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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Heathcote

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) - Subclass 494

The Skilled Employer Regional Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 494) visa is a provisional employer-sponsored visa. The purpose of this visa is to allow businesses which are actively and lawfully operating in Regional Australia to nominate highly skilled professionals for provisional visas.

Obtaining a subclass 494 visa is a 3-stage process:

  • Sponsorship: The employer must be or have applied for approval of sponsorship.

  • Nomination: The employer must lodge a nomination that specifies the details of the position and identifies the nominee.

  • Visa Application: The applicant applies for Subclass 494 visa under a relevant stream.


  • You may be in or outside Australia to lodge a valid visa application.

  • This visa allows you to work, study and live in regional Australia.

  • There are 2 different visa streams: Employer Sponsor and Labour Agreement.

  • This is a provisional visa and allows you to stay in Australia for up to 5 years. After 3 years on this visa you may be eligible to meet the requirements for a permanent Subclass 191 visa (coming into effect on 16 November 2022).

Key Eligibility requirements – Common criteria to all streams

  • The nomination lodged by your employer must have been approved.

  • Your employer must be an Approved Work Sponsor.

  • You must have a genuine intention to perform your nominated occupation.

  • The position associated with the nomination must be genuine.

  • You must satisfy certain Public Interest criteria and Special Return criteria.

  • You must meet health and character requirements.

  • You must satisfy all Nomination Criteria including specific criteria to the stream you are applying for such as: having an occupation on the relevant list of eligible occupations, having an associated position in a designated regional area or having received a positive assessment from a relevant Regional Certifying Body (RCB) etc.

  • You must satisfy specific criteria relating to the visa stream you are applying for.

Key Eligibility requirements – Employer Sponsor stream

  • You must satisfy relevant Health requirements.

  • Unless exempt, you are employed to work in the nominated occupation and in a position for your employer (sponsor).

  • You must be under 45 years of age (prescribed applicants may be eligible for exemption).

  • Unless exempt, you may need to provide a positive Skills Assessment from the relevant skills assessing authority in relation to your nominated occupation.

  • Unless exempt, you must have been employed in your nominated occupation for at least 3 years.

  • You must be able to demonstrate ‘Competent English’ (prescribed applicants may be eligible for exemption).

Criteria and requirements relevant to Approval of nominated positions, Approval as a Standard Business Sponsor or Regional Certifying Body (RCB) approval have NOT been included in the above summary. An approved sponsorship, nomination and RCB are required for this visa.

Contact us if you would like to know more about this visa or need immigration advice.


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