Navigating the Pathway to Australia by 494 Visa

Navigating the Pathway to Australia by 494 Visa

The Subclass 494 Visa

Australia’s immigration system is designed to attract skilled workers who can contribute to the country’s economy and fill gaps in the labor market. Among the various visa options available, the Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa stands out as a pathway for skilled workers and their families to live and work in regional Australia.

Introduced in November 2019, the Subclass 494 visa aims to address regional skill shortages by enabling employers in designated regional areas to sponsor skilled workers from overseas for a period of up to five years. This visa replaced the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa.

Key Features and Eligibility Criteria

The Subclass 494 visa operates under several key principles and requirements:

1. Regional Sponsorship

To apply for this visa, the skilled worker must have a job offer from an employer in a designated regional area of Australia. These areas are specified by the Australian government and typically exclude major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

2. Occupation List

The applicant’s occupation must be listed on the relevant skilled occupation list, and they must have the skills and qualifications necessary for the nominated position.

3. Skill Assessment

Depending on the occupation, applicants may need to undergo a skills assessment to demonstrate their qualifications and experience.

4. Age Requirements

Generally, applicants must be under 45 years of age at the time of application.

5. English Language Proficiency

Applicants must meet minimum English language requirements, unless exempt based on their nationality or other considerations.

6. Health and Character

Like all Australian visa applicants, individuals applying for the Subclass 494 visa must meet health and character requirements.


Application Process

The application process for the Subclass 494 visa involves several stages:

1.Regional Sponsorship

The employer must be approved as a sponsor by the Australian government and nominate the skilled worker for a position in their organization.

2. Visa Application

After the nomination is approved, the skilled worker can apply for the Subclass 494 visa. This includes providing evidence of their skills, qualifications, and meeting health and character requirements.

3. Decision

The Department of Home Affairs assesses the visa application and makes a decision based on the information provided.


Benefits and Pathways

The Subclass 494 visa offers several benefits to both applicants and regional employers:

1.     Work and Study

Visa holders can live and work in regional Australia for up to five years. They can also study in Australia, although they may need to pay full fees for education.

2.     Family Inclusion

Immediate family members can be included in the visa application, allowing them to live, work, and study in regional Australia.

3.     Pathway to Permanent Residency


After holding the Subclass 494 visa for at least three years and meeting other requirements, visa holders may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa.


The Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa plays a crucial role in Australia’s efforts to distribute skilled migrants to regional areas where their skills are most needed. It not only supports regional economic growth but also offers skilled workers and their families a pathway to potentially settle permanently in Australia. As Australia continues to refine its immigration policies, the Subclass 494 visa remains a significant option for those looking to contribute to and benefit from the opportunities available in regional Australia.

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