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Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Provisional) (Subclass 494)

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 494) replaces the 187 RSMS visa. The 494 visa will be valid for five years, and visa holders must live, study and work in a specified regional area. Additionally, eligible family members can be included in the application.

You must be nominated by an employer whose business is lawfully operating in Australia. Before you can apply for the visa, your employer will need to lodge a nomination application for you.

There are three stages:

  1. Sponsorship
  2. Nomination
  3. Visa Application


  • You must be nominated by an approved sponsor.
  • You must hold a suitable skill assessment.
  • You must have at least three years of full-time and relevant skilled work experience.
  • You must be under 45 years of age.
  • You must demonstrate Competent English unless exempt.
  • You meet health and character requirements.
  • Meet registration and licensing requirements, if applicable.


The 494 is a five-year visa. The 494 visa provides a pathway to apply for permanent residence in Australia. With Australian permanent residency, you can stay in Australia permanently, work and study in Australia, enrol in Australia’s public healthcare system Medicare, sponsor your relatives to come to Australia, travel to and from Australia.

You can access permanent residence through the subclass 191 visa when the following is met:

  • You have worked in the designated regional area for at least three years, whilst holding a 494 visa; and
  • You can show a taxable income at or above the income threshold for at least three years.

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