Are you an employer or employee looking for information about the two most popular Australian regional visas? Employer-Sponsored Regional Visa Subclass 494 and Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa 491 are important visas for employers and employees who want to live and work in Australia's regional areas. Here is all about these two visas, their differences, and how to apply for them.

What is Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa Subclass 494?

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa Subclass 494 is an Australian visa that allows employers in regional areas to sponsor skilled overseas workers who wish to work in their region. This visa has been introduced to fill labor shortages in regional areas and help support those areas' economic growth.

This visa is a four-year provisional visa, which allows the holder to simply live and work in any regional area of Australia for the duration of their visa. It also allows them to travel freely within Australia during their stay.

To be eligible for the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa Subclass 494, applicants must:

  • Be sponsored by an approved employer
  • Meet the skills assessment criteria
  • Have relevant qualifications
  • Be under 45 years of age
  • Have competent English language ability
  • Have a valid Skills Assessment.

The application process:

Applicants must apply online through the Department of Home Affairs website. They must also provide evidence that they meet all the eligibility requirements, including evidence of their skills assessment, qualifications, and English language ability. Applicants must also provide evidence that an approved employer has sponsored them.

The benefits of the visa:

  • This visa provides several benefits to both employers and employees.
  • For employers, it provides access to a pool of talented and skilled overseas workers who can fill labor shortages and help boost economic growth in regional areas.
  • For employees, it allows them to work and live in Australia for up to four years and travel freely within Australia. It also allows them to gain valuable experience, which may lead to permanent residency status.

What is Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa 491?

The Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa 491 is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers. They are the ones who basically want to live and work in regional Australia. It replaces the former Subclass 489 Skilled - Regional visa. The visa is designed to encourage skilled migrants to settle in regional areas, helping to support regional economies and create jobs in regional Australia.

The 491 visas are points-based. Applicants must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member living in a designated regional area of Australia.

Eligibility criteria for Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa 491

  • Your age should be between 18 and 45.
  • You must have a positive skills assessment from an approved body for the relevant occupation you intend to work in.
  • You must meet the English language requirements as set out by Immigration Australia.
  • You should be sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area of Australia or by a state or territory government.
  • You should be able to demonstrate that you have access to enough funds to support yourself and your dependents in Australia during the time of your stay.
  • You must meet the health and character requirements of Immigration Australia.
  • You must sign a declaration to adhere to the conditions of the Skilled Work Regional Provisional Visa 491.