494 Visa – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Subclass 494

Subclass 494 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.

The skilled employer sponsored visa 494 replaced the RSMS 187 visa on 16 November 2019.

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Contributory Parent Temporary Visa - 173 Visa
Indah Melindasari MARN 0961 448

Written by Indah Melindasari, B.Com
Updated May 2020

Employer Sponsored Regional 494 Visa streams

There are three streams available under the Employer Sponsored Regional Visa / 494 visa:

Employer Sponsored Stream

This 494 visa stream is for employers to source genuine temporary overseas skilled workers in occupations included on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for a maximum of two years (or up to four years if an international trade obligation applies).

Subsequent Entrant

This 494 visa stream is for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term critical skills in occupations included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) for up to four years, with eligibility to apply for permanent residence after three years.

Labour Agreement Term

This 494 visa stream is for employers to source overseas skilled workers in accordance with a labour agreement with the Commonwealth, on the basis of a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market and standard visa programs are not available, with the capacity to negotiate a permanent residence option.

More details about the subclass 494 Visa :

  • Regional areas include everywhere except the metropolitan areas of;
    • Sydney,
    • Melbourne,
    • Brisbane,
    • Gold Coast and
    • Perth.
  • Increased number of eligible occupations
  • Provisional visa with an option to transition to permanent residency after three years
  • Priority processing

Basic Eligibility for 494 Visa

Listed below is the basic eligibility to obtain Employer Sponsored Regional Visa / 494 Visa :

  • Be nominated by an approved work sponsor;
  • Have an occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list;
  • Have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation;
  • Be under 45 years of age;
  • Meet minimum standards of;
  • English language proficiency.

494 Visa / Employer Sponsored Regional Visa Requirements

For Applicants For Employer
Age under 45 at time of application (exemptions apply) The employer must be located in a designated regional Australia, everywhere except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Competent English at time of application Regional areas include Perth, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Geelong, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra.
You must have been employed in the nominated occupation for at least 3 years on a full-time basis and at the skill level required for the nominated occupation. Generally, you should have gained your experience within the last 5 years. The period does not need to be continuous. Equivalent part-time work may be considered. DHA does not consider casual work. Position be on the list of eligible occupations
GTE requirement does not apply The position must be full time and likely be available for 5 years
If in Australia, hold a substantive or Bridging Visa A, B or C Employer will need approval from the Regional Certifying Body (RCB)
Successful skills assessment at the time of application The employer must pay the Australian Market Salary Rate (AMSR)
Doctor registration requirement does not apply
DoHA Fee (main applicant) $4,045 and for spouse: $2,025, children under 18 : $1010
Second VAC: $4890 if the adult applicant does not meet Functional English

Benefits for 494 Visa Holder

There are two exceptional benefits for 494 visa holder :

  1. Can apply for permanent residence without a second nomination stage, if eligible, through the subclass 191 visa (commences 16 November 2022);
  2. Lower cost to employers with only one SAF levy stage for the subclass 494 nomination (compared to the two stages for the current subclass 482 to ENS subclass 186 permanent resident pathway).

494 Visa To Permanent Residency

  • Must live and work for 3 years on the 494 visa in regional areas to get Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) 191 Visa;
  • Can move between jobs but will have 90 days to find a new nominator;
  • Cannot apply for any other skilled PR or 820 partner visa for 3 years;
  • Eligible for Medicare on 494 visa – Health insurance not required.

About 191 Visa – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa

The 191 visa is for people who have lived, worked and studied in designated regional area Australia on a previous, eligible visa. You cannot apply directly for the 191 visa. You have to hold the 491 or 494 visa for at least three years before applying for a 191 visa. This 191 visa converts you from the fixed term provisional visa to becoming a permanent resident of Australia.

191 Visa, gives you the ability to work or study anywhere in Australia, you’re no longer restricted to regional ‘in-demand areas. There is a travel component that allows you to travel to and from Australia as much as required in the first five years once you hold 191 visa. When you are the holder of a 191 visa, you can enrol in Medicare, sponsor your family to join you in Australia, and possibly apply for Australian citizenship.

The 191 visa replaces 187 and 489 as of November 16, 2019. The 191 visa will be a bridging transitional visa between 2019 and 2022.

