Visa Options

494 Visa

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494)

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Subclass 494) visa enables employers to fill ‘skilled’ positions on a permanent basis, with non-Australian citizens, in situations where they have been unable to fill a vacancy from their local labour market or through their own training programs.

The Subclass (494) visa binds a suitable applicant to a specific regional business for a minimum of 3 years, after the granting of the visa, however, the applicant may begin working for the business as soon as they have working rights within Australia.

This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers. It involves a two-step process, firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer an​​​d then an application under the nominated stream. RDA Orana certifies 494 applications under the Employer Sponsored Stream.

RDA Orana works through the process one on one with employers to ensure the best chance of success. We encourage you, as a first step to contact our migration team via or (02) 6885 1488. We can then arrange an appointment to meet with you and discuss the options and requirements for an application.

For Employees

Before you can apply for the visa, your employer will need to lodge a nomination application for you. They will only be able to do this if they are an approved work sponsor or have at least lodged an application to become a standard business sponsor. Your employer will be the main contact with RDA Orana and will need to speak with us directly or through a migration agent should they wish to use one.

For an applicant to be eligible for nomination for a Subclass 494 visa they must be:

  • Under 45 years of age (some exemptions apply, see here)
  • Be nominated by an approved sponsor – You must be nominated by an employer whose business is lawfully operating in Australia
  • You must be employed to work in the nominated occupation and in a position within the sponsoring business or an associated entity of that 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 have your skills assessed as suitable for the nominated occupation by the relevant assessing authority. The assessment will show the Department of Home Affairs that you have the skills to work in the nominated occupation (some exemptions apply, see here)
  • You must have at least Competent English to be granted this visa
  • Meet the Department of Home Affairs health requirement
  • Meet the Department of Home Affairs character requirement
  • Not have has a previous visa cancelled or a previous application refused by the Department of Home Affairs
  • Not have an outstanding debt with the Commonwealth Government of Australia

A Nominee can be in or outside Australia when they apply. If in Australia, the Nominee must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C.

The nominated position must be supported by a Regional Certifying Body (RCB), which in the Orana region is RDA Orana.

The new Subclass 494 visa came into effect in November 2019 and we no longer accept 187 applications.

Current Process for Regional Certifying Body (RCB) Recommendation for subclass 494 visa

Step 1: Contact RDA Orana by phone or email and arrange to discuss the application and the documents that are required

02 6885 1488

Step 2: Fill out the online form

Step 3: RDA Orana will send an email that will include the following:

  1. Tax Invoice for the RCB Application fee
  2. Document checklist
  3. Secure link to upload the required documents

Step 4: Notify RDA Orana when you have paid the RCB application fee and uploaded the required documents

Step 5: RDA Orana will assess the documents and undertake either a face to face or phone interview with the business owner, and respond with one of the following responses:

  • An RCB Letter of Recommendation and signed Form 1404
  • A request for more information
  • An RCB Letter of Rejection and signed Form 1404

If a request for more information has been sent to you, you will have a period of 10 business days to provide the additional information for your application to remain open.

If you have received an RCB Letter of Recommendation or Rejection, from this point, RDA Orana is no longer involved in the process. The process will then continue with the Department of Home Affairs.

Fees and Charges

Standard Assessment of Applications

Standard Assessment Fee for decision ready applications will be $800 (GST Inclusive) and is payable at the time of application. The Assessment fee is non-refundable. Assessing decision ready applications can take up to 4 weeks. Where additional information is requested, the original fee will be valid for a period of 3 months from the date of payment. After 3 months has lapsed, an additional fee of $400 (GST Inclusive) will be charged to continue the application for an additional 3 months.

Priority Assessment of Applications

Priority Assessment of decision ready applications MAY be available, dependent on prior staffing commitments for a fee of $1650 (GST inclusive). These applications will undergo first pass assessment within 1 week of receipt of both the fee and all relevant documents.

Where additional information is requested, the application will revert to the Standard Assessment timeline with no refund of the Priority fee (though we will continue to respond as quickly as possible). The original fee will be valid for a period of 3 months from the date of payment. After 3 months has lapsed, an additional fee of $400 (GST Inclusive) will be charged to continue the application for an additional 3 months.


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