New regional visa rules

Did you know?

The Federal Government abolished 457 visas for skilled foreign workers in 2018 and replaced them with more restrictive visa classes.

From 16 November 2019, the Government is introducing two new temporary visas and one new permanent visa to bring up to 23,000 extra skilled workers to regional Australia.


New types of visas:

1. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 494)

The Subclass 494 visa allows employers to sponsor a skilled worker in 673 eligible occupations in any regional area in Australia (which amounts to 450 more occupations than are available to non-regional employers). Applicants for the Subclass 494 visa will also be given priority with the Department of Home Affairs by processing applications faster. A Subclass 494 visa is valid for up to 5 years. Nominating employers are required to contribute towards the Skilling Australia Fund levy depending upon the size of the business.

2. The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491)

A Subclass 491 visa is available to applicants sponsored by a State or Territory government agency or sponsored by a family member residing in a regional area.

3. Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (Subclass 191)

Persons holding a Subclass 494 or 491 temporary visa for at least three years who live, work and study in a regional area can then apply for a Subclass 191 permanent visa from 16 November 2022. The conditions of the Subclass 191 visa have been designed to encourage applicants to stay in regional areas for longer periods.


At Thynne + Macartney, our migration lawyers can assist with all visa and migration issues.

This information is intended to provide a general summary only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice.

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