Is 191 visa point based?

The 191 visa is not points tested. In order to apply for the 191 visa you must first have held the 491 or 494 visa. The 491 visa is points tested.

Is there any age requirement limit for the 191 visa?

You have to be aged under 45 if you want to apply for a 191 visa. You can still apply for the 191 visa if you turn 45 after you are invited to apply.

What is the difference between 190 and 491 visa?

The Subclass 190 visa or Permanent skilled Nominated is an application for a permanent residency visa. And the Subclass 491 visa or Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) is a transitional immigration visa that allows permanent residency after 3 years.

If apply for 190 visa, means applicants are not in a race for points in most cases but there are some states like NSW and Victoria where only candidates with high points are invited.

The 190 visa requires the applicant to be nominated by a State or Territory of Australia to apply and each state and territory has their own requirements in relation to who they want to nominate.

If apply for 491 visa, the applicants requires a State or Territory Nomination, but the major difference between these 2 visas is that the 491 visa is a temporary visa with a 5 year of validity. Once granted, the 491 visa requires you and your family members to reside in a designated regional area of Australia for at least 3 years and earn at least $53,900 a year. Once the applicants meet those two requirements, the applicants will be able to apply for a 191 visa which will finally allow the applicants to live and work in any area of Australia permanently.

How can I get PR after 491 visa?

Subclass 491 visa is for five years, however, you can apply for Permanent Resident 191 visa provided you meet the criteria. Subclass 191 visa can be applied after meeting conditions such as: Live, study or work in a regional area for three years while you are holding a subclass 491 visa.

Can I apply 491 visa offshore?

You can apply for the 491 visa or Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) either onshore or offshore.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Subclass 494 Visa

ONEderland Consulting managing director and also registered migration agent, Indah Melindasari, B.Com (MARN 0961 448) is here to answer your Skilled Regional 494 Visa questions!

  1. Can I apply for this visa if my employer is located in Melbourne?
    • Generally, this visa is given to the employer who is located in regional area. As most of Melbourne area is not considered as a regional area, you need to check postcode of your employer.
    • If the postcode is considered as a regional area, then yes, you can apply for this visa.
  2. What if my work experience is less than 3 years, can I apply for this visa?
    • As per the visa eligibility, you must have at least 3 years work experience in a nominated occupations.
  3. If I am holding a Temporary Skill Shortage Subclass 482, do I need to provide a skill assessment?
    • If you are holding a TSS 482, you don’t need to provide this skill assessment for the nominated occupation in order to be granted for this visa.
  4. Is the English Ability is a mandatory for applying this visa?
    • Yes, it is. You must have at least Competent English in order to be granted with this visa.
  5. Can I bring my family with this visa?
    • You can include your family members in this visa but they must meet the health and character requirements.
  6. How much does this visa cost?
    • The cost for this visa is $4,045. For every member of the family that is 18 years and over, an extra cost of $2,025 will be added and $1,010 for every family member under 18 years.
    • Additional cost of $4,890 will be charged if any member of the family aged 18 years and over included do not meet the English requirement (Functional English).
  7. How long is the processing time for this visa?
    • The processing times will vary for each application due to the case-by-case basis nature of this visa.
  8. How long can I stay with this visa?
    • You can stay in Australia for 5 years if your application for this visa is granted. In the third year of this visa you can apply for permanent residency.
  9. What if my visa got refused? Can I appeal?
    • You would need to have a look at the refusal letter given by the Department. If it stated the decision can be reviewed, therefore you can lodge an appeal within a specific timeframe.

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa 494 Four Steps Process

Check your eligibility for the visa

Make sure you check your eligibility to see if you meet all the criteria and requirements for this visa. The requirements are depend on each visa stream.

Skill Assessment

You need to check with the assessing authority for your nominated occupation. Then, apply for a skill assessment as one of the requirement for graduate visa.

Apply For 494 Visa

After you make sure that you have fulfilled the requirements, you can then gather all the required and additional documents to complete and support your application. You can apply online through your IMMI account.

Visa Outcome

If successful, you can stay temporarily in Australia, depends on which stream you’ve applied for.

If got refused, the DHA will inform you in writing.

Quick Links Related To Subclass 494 Visa

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