Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

The Subclass 494, Skilled Employer Sponsored (Provisional) Visa came into force in November 2019 and replaced the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (RSMS)

673 Occupations to choose from!

The Subclass 494 Visa has 673 eligible occupations and is a pathway to Australian Permanent Residence.

This new regional visa allows you to transition to Permanent Residence after three years of you and your family living, working and/or studying in your regional area.

This is basically everywhere in Australia except Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.


Valid for 5 years

The Subclass 494 Visa is granted for 5 years

This skilled regional visa also represents an amazing opportunity for regional employers who are struggling to find staff in the regional areas where they operate.


Permanent Residence after 3 years!

This visa allows a transition to permanent residence after three years, and you don’t need an employer nomination to do this! The new permanent residence visa is the Subclass 191 visa, and this will come into effect in 2022 (when the first Subclass 494 visa holders have held their visas for three years).


“Great service! visa granted so fast that myself couldn’t even believe!”

 Lee Chinwah, (Google Review, August 2019)


What are the requirements for the Subclass 494 Regional Sponsored Visa?


  • You must be under 45 years of age unless you are:
    • An “academic” applicant which means:
      • You must be nominated by an Australian University,
      • You are a faculty head or a University lecturer (level A, B, C, D, or E)
    • A “Subclass 457/482 worker” which means:
      • You have been employed by your nominating employer for at least three years
      • In the same nominated occupation as the Subclass 494 nomination
      • Your income was at least equal to the high income threshold (currently $153,600), And
      • You held a Subclass 457 or a Subclass 482 visa at all times during the three years
    • A “regional medical practitioner applicant” which means:
      • The nominated medical practitioner position is in a regional area
      • you have been employed as a medical practitioner for three years immediately prior to the visa application, and at least two years of that employment was in a regional area, and,
      • You held either a Subclass 457 visa or a Subclass 482 visa during the three year period.
    • A “science applicant” which means:
      • You are a science research, a scientist, or a technical specialist.
      • You have been nominated by a science occupation.
      • The skill level of the nominated occupation is level 1 or 2 in the ANZSCO guide.
    • A “Subclass 444/461 worker” which means:
      • In the three years before the visa application is spent at least two years working for the employer who will nominate you for a Subclass 494 visa, in the same occupation and,
      • You held a Subclass 444, or a subclass 461 visa during the three year period.

Skills Assessment

  • You must have a skills assessment in your nominated occupation, which is less than three years old.


  • You must be sponsored by an employer, and there is also a Labour Agreement stream.
  • Your nominating employer must be an approved Standard Business Sponsor.


  • You must have”Competent” English (e.g. IELTS 6) , unless you hold a passport from:
    • United Kingdom
    • Republic of Ireland
    • Canada
    • New Zealand
    • United States
  • The visa grant is for five years.


What sort of occupations are available for this new Regional Sponsored Visa?

There is an extensive occupation list with 673 occupations!


How much is the Subclass 494 Visa Application Charge?
  • Primary applicant: $4045
  • Additional applicant over 18 years: $2025
  • Additional applicant under 18 years: $1010
  • A second Visa Application Charge is applicable where any applicant over the age of 18 does not meet the Functional English test – $4890


What is the pathway to permanent residence from the Subclass 494 visa?
  • There is an option to transition to the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence visa three years after being granted the Subclass 494 visa.
  • The Subclass 191 Visa will come into effect on 16 November 2022.
  • All members of the family must live work and study in the regional area for at least three years to become eligible to transition to permanent residence.
  • Regional areas of basically all areas of Australia except the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.


I have heard that there are lots of conditions attached to the Subclass 494 visa. What are they?

You are correct, there are several conditions attached to the visa. These are:

Notification requirements

  • Condition 8578: you must notify the Department within 14 days of a change of your residential address, email, phone number, passport details, employers details, address and location of position of employment.

Live Work and study in a Regional area

  • Condition 8579: you must live work and study in a regional area, including all members of the family.

Requirement to provide evidence

  • Condition 8580: You must provide evidence if requested within 28 days of your residential address, address of each employer, address of location of employment, and address of any educational institution.

Attend interview if requested

  • Condition 8581: if requested you must attend an interview with the Department in a manner specified by it (face-to-face, Skype or FaceTime).

Work with Nominating Employer

  • Condition 8608: the primary visa holder must only work in the nominated occupation and within the business of their nominating employer or an associated business of the employer. If the primary visa holder’s employment is terminated, they have 90 days to find another position.

Please note that breaching any of these conditions, may result in visa cancellation.


I have heard that there are other visas you cannot apply for once you have held a Subclass 494 visa. Is this correct?

Yes. There is a three-year restriction on applying for the following visas whilst holding a Subclass 494 visa:

  • Subclass 124 and 858 – Distinguished Talent Visas
  • Subclass 132 – Business Talent Visa
  • Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme Visa
  • Subclass 188 – Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa
  • Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent Visa
  • Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated Visa
  • Subclass 820/801 – Provisional/Permanent Partner Visa


Will I be eligible for Medicare if I lodge a new Subclass 494 Regional Visa?

Yes. Happily, applicants for the Subclass 494 visa will be eligible for Medicare.


On the subject of health, is there a Health Waiver provision in the Subclass 494 visa?

There is a health waiver provision for the Employer Sponsored Stream Of the Subclass 494 visa – however there is no health waiver provision in the Labour Agreement Stream.