Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa

Subclass 494 Visa

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa (Subclass 494) is the new employee sponsored visa for regional areas. It will replace the previous Regional Employer Sponsored visa – 187 (RSMS). The 494 Visa is initially a temporary visa that may allow you to obtain permanent residency after 3 years.


Like all employer sponsored visas you must be nominated by an approved business sponsor to apply for this visa.

494 visa holders

Can move between jobs (in a regional area) but will have 90 days to find a new nominator

Can access Medicare

Permanent Residence

If you’d like to become a permanent resident of Australia, then starting from November 2022 you will be able to apply for Skilled Regional subclass 191 visa.

However, it is not possible to apply directly for the 191 visa. You must have held the 491 visa or 494 visa for at least 3 years and earned the minimum income ($53,900) for at least three years as the holder of a regional provisional visa. You must have also maintained residency and worked in a regional area.

If you’d like to learn more about 191 Visa requirements and its benefits then please follow the link below.

Frequently asked question

Your employer must be located in a designated regional area of Australia (everywhere except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane).

Your position is on the relevant occupation list (over 700 occupations)

The 494 is a five-year visa. However, it does lead to PR. In order to obtain permanent residency, you would need to continue to live and work in a regional area. 494 visa holders can access permanent residence through the Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) when: 1. You have worked in the designated regional area for at least three years, whilst holding a 494 visa 2. You can show earnings of at least $53,900 annually for three years. If you have a partner included in your 494 application, only one of you needs to show the three years of annual salary (through tax returns) at or above $53,900.

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