Regional Work Visas


These visas allow sponsored workers with the right skills to live and work in regional Australia.


WHAT COUNTS AS 'REGIONAL AUSTRALIA'?
Most locations outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
SUBCLASS 494

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

This is a temporary visa that allows skilled workers, who are sponsored by an employer, to live and work in regional Australia. It will commence from 16 November 2019.

Basic requirements

This visa requires people to work for 3 years in regional Australia before they can apply for permanent residency. ‘Regional Australia’ includes all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

If a visa holder ceases employment with their sponsor, they will be given 90 days to find another employer.

Subclass 494 has two streams:
Employer Sponsored Stream

Stay

Up to 5 years

Position
  • Must be genuine, full time and likely to exist for five years
  • Annual market salary rate (AMSR) must not be less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT, currently $53,900)
  • Terms and conditions must be no less favourable than for Australian employees
Employer Obligations
  • Skilling Australian Fund charges: $3000 for businesses with turnover of less than $10 million, or $5000 for others 
  • If nominating an existing Subclass 494 visa holder, the Skilling Australian Fund charge is reduced on a pro rata basis, depending on the number of whole years that have elapsed since the visa was granted
  • The new sponsor is expected to assume the sponsorship obligations for family members who already hold a Subclass 494
Worker Requirements
  • Must not have turned 45 at time of application
  • Must have a skilled occupation on an applicable list and have valid, suitable skills assessment
  • Must have been employed in the nominated occupation for at least 3 years on a full-time basis and at level of skill required for the occupation
  • Must have competent English
Labour Agreement Stream

Stay

Up to 5 years

Position/Employer Obligations

Employers can source skilled workers in accordance with a labour agreement with the Commonwealth government.

Worker Requirements
  • Must not have turned 45 at time of application
  • May be required to demonstrate they have the necessary skills to perform tasks of nominated occupation
  • Must have work experience as specified in the labour agreement
  • Must have English language skills suitable to perform the nominated occupation
SUBCLASS 491

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa


This temporary visa lets skilled workers, who are nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member, to live and work in regional Australia. It will commence from 16 November 2019.

Basic requirements

This visa requires people to work for 3 years in regional Australia before they can apply for permanent residency. ‘Regional Australia’ includes all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Subclass 491 has two streams:
State/Territory Sponsored Stream

Stay

Up to 5 years

Sponsor Requirements

Sponsor must be a State/Territory Government

Worker Requirements
  • A points test applies
  • Must not have turned 45 at time of application
  • Must have skilled occupation on an applicable list and have a valid, suitable skills assessment 
  • Primary applicant must have competent English at time of application
  • Must declare genuine intention to live, work and study in designated regional area
  • Must meet various health and character requirements
Family Member Sponsored Stream

Stay

Up to 5 years

Sponsor Requirements
  • Sponsor must be a family member who is over 18 and is an Australian Citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • Sponsor must be usually resident in a designated regional area
  • Sponsor must be related to the primary applicant or their spouse or defacto partner
  • Family member is defined as parent, child or step-child, brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step‑brother or step‑sister; or an aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step‑aunt or step‑uncle; or a nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step‑nephew or step‑niece; or a grandparent; or a first cousin.
Worker Requirements
  • A points test applies
  • Must not have turned 45 at time of application
  • Must have skilled occupation on an applicable list and have a valid, suitable skills assessment 
  • Primary applicant must have competent English at time of application
  • Must declare genuine intention to live, work and study in designated regional area
  • Must meet various health and character requirements
Potential pathways
Visa holders may apply to become a permanent resident.
A new Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa will be available for those who would have held a Subclass 491 or Subclass 494 visa for at least 3 years, and who substantially complied with the conditions of the visa. The Subclass 191 visa will be available from 16 November 2022.
Are you an employer?

We have years of experience helping employers sponsor permanent overseas workers in regional Australia. Speak to one of our business immigration specialists for how we can help.


Are you a worker?

Exciting employment opportunities are available in regional Australia for skilled workers. Contact us today to find out more.

contact us

+61 2 9212 4008

51 Albion Street,
Surry Hills,
Sydney NSW 2010
AUSTRALIA

Monday to Friday
9am - 5:30pm
(or flexible by appointment)

Abacus Visa Pty Ltd. ACN: 147099303
Abacus Visa & Migration Services Pty Ltd. ABN: 58169966036
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