Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 494

The Subclass 494 enables employers in regional Australia to hire overseas workers to work in their business if they cannot source a skilled Australian to fill the position. This visa is valid for 5 years.  If all requirements met, applicants can apply for permanent residency after 3 years form the time 494 visa is granted (Subclass 191). 

This visa involves a three steps process:

Business Sponsorship Application

A business must be approved as Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) in order to be able to sponsor an overseas worker to fill the position within their business.   There are certain requirements that businesses must meet to be approved.  Once approved as a Standard Business Sponsor, it’s valid for up to 5 years. The employer must be located in Regional Australia, everywhere except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Nomination Application

Once the business is approved as a Standard Business Sponsor, the position must be nominated by the sponsor. Requirements for the nomination are:

  • The nominate occupation must be on Medium and Long Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or Regional Occupation List (ROL)
  • Market salary rate for the position must be met
  • The regional Certifying Body (RCB) advice is required on the pay and conditions
  • Labour market testing must be undertaken
  • The role will be available for at least 5 years
  • Skilling Australians Fund: Employers must make a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund
Visa Application

The applicant applied for a visa to fill the position. The applicant must demonstrate that they meet the skills for their occupation. 


  • Have at least 3 years of experience relevant work experience within the last 5 years
  • Have relevant skill, qualifications and work experience 
  • Have a relevant skill assessment
  • Have at lest competent English (Ielts 6 in each band or equivalent)
  • Be under 45 years of age
  • Meet the health requirement
  • Meet the character requirement


  • Cannot apply for 494 visa if the applicant have had a visa cancelled or refused
  • Applicants must live and work for three years in regional areas while holding 494 visa. 
  • Visa holder can move between jobs if they can find a new sponsor in 90 days after leaving current sponsor. 
  • Visa holders cannot apply for any other skilled visas (186, 482, 189.190) or 820 partner visa