494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa

494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

Address skilled worker shortages in regional Australia.

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Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa

(Subclass 494)

The Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494) is a 5-year provisional visa aimed at drawing skilled workers to regional Australia.

This visa enables employers in designated regional areas to tap into a wider range of occupations to meet workforce needs, while providing a clear pathway to permanent residency for the workers.

Requirements For A Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa

(Subclass 494)

The Subclass 494 process is broken down into four application steps.

The business must demonstrate that it is actively and lawfully operating, becoming a Standard Business Sponsor or entering into a Labour Agreement with the Department of Immigration. The Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a form of Labour Agreement.
The employer is required to identify an occupation on the Regional Occupation List that aligns with the role on offer. The role must be located in regional Australia, which is generally anywhere outside the Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane metro areas.
The role must also attract a ‘market rate’ salary that is no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) of $73,150 per annum.
Labour Market Testing (LMT) is mandatory for the 494 visa. LMT advertising must meet Immigration’s strict requirements in order to be accepted for Nomination purposes.
A one-off Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy payment is payable for each nomination, with the amount determined by the turnover of the sponsoring business.
Regional Certification
The employment conditions including salary must be assessed by a Regional Certifying Body to ensure they align with the local market rates. The Certifying body often have additional requirements, including specific LMT advertising, in order to meet their assessment criteria.
Visa Application
To qualify for the 494 Visa, candidates must:
  • Meet the skill requirement for their nominated occupation as set out in the ANZSCO.
  • Provide a formal skill assessment in their nominated occupation
  • Evidence at least three years of recent, full-time, paid work experience in their occupation
  • Demonstrate Competent level English ability
  • Meet health and character requirements
Family members can be included in the application. Family members over the age of 18 must demonstrate Functional level English ability.
494 visa holders are restricted to living, working, and attending school in regional Australia. The Department of Immigration will monitor applicants over the life of this visa, requesting evidence of compliance with visa conditions and reporting obligations.
There is a dedicated pathway to permanent residency via the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa after living and working in regional Australia for at least three years.