General Information

This visa enables regional employers to address identified labour shortages within their region by sponsoring skilled workers where employers can't source an appropriately skilled Australian worker.

There are two streams - Employer Sponsored stream and Labour Agreement stream.

Labour Agreement stream is for skilled workers nominated by employers who have a labour agreement. Labour agreements are developed between the Australian Government (represented by the Department) and employers. This page does not deal with Labour agreement stream.

A 494 visa granted in Employer sponsored stream is a 5 years visa and enables visa holders to live, work and study only in designated regional areas of Australia. After 3 years, they might be eligible to for a permanent visa subclass 191.

Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS)

A business wishing to sponsor a person for 494 visa must become a standard business sponsor.

Eligibility requirements:

- the business must be a lawfully operating business in or outside Australia

- the Australian business has a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment to, employing local labour; and will not engage in discriminatory recruitment practices

- there is no adverse information known to Immigration about the business or a person associated with the busiess

- an overseas business can be approved as an SBS for the purpose to:

(i) establish, or assist in establishing, a business operation in Australia with overseas connections; or

(ii) fulfil, or assist in fulfilling, a contractual obligation

SBS duration: 5 years

Application Fee: $420

Nomination for 494 Visa

Eligibility requirements:

- a nominating business must be an SBS (but not an overseas business sponsor)

- there is no adverse information known to Immigration about the business or a person associated with the busiess

- the nominated position must be in a designated regional area

- there is no debt in relation to SAF

- the business must nominate an occupation on MLTSSL (medium and long term strategic skills list) or on ROL (regional occupation list)

- the tasks of the nominated position will include a significant majority of the tasks specified for the occupation in ANZSCO

- the qualifications and experience of the nominee are commensurate with the qualifications and experience specified for the occupation in ANZSCO

- the position associated with the nominated occupation  is genuine, full-time and likely to exist for at least 5 years

- the occupation is a position in the nominating business or its associated entity unless exempted

- the nominee will be employed under a written employment contract unless exempted

- the business must certify the employment contract will be compliant with all applicable requirements imposed by Commonwealth, State or Territory law relating to employment including, if applicable, the National Employment Standards (within the meaning of the Fair Work Act 2009)

- the position must have been advertised (LMT) - a suitably qualified and experienced Australian worker is not available to fill the nominated position

- the business must certify whether or not there has been a contravention of subsection 245AR(1) of the Act

- the nominee's annual earnings will be at least $250,000 pa or not less than the annual market salary rate for the nominated occupation AND

- the annual market salary rate, excluding any non-monetary benefits, for the nominated occupation is not less than $53,900 pa AND

- the employment conditions (other than in relation to earnings) that will apply to the nominee are less favourable than those that apply, or would apply, to an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident performing equivalent work at the same location AND

- a relevant body has advised whether the nominee would be paid at least the annual market salary rate for the occupation

Application Fee: $0

Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) - Nomimation training contribution charge - Employers nominating overseas workers have to contribute to the training of Australians through the SAF levy. The SAF levy provides a tangible demonstration of the way in which the TSS visa supports training opportunities for Australians. Employers have to contribute to SAF at the time they lodge their nomination application. The levy is payable in full at the time the worker is nominated, and depends on the size of the business:

Business turnover Base amount SAF contribution for 494 visa
 annual turnover less than $10 million  $3000
 other businesses  $5000

If the nominated person holds 494 visa:


elapsed years in visa period is the number of whole years in the period:

                     (a)  starting on the date of grant of the 494 visa and 

                     (b)  ending on the nomination day in relation to the nomination.



More information about Skilling Australian Fund:

Designated regional areas: 




Column 1

State or Territory

Column 2


Column 3



New South Wales

Cities and major regional centres

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


New South Wales

Regional centres and other regional areas

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



Cities and major regional centres

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



Regional centres and other regional areas

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



Cities and major regional centres

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



Regional centres and other regional areas

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


Western Australia

Cities and major regional centres

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


Western Australia

Regional centres and other regional areas

All postcodes in Western Australia not mentioned in item 7


South Australia

Cities and major regional centres

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


South Australia

Regional centres and other regional areas

All postcodes in South Australia not mentioned in item 9



Cities and major regional centres

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



Regional centres and other regional areas

All postcodes in Tasmania not mentioned in item 11


Australian Capital Territory

Cities and major regional centres

All postcodes in the Australian Capital Territory


Australian Capital Territory

Regional centres and other regional areas



Northern Territory

Cities and major regional centres



Northern Territory

Regional centres and other regional areas

All postcodes in the Northern Territory


Norfolk Island

Cities and major regional centres



Norfolk Island

Regional centres and other regional areas

All postcodes in Norfolk Island


Other Territories

Cities and major regional centres



Other Territories

Regional centres and other regional areas

All postcodes in a Territory other than the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory or Norfolk Island

Note:          Items 14, 15, 17 and 19, and columns 1 and 2, of the table are included for information only.

494 Visa application

- the applicant must hold a substantive visa or bridging visa A, B or C

- family members can be included

- the applicant has not engaged in conduct, in relation to the primary application or the combined application, that constitutes a contravention of subsection 245AS(1) of the Act

- the primary applicant must have obtained a skills assessment (or be exempted) - If the assessment was made on the basis of a qualification obtained in Australia while the applicant held a student visa, the qualification was obtained as a result of studying a registered course.

- the primary applicant had been employed in the nominated occupation for at least 3 years on a full-time basis and at the level of skill required for the occupation (or be exempted)

- the applicants meet health/character requirements

- the associated nomination has been approved and has not ceased

- the applicant has a genuine intention to perform the nominated occupation

- no adverse information

- age limit under 45 (or be exempted)

- the primary applicant must have competent English (IELTS 6.0 or equivalent)

Visa application charge: $4,115

Last updated on 22/11/2021 to reflect annual VAC increases. OZ HOME MIGRATION does not guarantee all information is correct and professional advice should be sought in relation to the above information.

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