491 and 494 Regional Visas

The foreshore of Newcastle in Regional Australia
Newcastle NSW, a City in Regional Australia

Two New Australian Regional Visas 494 and 491

The Australian Federal government has released information about the two new Regional visas that will replace the 187 and 489 Regional visas on November 16, 2019. These two new Regional visas are the:

491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa


494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa.

The 491 and 494 visas commence November 16, 2019, when the current 187 and 489 Regional visas will expire.

The Department of Home Affairs further reports the following about the two new Regional visas:

“*Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.

“*Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: for people who are nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member to live and work in regional Australia.

“Under these new visas, migrants will be required to live and work in a regional area of Australia for at least three years before they are eligible to apply for permanent residence.

“These new regional visas will provide greater incentives for regional employers to nominate skilled workers, including priority processing of applications and access to additional skilled occupations. Based on current eligible skilled occupation lists:

*the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa will have almost 700 eligible occupations;


*the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will have over 500 eligible occupations.

“Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to live and work in regional Australia. Visas will be granted with a validity period of up to five years.

“The introduction of the two new regional visas will not impact people who already hold existing permanent skilled visas. Applications lodged prior to November 2019 will continue to be processed as normal.”

Source: The Department of Home Affairs.

beautiful sunset in the state of south australia
A Sunset in South Australia, a Whole State Classified as Regional Australia


The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) has released a summary of the new 494 and 491 visas.

Read the “Explanatory Statement” for the “New Skilled Regional Visas”

Read more about Australia’s other Skilled visas.

Change in Definition of Regional Australia

Please note that the Department of Home Affairs has announced that “In November 2019, the definition of Regional Australia for all skilled visas will be simplified and expanded to include all of Australia except for the following metropolitan areas:




“Areas within the new regional definition will have access to the two new skilled regional provisional visas, which enable migrants and employers to access a wider range of occupations as well as receiving priority processing.”

Source: The Department of Home Affairs.

map of south australia in regional australia
The State of South Australia in Regional Australia

Your Regional Visa Specialist

If you believe an Australian Regional visa could be a good option for you to work and live in Australia, book a consultation now with one of Migration Ways’ bi-lingual and registered visa agents.

view of the beautiful nobbys beach in regional australia
Nobbys Beach Newcastle in Regional Australia
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