Subclass 494

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

What is this visa?

Subclass 494 provisional visa has replaced subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa, for the purpose to assist Australia regional businesses to nominate the eligible skilled workers from overseas to work and reside in a designated regional area. Subclass 494 visa is a provisional visa, the holder can proceed to permanent residency through Subclass 191 visa if they can meet the requirements of this permanent resident visa.

What parts of Australia are Designated Regional Areas?

It is intended that the designated regional areas will include all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Therefore, the areas include Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast will also be classified as designated regional areas.


This visa enables eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years. Visa holders will be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence visa after three years.


TSS visa holders can work in Australia in their nominated occupation for their approved sponsor under one of the following streams

Criteria for prospective 494 applicants

These are the criteria that the prospective 494 applicants must meet

  • have their relevant occupation on a skilled occupation list or in the labour agreement;
  • be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation;
  • have Competent English;
  • have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation;
  • have at least three years’ full-time relevant work experience in the nominated occupation or a related field, at the same level of skill;
  • must be nominated by an approved Australian employer through employer stream or labour agreement;
  • position must be located in a designated regional area;
  • meet public interest criteria including health and character requirements.

Visa Conditions

There are a number of new conditions associated with this visa. Conditions 8578, 8579, 8580 and 8581 must be imposed. The conditions require visa holders to:
  • live, work and study only in a designated regional area of Australia;
  • to notify Immigration of a change to their residential address, contact details, passport details, the address or addresses of an employer of the holder and the address of the location of a position in which the holder is employed; and
  • to provide information and evidence relating to their location if requested to do so; and, if requested in writing by the Minister to do so, attend an interview at a place and time, or at a time, and in a manner, specified in the request.

Pathway to permanent residence

Holders of this visa are eligible to apply for a subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa if

  • they have earned a minimum taxable income($53,900) for three years as the holder of a regional provisional visa; and
  • they have complied with the conditions of the regional provisional visa; particularly the requirement to live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia.

Dependent children are required to study in a designated regional area in order to meet visa conditions.

The Subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa will commence in November 2022.

Want to know more about whether You are eligible for a Work Visa ?