Distinguished talent)

How long you can stay

This is a provisional visa. You can stay in Australia for a period of 5 years from when your visa is granted.

Stay longer

You can’t stay in Australia longer by extending this visa. 

If eligible, you can apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time your visa is granted.

Include family

You can include members of the family unit in your application. You can:

  • include them when you submit your visa application
  • add a dependent child after you submit but before we decide on your visa application

Family members who apply for the visa with you must meet our health and character requirements.

Family members who do not apply for the visa with you might also have to meet our health and character requirements.

If your partner or dependent children are not included in this application, you must tell us the reason why. For example, they already hold Australian citizenship or are a permanent resident.


This visa costs AUD4,045 for the main applicant, AUD2,025 for each dependent 18 years and over, and AUD1,010 for each dependent under 18 years.

It costs an additional AUD4,890 if any dependent applicants who are 18 years and over do not have functional English. This extra charge is called a second instalment.

To work out what your visa will cost use the Visa Pricing Estimator. The estimator does not take into account the second instalment or other costs.

You will have to pay other costs including English language tests, health checks, police certificates and biometrics.

Apply from

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for the visa and when we make a decision on your application, but not in immigration clearance.

If you are applying in Australia, you must hold either of the following visa otherwise your application will not be valid:

  • substantive visa, or
  • a Bridging visa A, Bridging visa B or Bridging visa C

Processing times

We assess applications on a case-by-case basis, and actual processing times can vary due to individual circumstances including:

  • whether you have lodged a complete application, including all necessary supporting documents
  • how quickly you respond to any requests for additional information
  • how long it takes to perform required checks on the supporting information provided
  • how long it takes to receive additional information from external agencies, particularly in relation to health, character, and national security requirements

We might ask for more information. We are not obligated to request further information or documents and can make a decision on the information provided. It is your responsibility to ensure all relevant supporting/evidentiary documentation is attached to your application.

Your obligations

You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

You must begin your employment within 90 days of:

  • entering Australia, if you are outside Australia when we grant the visa
  • the visa grant date, if you are in Australia when we grant the visa

You must only work in your nominated occupation and only work for your nominating employer in regional Australia. If you do not, we might cancel your visa.


You can travel out of Australia and return as many times as you want while the visa is valid.

The time you spend outside Australia does not extend the visa.

Visa label

We will digitally link your visa to your passport. You will not get a label in your passport.

Be invited to apply

You can only apply for this visa if we invite you to. See before you apply.

Submit an expression of interest (EOI) to let us know you would like to apply for the visa.

After you have submitted an EOI, you will be ranked against other intending applicants and might be invited to apply for the visa.

Invitations are issued regularly through SkillSelect.

Have a suitable skills assessment

For your application to be valid, you must declare that you have a suitable skills assessment at the time of invitation.

You will need to provide a copy of this skills assessment with your application.

For medical and legal practitioners, we also accept the following as proof of a skills assessment:

  • full or unconditional or general medical registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
  • conditional specialist registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. This only allows you to practise in your speciality. You need no further training or supervision
  • admission to practice law in the relevant state or territory

Your skills assessment must have been obtained in the 3 years before the date of your invitation. If the assessment was for a shorter period, that period must not have passed.

If your skills were assessed on the basis of a qualification you got in Australia when you held a student visa, the qualification must be from studying a course registered on CRICOS. 

Be this age

You must be aged under 45 when we invite you to apply for the visa.

You can still apply for the visa if you turn 45 after we invite you to apply.

If you turn 45 after you submit your EOI but before we invite you to apply, you will not be invited to apply.

Be able to score 65 points or more

This is a points-tested visa.

When you submit your EOI in SkillSelect you will be given an indicative points score based on the claims you have made. If you do not obtain a score of 65 points you will not be invited to apply for this visa.

If we do invite you to apply for the visa, your invitation will state the number of points that you must score when we assess your application for grant of the visa (this score may be higher than 65 points, depending on your claims in the EOI).  

When you lodge your application you must provide evidence supporting your claims.

To calculate how many points you may score use the points calculator.

Have this level of English language

At the time of invitation, you must have at least competent English.

Meet the skills requirement

Your occupation must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) Point-Tested stream.

Meet our health requirement

You and any family who apply for the visa with you must meet our health requirement.

If requested, family members not accompanying you to Australia might also need to meet our health requirement.

Meet our character requirement

You and family members aged 16 years and over who apply for the visa with you must meet our character requirement.

Family members not accompanying you to Australia must also meet the character requirement.

Have paid back your debt to the Australian government

If you or any family members (including those who do not apply for the visa with you) owe the Australian Government money, you or they must have paid it back or arranged to pay it back.

Sign the Australian values statement

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must:

  • have read, or had explained to you, the Life in Australia booklet and
  • confirm you will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws when you sign or accept the Australian Values Statement.

Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused

You might not be eligible for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia. Check if visa cancellation affects your eligibility.

get advice and assistance

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Here at Settlers Migration our team of migration agents can provide you with the appropriate guidance and advice so you can put forth the best application possible for any Visa you are going for.

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