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The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494)

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494) banner

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494) is a temporary visa that allows skilled workers to live, work, and study in designated regional areas of Australia. It is designed to address labour shortages in regional areas by attracting skilled workers from overseas.

To be eligible for a subclass 494 visa, you must:

  • Be nominated by an eligible employer in a designated regional area.
  • Have at least 3 years of relevant work experience in your nominated occupation.
  • Have a relevant skills assessment, unless an exemption applies.
  • Meet the English language requirements.
  • Be able to support yourself and your family financially.

If you are granted a subclass 494 visa, you will be able to:

  • Live, work, and study in designated regional areas of Australia for up to 5 years.
  • Travel to and from Australia as many times as you like while your visa is valid.
  • Apply for permanent residency after 3 years of living in Australia.

The current processing time for a subclass 494 visa is about 4 months for 75% of all the visa applications, and 5 months for 90% of all the visa applications.

Here are some of the new rules for the subclass 494 visa that came into effect on November 16, 2022:

  • The minimum age requirement has been lowered from 50 to 45 years old.
  • The English language requirement has been increased from 6.0 to 6.5 overall on the IELTS scale.
  • The skills assessment requirement has been changed to a points-based system.
  • The visa application fee has been increased.

If you are considering applying for a subclass 494 visa, it is important to be aware of the new rules and requirements. You should also speak to a qualified immigration lawyer to get advice on your specific circumstances.

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