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Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Subclass 494)

Subclass 494 was introduced on 16 November 2019 for the purpose of the economy development in the regional Australia. This visa will entice skilled migrants in the regional areas of Australia. Holder of subclass 494 is required to work in the regional areas for 3 years and fulfil the employment conditions set by the department. Applicant then applies for the permanent residency (Subclass 191). It is interesting to note that the occupation list for subclass 494 is broader and the department also prioritize the application.

This visa comes in two streams:
1. Employer Sponsored Stream
1. Labour Agreement Stream

Employer Sponsored Stream

  • You must be below the age of 45
  • Must be nominated for the occupation from the legislative instrument made for 494 visa subclass
  • Must have a valid skill assessment for the nominated occupation
  • 3 years of paid work experience is required
  • Must have minimum 6 band in each for IELTS of equivalent
  • Applicants meet the health criterion 4007

Labour Agreement Stream

  • Under the labour agreement, the applicant must be employed in the occupation specified in the labour agreement
  • Applicant must hold the suitable qualification, experience suitable for the position
  • Applicant must have suitable English skills but under the labour agreement stream, there is no specific English requirements.
  • 3 years relevant work experience is required

Duration of stay

  • Subclass 494 visa is granted for 5 years

Visa Fee

  • Primary applicant fee - $4045
  • Secondary applicant over 18 - $2025
  • Additional applicant under 18 - $1010

If the main applicant does not have functional English, then second installment of $9800 will be required.
If the additional family member does not have functional English, then second installment of $4890 will be required.

Application Processing Time

  • From 6 months to 9 months

English Requirements

  • IELTS - You must have overall score at least 6 with no less 6 in each 4 parts or equivalent
  • PTE – You must have overall score 50 with no less than 50 in each 4 parts or equivalent

Subclass 494 Job Offer and Employer Requirements

  • Business must be operated in the designated regional area of Australia. Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are excluded from the designated regional area.
  • Business (Employer) will need approval from Regional Certifying Body (RCB)
  • Applicant must be offered a full-time position with a 3-year employment contract, which should likely be available for the applicant for up to 5 years
  • Applicant must be paid no less than Australia Market Salary Rate (AMRS)

Nomination Training Contribution Charges

For subclass 494, SAF Charges are also paid as part of the nomination process. If the annual turnover is less than $1 million - $3000, and if the annual turnover is over $1 million - $5000.


  • You can be in or outside Australia at the time of visa lodgment or at the time of grant
  • At the time of visa lodgment, if you are in Australia, you must not be subject to s.48 or any other visa condition such as 8503 (No Further Stay)
  • You must also hold a valid visa i.e. a Substantive visa or bridging Visa A, B or C.

Visa Condition

  • Condition 8579 is imposed on this visa. Visa holder can live, work and study only the regional area and only for the nominated position.
  • Visa holder must commence work with the nominating employer in the regional area within 90 after the visa grant or after enter Australia. Otherwise your visa may be cancelled.

Benefits of Subclass 494

  • Directly apply for subclass 191 if eligible. Subclass 191 will commence from 16 November 2022.
  • Training Contribution charges are lower compare to subclass 482 and subclass 186

Transitional Arrangement for Subclass 187

Subclass 187 applications are closed from November 16, 2019 and the transitional arrangement has put in place for the applicants who has already lodged the nomination and the visa but still in processing.

WE at AEC Global, can assist with you with the following:

  • Sponsorship application
  • Nomination application
  • Visa Lodgment
  • Assist in the Bridging Visa Application

If you require any further information or need assistance with your application, book a consultation with AEC Global today. Our highly experience registered MARA Agent will provide you up to date immigration assistance.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.