Subclass 494 Regional Employer Sponsored (Provisional) visa

The Subclass 494 Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional visa is a provisional (temporary residence) visa that requires holders to live, work, and study in a regional area of Australia. Once certain residence requirements have been met, holders can apply for a permanent residence visa. This visa is valid for 5 years from the date of grant and requires all visa holders to live, work, and study in regional Australia. Visa holders are eligible for Australian Medicare for the life of this visa. 494 Visas are subject to a condition limiting the primary visa holder to only work for the nominating occupation and the employer. If the visa holder ceases work, they have 90 days to find a new employer, or the visa is liable for cancellation.

Subclass 494 visa holders can apply for a permanent Subclass 191 permanent residence visa after living and working in a regional area for at least 3 years. Unlike the transitional pathway for ENS or RSMS visas, the Subclass 191 visa does not require that holders have been working for the same employer for the 3-year period and do not require nomination from an employer to apply for the permanent visa. Applicants must still meet certain income requirements and be able to prove their residence in regional Australia for the 3-year period. Applicants should also note that there are restrictions on applying for other permanent visas, such as the 189, 190, or 820 Partner visa until they have held the 494 for the three-year period.

Visa Application

To apply for this visa the employee should work in Australia to fill the nominated position. This would involve providing evidence that they:

The application process for the Subclass 494 visa is very similar to those for a Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa. 


To apply for approval as a Standard Business Sponsor, the business would need to provide evidence that it is actively and lawfully operating, and has the financial ability to meet its sponsorship obligations. Overseas businesses cannot sponsor 494 visas.


Employers can nominate a regional Australian job position. To meet the nomination requirements the employers must verify the following steps:

  • The nominated occupation is on the Subclass 494 Medium-Long Term Skills Shortage List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL).
  • Labour Market Testing has been undertaken – no exemptions apply.
  • The nominee will be paid a market rate salary, which is not less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) of $53,900.
  • The Regional Certifying Body for their area has certified the market salary rate.
  • The role will be available for at least 5 years.

Skilling Australians Fund

A Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy is payable for each nomination under the 494 programs, as follows. Australian government uses the SAF for the training of Australian workers :

  • For businesses will an annual turnover of less than $10m, a one-off, upfront payment of $3,000 per nominee.
  • For businesses will an annual turnover of more than $10m, a one-off, upfront payment of $5,000 per nominee.