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Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa [subclass 494B]
This stream is for skilled workers nominated by employers who have a labour agreement. Labour agreements are developed between the Australian Government (represented by the Department) and employers.
- Be nominated to work in a specified occupation under the terms of a labour agreement
- Have at least 3 years relevant work experience in your nominated occupation
- Have a relevant skills assessment, if this is specified in the labour agreement
With this visa
- Live, work and study only in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years
- Travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while the visa is valid
- If eligible, apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time your visa is granted
You can live, work and study only in a designated regional area. Designated regional areas include all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
How long you can stay
This is a provisional visa. You can stay in Australia for a period of 5 years from when your visa is granted.
Pathways to permanent residence
- If eligible, you can apply for permanent residence after you have held your 494 visa for 3 years.
- Unless you have held your subclass 494 visa for 3 years, holders of the subclass 494 visa are unable to:
*Make a valid application for a subclass 820 (Partner) visa
*Be granted any of the following visas:
- Subclass 132 (Business Talent)
- Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme)
- Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional))
- Subclass 189 (Skilled (Independent))
- Subclass 190 (Skilled (Nominated))
- Subclass 858 (Distinguished talent)
You can't stay in Australia longer by extending this visa.
If eligible, you can apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time your visa is granted.
You can include members of the family unit in your application.
- Include them when you submit your visa application
- Add a dependent child after you submit but before the Home Affairs decide on your visa application
Family members who apply for the visa with you must meet the health and character requirements.
Family members who do not apply for the visa with you might also have to meet the health and character requirements.
If your partner or dependent children are not included in this application, you must tell the Home Affairs the reason why. For example, they already hold Australian citizenship or are a permanent resident.
This visa costs AUD4,045 for the main applicant, AUD2,025 for each dependent 18 years and over, and AUD1,010 for each dependent under 18 years.
It costs an additional AUD4,890 if any dependent applicants who are 18 years and over do not have functional English. This extra charge is called a second instalment.
To work out what your visa will cost use the Visa Pricing Estimator. The estimator does not take into account the second instalment or other costs.
You will have to pay other costs including English language tests, health checks, police certificates and biometrics.
You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for the visa and when The Home Affairs make a decision on your application, but not in immigration clearance.
If you are applying in Australia, you must hold either of the following visa otherwise your application will not be valid:
- A substantive visa, or
- A Bridging visa A, Bridging visa B or Bridging visa C
The Home Affairs assess applications on a case-by-case basis, and actual processing times can vary due to individual circumstances including:
- Whether you have lodged a complete application, including all necessary supporting documents
- How quickly you respond to any requests for additional information
- How long it takes to perform required checks on the supporting information provided
- How long it takes to receive additional information from external agencies, particularly in relation to health, character, and national security requirements
The Home Affairs might ask for more information. The Home Affairs are not obligated to request further information or documents and can make a decision on the information provided. It is your responsibility to ensure all relevant supporting/evidentiary documentation is attached to your application.
You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.
You must begin your employment within 90 days of:
- Entering Australia, if you are outside Australia when the Home Affairs grant the visa
- The visa grant date, if you are in Australia when the Home Affairs grant the visa
You must only work in your nominated occupation and only work for your nominating employer in regional Australia. If you do not, the Home Affairs might cancel your visa.
You can travel out of Australia and return as many times as you want while the visa is valid.
The time you spend outside Australia does not extend the visa.
The Home Affairs will digitally link your visa to your passport. You will not get a label in your passport.
Be working under a labour agreement
The nominated occupation must be the subject of a labour agreement between the Commonwealth and the nominator.
Be this age
Unless the labour agreement states otherwise, you must be under 45 years of age when you apply for the visa.
Have relevant skills, qualifications and work experience
You must demonstrate that you have the skills, qualifications and work experience necessary to perform the nominated occupation.
You must undertake a skills assessment to demonstrate this if having a skills assessment is specified in the labour agreement - see Have a positive skills assessment section below.
If it is not mandatory for you to undertake a skills assessment, you are still required to provide other evidence to demonstrate that you meet this requirement ñ see 'Skills and qualifications documents' under the Step by step tab.
You must have been employed in the nominated occupation for at least 3 years on a full-time basis and at the skill level required for the nominated occupation.
Generally, you should have gained your experience within the last 5 years. The period does not need to be continuous. The Home Affairs might consider equivalent part-time work. The Home Affairs do not consider casual work.
Have a positive skills assessment
If having skills assessment is specified in the labour agreement, you must have your skills assessed as suitable for the nominated occupation by the relevant assessing authority. The assessment will show the Home Affairs you have the skills to work in the nominated occupation.
Have this level of English language
You must have the level of English as specified in the labour agreement to be granted this visa. Learn more about English language.
Meet the health requirement
You and any family members who apply for the visa with you must meet the health requirement.
If requested, family members not accompanying you to Australia might also need to meet the health requirement.
Meet the character requirement
You and any family members aged 16 years and over who apply for the visa with you must meet the character requirement.
Family members not accompanying you to Australia must also meet the character requirement.
Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused
You might not be eligible for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia. Check if visa cancellation affects your eligibility.
Have paid back your debt to the Australian government
If you or any family members (including those who don't apply for the visa with you) owe the Australian government money, you or they must have paid it back or arranged to pay it back.
Sign the Australian values statement
If you are 16 years of age or older, you must:
- Have read, or had explained to you, the Life in Australia booklet and
- Sign an Australian Values Statement that confirms you will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws