On Saturday 16 November, two new visas were officially launched:
- Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa
- Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional Visa
This follows the closure of the 489 and 187 visa categories. In a change in policy, all areas outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are now considered regional areas of Australia.
What is the Subclass 494 Visa?
The subclass 494 visa is an employer sponsored regional visa that can be valid for up to 5 years. Employers can sponsor more occupations under the subclass 494 visa than under the current TSS visa program. There is a pathway to permanent residence for these visa holders after 3 years.
What is the Subclass 491 Visa?
The subclass 491 visa is a state/territory nominated regional visa that can be valid for up to 5 years. This means that applicants must be nominated by a state/territory government agency or an eligible relative. Applicants are also required to satisfy points test requirements. Like the 494 visa, there is also a pathway to permanent residence for these visa holders after 3 years.