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This visa enables regional employers to address identified labour shortages within their region by sponsoring skilled workers where employers can’t source an appropriately skilled Australian worker. This visa was introduced in 2019 to substitute the now-defunct subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) direct entry stream. Subclass 494 currently houses 3 streams-

  1. Employee Sponsored Stream
  2. Labour Agreement Stream
  3. Subsequent Entrant

 

Refer to the tables below for information on each stream.

Employee Sponsored Stream

 
Overview This visa enables regional employers to address identified labour shortages within their region by sponsoring skilled workers where employers can’t source an appropriately skilled Australian worker.
Visa type Provisional 
Cost of application AUD4,045 for the main applicant AUD2,025 for each dependents over 18 AUD1,010 for each dependent under 18
Duration of visa 5 years
Uses of 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
Eligibility Applicants must meet the following requirements-
  • Have a positive skills assessment
  • Have the required skills, work experience  and qualifications needed to perform the 
tasks of the nominated occupation (can be shown with a positive skills assessment)

Age exemptions

You are exempt from the ‘under 45’ criteria if any of the following applies to you:

 

  • you are nominated as an academic (University Lecturer or Faculty Head at Academic Level A , B, C, D or E) by a university in Australia
  • you are nominated as a medical practitioner and have been employed in that occupation for 3 years immediately before you apply as the holder of a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) or Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) visa, with at least 2 years of this time employed in regional Australia
  • you are nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical (scientific) specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 by an Australian scientific government agency or Australian university
  • you have held a Special Category visa (subclass 444) or New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa (subclass 461) visa for the last 3 years immediately before you apply and have worked for the employer who nominated you, in the nominated occupation, for at least 2 years during that time
  • you
    • have held a subclass 457 visa or TSS visa for the last 3 years immediately before you apply
    • have worked in your nominated occupation for the employer who nominated you at all time during those 3 years
    • had annual earnings for each of those 3 years, that were equal to or greater than the Fair Work High Income Threshold that applied at the end of the relevant year

Labour Agreement Stream

 
Overview 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.
Visa type Provisional 
Cost of application AUD4,045 for the main applicant AUD2,025 for each dependents over 18 AUD1,010 for each dependent under 18
Duration of visa 5 years
Uses of 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
Eligibility Applicants must meet the following requirements-
  • Have a positive skills assessment
  • Have the required skills, work experience  and qualifications needed to perform the tasks of the nominated occupation (can be shown with a positive skills assessment)
  • Be working under a labour agreement
  • Be under 45 years of age, unless the labour agreement specifies otherwise
  • Meet the  health requirement
  • Meet the character requirement
  • Have the level of English as specified in the labour agreement to be granted this visa.
  • Pay back any debts to the Australian Government
  • Not had a visa cancelled or an application refused when you were in Australia
  • Sign the Australian values statement

Subsequent Entrant Stream

Overview This visa is for members of the family unit of a Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) holder who are applying separately for their SESR visa and wish to join the primary SESR visa holder in Australia.
Visa type Provisional 
Cost of application AUD4,045 
Duration of visa 5 years
Uses of this visa
  • stay in Australia while the visa is valid
  • live, work and study only in designated regional areas of Australia for up to 5 years
  • travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while the visa is valid
Eligibility Applicants must meet the following requirements-