The 494 Visa: The Ultimate Guide to 494 Visa's in Australia

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Table of Contents

    Corazon Jasa

    Written: January 16, 2024

    Updated: January 16, 2024

    17 min read

    494 Visa

    Are you a skilled worker dreaming of taking your expertise to Australia? Perhaps you’re trying to navigate the maze of visas and immigration rules, seeking that perfect opportunity to work in beautiful Oz.

    You’re not alone; many talented individuals across the globe share this goal but often find themselves overwhelmed by complex procedures and ever-changing immigration policies.

    Here’s something uplifting – there’s a special visa just for folks like you! The 494 visa is Australia’s golden ticket for skilled workers aiming to contribute their skills in regional areas.

    It opens doors to an enriching career down under while paving the way towards permanent residency. This article zeroes in on what you need: from eligibility criteria and application processes right through to adjusting life after landing on Aussie soil.

    We’ve got your back, with insights into every step! Keep reading for the lowdown—your Australian journey could be closer than you think..

    Key Takeaways

    • The 494 visa is for skilled workers to live, work, and study in regional Australia.
    • You need an employer’s sponsorship and a job on the skilled occupation list to apply.
    • It costs AUD4,045 for the main applicant and can lead to permanent residency after three years.
    • Your family can join you in Australia under this visa with rights to work and study.
    • Apply online with all necessary documents including identity proof, skill assessments, and English language test results.

    Overview of the 494 Visa

    The 494 visa is a provisional residency visa available to skilled workers who are already living and working in Australia or those who are overseas. Successful applicants of the 494 visa are able to live, work, and study in designated regional areas of Australia.

    This visa enables regional employers to address identified labor shortages within their region by sponsoring skilled workers where appropriately skilled.

    Basic Eligibility

    You need to have an employer in a regional area of Australia offer you a job to get the 494 visa. This job must be on the skilled occupation list and it should be there for at least five years.

    Make sure you’re under 45 years old, unless you fit into one of the special exemption categories. With these boxes ticked, you are stepping closer towards your goal – taking up skilled work down under!

    Your nominated role needs to line up with what’s listed as in demand for Australian regions. Check that your skills and work experience match too. Remember, sometimes rules can bend if you’ve got something exceptional to offer; it’s all about filling those key jobs where they’re needed most!

    Employer Sponsored stream

    Employers in regional areas of Australia can sponsor skilled workers through the 494 visa’s Employer Sponsored stream. This helps fill job gaps where local talent isn’t enough. The 494 visa supports businesses facing skill shortages by allowing them to bring in employees from overseas.

    To get this visa, you must be sponsored by an employer and stick to working for them once you’re in Australia. It creates a win-win situation – businesses thrive with the right staff, and skilled workers enjoy living and working Down Under.

    Next up: let’s explore what the Labour Agreement stream offers on the path to Australian visas.

    Labour Agreement stream

    Moving from the Employer Sponsored stream, let’s talk about the Labour Agreement stream. This option is perfect for skilled workers who are chosen by employers with a special labour agreement.

    These agreements are deals between an employer and the Australian government to bring overseas workers into certain jobs. If an Australian business can’t find local staff to fill a role, this stream helps fill that gap.

    It focuses on regional areas, where there might be fewer local workers available. Through the 494 visa, skilled migrants get a chance to work in these parts of Australia. This opens doors not just for employees but also for employers desperate for skilled help in their businesses.

    The Labour Agreement stream forms a bridge bringing together Australian employers and global talent under agreed conditions and numbers.

    Application Process for the 494 Visa

    To apply for the 494 visa, you will need to gather all required documentation and submit your application online. The cost and processing times may vary, so it’s important to plan ahead and ensure that you have everything in order before applying.


    Applying for a 494 visa in Australia comes with its costs. You will pay AUD4,045 if you are the main applicant. Thinking about including your partner? They must be over 18 and this will cost an additional AUD2,025.

    Kids under 18 can be added for AUD1,010 each. It’s not just applicants who cover fees; employers have their part too. Every employer seeking sponsorship approval pays a fee of $420.

    Keep an eye on these expenses as they play a big role in your application process. Make sure you’ve got the funds ready for all family members involved. This way, financial surprises won’t get in the way of your visa to enter Australia and starting a new chapter as a skilled worker Down Under!

    Processing times

    Understanding the costs, you’re likely eager to know how long it takes for a 494 visa application to be processed. Most applicants can expect an answer within three months since 75% of these visas are processed in that time frame.

    However, some may need to wait up to four months as this covers 90% of applications.

