Subclass 494 Visas – Living And Working In A Regional Area

-- Lauri Stewart & Keshab Chapagain / प्रकाशित मिति : शनिबार, अशोज २४, २०७७

The information provided in this article is designed for general purposes only and does not constitute the provision of immigration advice or immigration legal advice.

Skilled Employer Sponsored (Regional) visas were introduced in November 2018 as a new visa subclass and a pathway to permanent residence in Australia.

This visa enables regional employers to sponsor overseas workers where they cannot find a suitable Australian employee to undertake that role. The visa has a validity period of 5 years, although there is a pathway to permanent residence after 3 years.

In addition to the standard health and character requirements, in order to be eligible for this visa applicants must:

  • Be under the age of 45 years when they apply (there are some exceptions to this);
  • Be sponsored by their employer (who has satisfied the sponsorship and nomination process);
  • Have an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list;
  • Have a satisfactory skills assessment for said occupation; and
  • Have competent English.

Of the 650 occupations on the skilled occupation list, there are 135 occupations which are available to subclass 494 visa applicants but are not available to other visa applicants (with some exceptions for subclass 187 visas, correct at time of writing). Some of these occupations are occupations you would expect to see on a regional occupation list: such as park rangers, marine surveyors or occupations within the tourism industry; but there are some occupations on that additional list which may surprise you, including occupations in the fine arts and performing arts, child care workers, retail managers, and telecommunications technicians.

There is no points test for the subclass 494 visa; however, many of the same categories within the points test are considered within the skills assessment process.

Holding a Skilled Employer Sponsored (Regional) visa has benefits which other visas do not. You are guaranteed a minimum salary and you don’t have to find a job or worry about renewing contracts every 12 months. Your employment conditions are monitored by the Department of Home Affairs in addition to normal industry monitoring, to ensure that all conditions and employment tasks are within Australian law and occupational health and safety standards. You also don’t need to worry about receiving an invitation to apply or submitting an Expression of Interest before your application can be considered. It is, in the right circumstances, a straightforward process for both the sponsor and visa applicant.

If you are considering moving to a regional area to be closer to family, or if this sounds like the sort of lifestyle you would enjoy, please contact us for further information or for an assessment of your immigration options.

Writers, Lauri Stewart, Migration Lawyer (MARN 0850542) & Keshab Chapagain, Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1576536) are associated with ‘Chapagain Stewart Training’ which provides migration professional training and migration assistance and can be contacted on or 0468 375 412.