The Australian Government’s new 494 visa allows successful candidates to live, work, and study in Australia’s specified regional areas. It is intended for regional employers to solve identified labor shortages in their region by sponsoring skilled individuals in cases when employers are unable to find an appropriately skilled Australian worker. Most locations in Australia outside of the major cities (Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane) are classified as designated regional areas for migration reasons. Regional areas include Perth and the Gold Coast. Workers who are granted the visa 494 will be permitted to stay in Australia for 5 years from the day the visa is issued, travel to and from Australia as many times as they choose during that period, and apply for permanent Australian residency beginning November 16, 2022.
Certain conditions must be completed, as with all visa applications. These are the requirements for the 494 visa:
- be nominated to work in an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
- have at least three years relevant work experience in your nominated occupation
- have a relevant skills assessment, unless an exemption applies
- work only for your sponsor or associated entity, unless an exemption applies
- be under 45 years old, unless an exemption applies
- meet minimum English language proficiency standards
Below are some of the eligibility requirements that you must know about.
be recommended by an authorised sponsor
you must be nominated by a legitimately functioning employer in Australia. Before you can apply for the visa, your employer must file a nomination application on your behalf.
have appropriate skills, qualifications, and work experience
If you are the main visa applicant, you must demonstrate that you possess the necessary skills, qualifications, and work experience to perform the specified occupation. You must have worked in the selected occupation full-time for at least three years and at the skill level necessary for the specified occupation. In general, your experience should have been earned within the past 5 years. The time span does not have to be continuous. The government may consider similar part-time work.
Have a positive skills assessment
the relevant assessing authority must judge your skills as suitable for the specified vocation. The assessment will demonstrate to the government that you have the necessary skills to work in the specified occupation. The skills assessment must be completed before your application can be submitted. Certain exemptions apply; discuss your situation with a member of our migration team.
Work only for your sponsor
In regional Australia, you must only work in your selected occupation and for your nominating company. If you do not comply, your visa may be canceled.
Be this age
while applying for the 494 visa, you must be under 45 years old. Again, certain exceptions exist;
Have this level of English language
You must have this level of English language proficiency in order to be granted this visa. You must provide evidence that you are a citizen of and hold a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, or the Republic of Ireland with your application, or you have obtained one of these English language test results, to demonstrate that you have competent English.
If you are outside Australia when your visa is approved, you must begin your job within 90 days of entering Australia, or within 90 days of the visa grant date if you are in Australia when you receive your visa. Other health, English language, character, and other restrictions may apply to your application. We’ll make certain that everything is taken care of for you.
Include family members
You can add family members in your 494 visa application and bring them with you if you are successful. You can:
- Include them when you file your visa application; add a dependant child after you file but before your application is approved.
- Family members who apply for the visa must be in good health and have a good character.
If your partner or dependent children are not listed on the application, you must explain why (for example: they already hold Australian citizenship or are a permanent resident).
You can be in or out of Australia when you apply for the visa, but you cannot be in immigration clearance when they decide on your application. If you apply in Australia, you must have a substantive visa or a subclass 010 Bridging A, 020 Bridging B, or 030 Bridging C visa, otherwise your application will be rejected.
Visa processing times
Currently, 75% of applications are handled within three months, and 90% are processed within four months.
While you can leave and return to Australia as many times as you wish while your visa is valid, the time spent outside of Australia does not extend your visa.
If your application is approved, the government will digitally connect your visa to your passport. There will be no physical label in your passport. The 187 Visa was replaced by the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 494).
The 494 visa allows you to apply for permanent residency in Australia. With Australian permanent residency, you can live in Australia permanently, work and study in Australia, enroll in Medicare, sponsor family to come to Australia, travel to and from Australia for 5 years, and apply for Australian citizenship if qualified. To apply for the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191), you must have had an eligible visa (491 or 494) for at least three years, have taxable income at or above the income level ($53,900/year) for at least three years, and have complied with the requirements of your visa.
What Visa Subclass 494 Lets You Do in Australia?
The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (subclass 494) will provide you a 5-year temporary resident visa. You and your eligible family members will be entitled to the following benefits:
- Reside in Australia for a maximum of 5 years;
- Live, study, and work in an Australian regional area;
- You can enter and exit Australia as many times as you like within the visa’s validity period.
- Use the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa to apply for permanent residency (Subclass 191)
- Be Medicare-eligible