How This Visa Works

You can either be in Australia You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for this visa. If you are in Australia at the time of application you have to hold a substantive visa or bridging visa A, B or C. 


There are 3 steps which are as follows:

Step 1: The employer has to apply to become an approved business sponsor or to be a party to a work agreement.

Step 2: The employer must nominate an occupation in their business to be approved from the 494 List of Occupations and identify in the application who the visa applicant will be.

Step 3: The visa applicant must meet certain requirements for the approval of the visa, such as English fluency, work experience, skills, health and character to meet the requirements of the nominated occupation.


Steps in the process

Step 1: Sponsorship

Employer Sponsored stream

The employer needs to apply for approval as a Standard Business Sponsor. This involves presenting documents to demonstrate that they are an actively operating business, such as financial statements, marketing material, company registration, organizational chart and other identifying details about the company.

A business sponsorship is valid for five years and the business can nominate as many people as it wants to sponsor during this period. A business that is operating for less than 12 months or an overseas business can also be approved for five years.

Companies have certain obligations when sponsoring overseas employees and they can be monitored by the Department of Home Affairs at any time to ensure that they are meeting their sponsorship obligations.

Overseas Business Sponsors are prevented from using the Employer Sponsored stream.

Labour Agreement stream

Your sponsoring employer is a party to a work agreement that allows to employ a person who is intended to be employed as a holder of a subclass 494 visa.

Step 2: Nomination

For the Employer Sponsored stream, the position that the company requires you to work in has to be selected from the relevant skilled occupation list (Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List or Regional Occupation List). For the Labour Agreement stream the nominated occupation has to be specified in the work agreement.

In the Employer Sponsored stream all 494 nominations will need advice from an RCB. Also, to satisfy the Department of Home Affairs that there are no local Australians available with the required skills who want to work in this position, the employer must undertake labour market testing (advertising the role) for all occupations. 

The nominated occupation has to be located in a part of Australia that at the time of application lodgment is considered to be a designated regional area.

Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold requirements. A Government Gazette notice states the minimum salary payable under this visa category, which at present is AUD$53,900 plus 9.5% superannuation. The market rate is at least as much as an Australian citizen or permanent resident employed in the same position in the same location is being paid;

The employer also needs to demonstrate that there is a genuine need for that occupation in their business. The nominated position has to be full-time and for at least 5 years.

Employers nominating a worker for a subclass 494 visa are required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF). The contribution is payable at the time the worker is nominated. The amounts are as follows:

$1200 per year or part year of visa requested for ‘small’ businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $10 million) or

$1800 per year or part year of visa requested for other businesses whose turnover is greater than $10 million.

Step 3: Visa

Employer Sponsored stream

At the time of application:

– You have at least 3 years of relevant work experience in your nominated occupation. The work experience must have been full-time and post-qualifications.

– You have a valid positive skills assessment. In general, skills assessments are valid for 3 years unless the assessing authority specifies a period during which the assessment is valid.

– You are under 45 years of age, unless you are an exempted applicant.

– You have competent English language test (at least 6.0 in each of the IELTS test part OR 50 in each of the PTE Academic test part. Other tests acceptable are: OET, TOEFL, iBT and Cambridge English: Advanced).

At the time of decision:

All dependents who are 18 or older have to have at least functional English. Alternatively, $4,890 per person who does not have functional English will have to be paid.

Labour Agreement stream

At the time of application:

– You are under 45 years of age, unless your employer is allowed to employ people over 45.

– You have English language skills that are suitable to perform the nominated occupation.

– You have the skills, qualifications and work experience necessary to perform the tasks of the nominated occupation.

– You have at least 3 years of relevant work experience in your nominated occupation. The work experience must have been full-time and post-qualifications.


About Skill-Select

It is important to understand that an Expression of Interest (EOI) is not a visa application and will not result in a bridging visa in Australia. Furthermore, any claims made in an EOI which cannot be substantiated in a visa application, for example, English fluency, qualifications, work experience, will lead to a refusal of the visa application.


What This Visa Lets You Do?

You can include your partner and children on your application. At the time of decision your children cannot be older than 23 unless they financially rely on you because they are incapacitated for work due to the total or partial loss of their bodily or mental functions.

This is a temporary visa. Once it is granted it allows you:

  • to work only for your sponsor or associated entity, unless an exemption applies.
  • to travel to, enter and remain in Australia for 5 years from the date of grant. 
  • live, work and study only in designated regional areas of Australia.
  • if eligible, apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time your visa is granted

Currently the following postcodes are considered to be a designated regional area:


2259, 2264 to 2308, 2500 to 2526, 2528 to 2535 and 2574

2250 to 2258, 2260 to 2263, 2311 to 2490, 2527, 2536 to 2551, 2575 to 2739, 2753 to 2754, 2756 to 2758 and 2773 to 2898


3211 to 3232, 3235, 3240, 3328, 3330 to 3333, 3340 and 3342

3097 to 3099, 3139, 3233 to 3234, 3236 to 3239, 3241 to 3325, 3329, 3334, 3341, 3345 to 3424, 3430 to 3799, 3809 to 3909, 3912 to 3971 and 3978 to 3996


4207 to 4275, 4517 to 4519, 4550 to 4551, 4553 to 4562, 4564 to 4569 and 4571 to 4575

4124 to 4125, 4133, 4183 to 4184, 4280 to 4287, 4306 to 4498, 4507, 4552, 4563, 4570 and 4580 to 4895


6000 to 6038, 6050 to 6083, 6090 to 6182, 6208 to 6211, 6214 and 6556 to 6558

All postcodes in WA not mentioned above


5000 to 5171, 5173 to 5174, 5231 to 5235, 5240 to 5252, 5351 and 5950 to 5960

All postcodes in SA not mentioned above


7000, 7004 to 7026, 7030 to 7109, 7140 to 7151 and 7170 to 7177

All postcodes in TAS not mentioned above


All postcodes


All postcodes



Regional work visas are complex. Please contact our team of experienced registered migration experts for immediate advice and assistance.

What type of visa are you looking for?


Employer Sponsorship Visa


Skilled Person & Want to Live and Work in Australia


Sponsor My Partner or Parents


Student Visa or Graduate Visa


Start a Business or Invest in Australia

Talk to us today. We'd love to hear from you.
Email us directly
AustraliaMigrate Suite 302B, 3rd Floor, 282 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood NSW 2067 Australia
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