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

Australia, Ayers Rock, cloudy sunset on the the Uluru sacred mountain

The 494 skilled employer-sponsored visas will replace the 187 (RSMS) visa on 16 November 2019.

There has been a total of 9,000 places allocated annually to the 494 visa program. The 494 visa is a provisional visa which means it does not grant immediate permanent residency. Any 494 visa holders may be eligible to apply for subclass 191 skilled regional permanent residency visa in the future.

Can an employer nominate on a 494 visa?

An employer must be located within a designated regional area of Australia (excludes employers in Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne). You can view all designated regional areas here.

To be eligible for nomination;

  • The employer must be located within a designated
    regional area of Australia
  • The position is on the relevant occupation list
    (over 700 occupations)
  • The employer will need approval from the
    Regional Certifying Body (RCB) in the nomination area
  • The position must be full-time, genuine and
    likely to be available for five years
  • Applicant must be paid at the market salary rate

494 applicant visa requirements

  • Applicant must hold a suitable skills assessment
  • Applicant must have at least three years of full
    time and relevant skilled work experience
  • Applicant must be under 45 years of age
  • Applicant must demonstrate Competent English

How will the 494 visas lead to permanent residency?

The 494 is a five-year visa. Holders can access permanent residence through the Subclass 191 pathway (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)).

To be eligible for 191 visas;

  1. Holders must have worked in the designated regional area for at least three years while holding a 494 visa
  2. Holders must show earnings of at least $53,900 annually for three years. If they have a partner included in your 494 application, only one needs to show the three years of annual salary (through tax returns) at or above $53,900. Your partner can be the main applicant for the 191 visas if they can demonstrate meeting this requirement.

Applicants do NOT need to be nominated by an employer to make an application for the 191 visa.