    If you’re applying from outside Australia, prepare for a longer wait. The median processing time for overseas applicants stretches to about 11 months. Keep in mind, before lodging your visa application, getting approval from a Regional Certifying Body (RCB) is essential and this step alone could take up to 28 days.

    With all required documentation submitted correctly, just hold tight and plan as your new adventure down under gets closer every day.

    Required Documentation

    Gathering the right papers is key for your 494 visa application. You’ll need to show proof of your identity, skills, and English ability.

    • A valid passport copy plus any name change documents, if you’ve changed your name.
    • Proof of English proficiency: Take an IELTS exam or similar test to show you meet the language requirement.
    • Your resume: This details your work experience and skills.
    • An employment contract from your sponsoring employer.
    • Labour market testing results: Your employer must prove they tested the job market before offering you the position.
    • Birth certificates for you and anyone else included in your application.
    • If married or partnered, a marriage certificate or evidence of your partnership is required.
    • National identity card or driver’s licence: These help confirm who you are.
    • Any travel documents that show your travel history can be helpful.

    Benefits of the 494 Visa

    The 494 Visa offers pathways to permanent residence in Australia, providing skilled workers with the opportunity to work and live in the country long-term. To learn more about the benefits of the 494 Visa, continue reading this article.

    Pathways to permanent residence

    Hold your 494 visa for three years and you could make Australia home forever. Stick with the same employer during this time and you’re on track to apply for permanent residency. Imagine not having to worry about visa renewals or restrictions; that’s what Australian permanent residency offers after transitioning from a 494 visa.

    Choose this route, and you’ll unlock the full benefits of living in Australia permanently. Work, study, or simply enjoy life without temporary status hanging over your head. It’s a clear path – stay patient, meet the requirements, and permanent residence awaits! Make sure all your ducks are in a row and look forward to calling Australia home for good.

    Rights and Obligations

    As a 494 visa holder, you have the right to work for your sponsoring employer in Australia. This means you must fulfill your employment obligations as per the terms of your visa. Additionally, you are entitled to access certain benefits such as healthcare through Medicare during your stay in Australia.

    You also have the obligation to abide by Australian laws and regulations while residing in the country.

    When it comes to traveling outside of Australia, it’s important to understand that if you wish to return, you must ensure that your travel facility is valid before leaving. As a 494 visa holder, it’s crucial to comply with visa conditions and meet the specified requirements for permanent residency if this is one of your goals.

    Living in Australia with a 494 Visa

    Living in Australia with a 494 Visa gives you the opportunity to travel, work, and bring your family while enjoying the benefits of residing in this beautiful country. Discover more about these privileges and how to make the most out of your 494 Visa experience.


    The 494 visa allows you to travel to and from Australia for the duration of your visa, which is up to 5 years. You can explore the diverse landscapes and vibrant cities of Australia while knowing that you have the freedom to come and go as you please.

    With the 494 visa, you can experience all that Australia has to offer – from its iconic landmarks to its stunning natural beauty – without any restrictions on travel. This flexibility lets you make the most of your time in this incredible country while also allowing for visits back home or trips abroad.

    Now let’s dive into how working with a 494 visa looks like.


    Now, let’s delve into what working on the 494 visa entails. As a skilled worker in regional Australia, you have the opportunity to work for up to five years under this visa. The 494 visa not only allows you to fill critical roles that support regional businesses but also provides your family with work and study rights in Australia.

    With employers in regional areas able to sponsor overseas workers through this program, the 494 visa opens doors for both career advancement and contributing to the growth of regional communities.

    Upon obtaining a 494 visa, you will be eligible for employment across various industries within regional Australia. This presents an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience while embracing cultural diversity within the workplace setting.

    Bringing family

    After securing your employment and settling into work, bringing family becomes a crucial consideration. The 494 visa not only allows skilled workers to bring eligible family members but also grants them the opportunity to live, work, and study in designated regional areas for up to five years.

    This opens doors for a fulfilling and integrated family life while you pursue your career opportunities in Australia.

    The 494 visa presents an excellent avenue for you to build a stable and promising future with your loved ones by your side. You’ll find that this visa extends not just to you as the skilled worker but also paves the way for enriching experiences and prospects for your entire family within the Australian community.


    That’s all about the 494 visa for skilled workers in Australia. It’s a temporary residency visa that allows you to live and work in designated regional areas of Australia. To apply, understand the eligibility criteria, required documentation, and benefits it offers.

    If you meet the requirements, this visa could be your pathway to exploring a rewarding career opportunity in beautiful regional Australia!


    CJMigration is a well-respected Sydney migration agency with over 30 years of experience in the industry. We can help guide you through the process and achieve your immigration goals.

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