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AR LAW Services  |  Lawyers & Consultants  |  Masters of Australian Migration and Visa Law

Regional (491 & 494) Visas

Superior Advice: Intelligent Solutions

Regional Skilled Visas

(Subclass: 491 & 494)

On this page you will learn how we can help you with:

Subclass 491 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa & Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494)

You’re busy building a life in Australia – that is hard enough without having to worrying about visa red tape

Let us help.

I used AR Law a few years ago to go through my Permanent Residency application. My application was made in a seamless way as Anthony Robinson and his team proved to be very knowledgeable and very competent. I would recommend their services.

Olivier Jean-Louis
(Regional Nomination – PR Visa Matters)

Me and My family has been Using AR LAW services since 2004 which is almost 13 years and been successful each time. And I would definitely recommend anyone for any type case whether Migration or criminal case. Anthony Robinson he is just NOT a migrating agent. He is professional Lawyer which makes him Trustworthy.

Truth cant be hide haha
(Family Sponsored regional Visa  – Criminal or Character s501 Appeal)

Subclass 491- Regional Australia Visa

The Skilled Regional (subclass 491) visa is a provisional visa. Is for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional Australia. It allows you to stay in Regional Australia for 5 years.

To be eligible for the Subclass 491?

You must:

  • be nominated to apply by a state or territory government agency, or
  • an eligible relative must sponsor you
  • have an occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list
  • have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
  • be invited to apply
  • be under 45 years of age
  • satisfy the points test
  • meet minimum standards of English language proficiency (competent)


  • Submit an expression of interest (EOI) in SkillSelect and estimate your points score.

Nomination by an Australian state or territory government agency

All state and territory government agencies have their own criteria for deciding who they will nominate.

Sponsorship by an eligible relative

The sponsor must be:

  • 18 years old or older
  • usually resident in a designated area of Australia
  • be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
  • be your or your partner’s eligible relative

[An eligible relative can be a parent, a child or step-child, a sibling, and aunt or uncle, a niece or nephew, a grandparent or a first cousin.]

Have a suitable skills assessment

For your application to be valid, you must declare that you have a suitable skills assessment at time of invitation. Your occupation must be on the combined list of eligible skilled occupations for a Skilled Regional (subclass 491) visa.


  • State-nominated provisional residency visa
  • Pathway to permanent residency – 191
  • Live and work full-time in a regional area for 3 years to be eligible for permanent residency
  • Receive 15 additional points for state nomination
  • Same requirements as subclass 190 nomination (minimum 65 points, under 45 years, positive skills assessment, competent English)
  • Onshore requirements: need 3 months’ employment in the nominated occupation in a regional area and 1-year job offer
  • Offshore – min. 2 years’ work experience (unless otherwise indicated)



  • Use of existing 491 program (must meet 491 requirements).
  • Investment of a minimum of 100K in regional business, cost of purchasing a business, but other start-up costs, asset costs, marketing costs can also be included in that $100k.
  • It must be a pre-existing business, can’t be a start-up.
  • A visa applicant must run the business after purchase for at least 6 months prior to lodging EOI.
  • Employ 1 Australian resident. Could be a temporary resident – a minimum of 20 hrs per week. Can be employed any time – it’s OK as long as they’re working at the time of EOI
  • Negates the need to be an employee elsewhere
  • $100,000 investment – the cost of purchasing a business, but other startup costs, asset costs, marketing costs can also be included in that $100k.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494)

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa enables regional employers to address identified labour shortages within their region by sponsoring skilled workers where employers cannot source an appropriately skilled Australian worker.

Eligibility for the Subclass 494

You must:

be nominated by an approved work sponsor

have an occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list

have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation (exemptions apply)

be under 45 years of age (exemptions apply)

meet minimum standards of English language proficies

Be nominated by an approved sponsor?

You must be nominated by an employer whose business is lawfully operating in Australia and is an approved standard business sponsor.

You must be employed to work in the nominated occupation and in a position within the sponsoring business located in a designated regional area of Australia.

If you are the primary visa applicant, you must demonstrate that you have the skills, qualifications and work experience necessary to perform the nominated occupation. You must undertake a skills assessment to demonstrate this unless exempt.

You must have been employed in the nominated occupation for at least 3 years in the last 5 years on a full-time basis and at the skill level required for the nominated occupation. The period does not need to be continuous.

You do not need to complete a skills assessment if at the time of application you held a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) or Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) for the nominated occupation and in order to be granted that visa, you were required to demonstrate your skills by providing a suitable skills assessment.

You must have at least Competent English to be granted this visa.:

  • 494 visa subclass requires the employer to nominate a position
  • the position must be likely to exist for 5 years.
  • a visa applicant must be under 45 years old at the time of application (unless exempted under Labour Agreement),
  • a visa applicant must prove English Level as competent (unless exempted under Labour Agreement),
  • RCB advice is required,
  • salary must meet the AMSR (Annual Market Salary Rate)
  • visa applicants may require having a suitable Skill assessment.
  • the visa applicant must have at least 3 years of skilled employment in the nominated application

Pathway to PR

It appears that the only pathway to permanent residency for 494 visa holders will be applying for a permanent visa associated with 494 after 3 years working for their employer in regional Australia. The regulations preclude 494 visa holder to apply for any other permanent skilled visas or even a partner visa.


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Be advised the Information on this website does not constitute legal advice nor personal/corporate migration advice and should not be treated as such. It is information of a general nature and should not be relied on. For an assessment of your personal circumstances and formal legal/visa advice please speak to our accredited Immigration Lawyer.