The subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa

Tell me more?

What does this visa do?

This new visa is a regional, employer nominated, skilled visa which provides a pathway to permanent residence.


If you are granted the visa, it lasts for 5 years. After 3 years of living and working for your nominating employer  in a “Designated Regional Area”, you can apply for a permanent residence visa – the subclass 191 visa


How does it work?

The subclass 494 visa is an employer nominated skilled visa, so the process is very similar to the subclass 482 (Temporary Skills Shortage) visa.

  1. The nominating employer must become an approved sponsor (current subclass 457 or subclass 482 sponsoring employers can use their current approval for this new visa);
  2. The nominating employer must submit a nomination application demonstrating (amongst other things):

a. the need for the role in the business;


b. that it can afford the proposed salary (the salary offered must be at the market rate for the occupation and it must be a minimum of $53,900);


c. that it has been unable to find a suitable Australian citizen or permanent resident for the role (Labour Market Testing); and


d. that it believes that the role will be available in the business for at least the next 5 years.

The employer must also pay the relevant Skilling Australians Fund Levy (currently $3000 where the business’ turnover is less than AUS$10 million and $5000 where it is AUS$10 million or above);

3. The visa applicant submits a visa application demonstrating that s/he has the relevant skills, qualifications and experience for the role.

BEFORE you submit a visa application, it is absolutely critical to be sure that:

you meet all the visa requirements; and that

you can demonstrate that you do with the appropriate evidence

Getting an application refused because you either didn’t meet the requirements or didn’t provide enough evidence to demonstrate that you met the requirements is a very expensive mistake to make and is one that can have consequences for your visa options going forward!

What are the basic visa eligibility requirements?

As an absolute minimum, before you can apply you will need the following:

  • To be under 45;
  • A skills assessment for an occupation that is on the “list” for this visa;
  • Competent English;
  • At least three years of full time, paid work experience in your nominated (or closely related) occupation (an equivalent number of years of part time work can also be used to meet this requirement);
  • Good health;
  • Good character.

How long is the visa granted for?

The visa is a temporary visa which allows the visa holder to travel to, enter and remain in Australia for a period of 5 years from the date of visa grant. There are no restrictions on the visa holder’s ability to travel within that 5 year period.


Do I need to be anywhere in particular when the visa is granted?

Applicants can be in Australia or overseas when the visa is granted, but not in immigration clearance.

If a second instalment of visa application charge is payable (where an additional applicant aged 18 and over has less than functional English), the second instalment must be paid before the visa can be granted.

Are there any conditions attached to this visa?

Definitely! Key conditions are:

  • The primary applicant must only work in the nominated occupation for his/her nominating employer while s/he holds this visa. If the employment ceases, the visa holder has 90 days in which to find a new employer.
  • All visa holders must live, work and study in a Designated Regional Area. That means not just you as the primary applicant, but everyone else included in the application as well! Your partner and children will need to work, study and live in a Designated Regional Area too!
  • You’ll need to inform the Department within 14 days if certain events occur. These include moving house, getting a new email address or phone number or a new passport. This isn‘t the complete list, the full one is set out in the visa conditions attached to the visa grant letter.

Permanent residence?

When you can prove that you’ve lived and worked for your nominating employer in a Designated Regional Area for at least 3 years and you’ve complied with all your visa conditions, you can apply for permanent residence. 


The fantastic news is that at the permanent residence stage, you don’t need your employer to nominate you- you can apply independently! That’s a definite improvement on the subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme and subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Temporary Residence Transition Stream pathways!

Points to note

A few words to the wise…

  1. There are income requirements linked to the “work” side of the permanent residence requirement (currently a minimum taxable income per year of $53,900 is required), so it is important to make sure that you believe that you can meet that before you go further.
  2. A change of employer will need a new nomination application and will also “re-set” the three year clock. (subject to very limited exceptions).
  3. A change of occupation will not only require a new nomination application, but you will need a new skills assessment and work experience in that occupation because you will need to apply for a new visa. It will also “re-set” the three year clock.
  4. It has been made very clear to us that the Department of Home Affairs and the ATO will be keeping a close eye on visa holders to make sure that they comply with their visa conditions.

Check your eligibility first!

As always, this is a very general overview and doesn’t cover all the nitty gritty of the requirements for this visa.

If you are thinking about handling your own visa application, it’s definitely worth getting a migration professional to review your documentation first to make sure that you can tick all the Department’s boxes.


As mentioned above, getting an application refused because you either didn’t meet the requirements or didn’t provide enough evidence to demonstrate that you met the requirements is a very expensive mistake to make and is one that can have consequences for your visa options going forward!



Contact is to find out more:


Call 0477711778

Visa Avis – working with you on your. Australian journey.

Esther Thurbin

MA Hons (Oxon) MMIA

MARN 1461654