Australia’s migration system offers various pathways for individuals seeking to live and work in the country. Among these pathways, the 491 and 494 visas are specifically designed to promote regional development by encouraging migration to designated regional areas. In this blog post, we will delve into the key differences between the 491 visa and the 494 visa, shedding light on their respective eligibility criteria, benefits, and potential pathways to permanent residency.
  1. Subclass 491 Visa: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa The Subclass 491 visa is a points-based, state or territory-nominated visa that targets skilled workers. Its primary objective is to address labor market shortages and drive economic growth in regional areas of Australia. Here are its key features:a) State or Territory Nomination: Applicants must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area.b) Occupation List: Applicants must have an occupation listed on the relevant skilled occupation list and meet the minimum skills and qualifications requirements.c) Points-Based System: Applicants must score the minimum points required, considering factors such as age, English language proficiency, education qualifications, work experience, and other criteria specified by the Department of Home Affairs.d) Temporary Residence: The 491 visa grants temporary residency for up to five years, allowing visa holders to live, work, and study in a designated regional area.e) Pathway to Permanent Residency: After holding the 491 visa for at least three years and meeting the specified requirements, visa holders may have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency through the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa.
     2. Subclass 494 Visa: Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa The Subclass 494 visa is an employer-sponsored visa that aims to address labor shortages in regional Australia by allowing employers to sponsor overseas workers. Here are its key features:a) Employer           Sponsorship: Applicants must have a job offer from an employer who is located in a designated regional area and has a valid nomination.b) Occupation List: The nominated occupation must be on the relevant skilled occupation list or the Regional Occupation List.c) Skills Assessment: Applicants must undergo a skills assessment to demonstrate their qualifications and work experience in the nominated occupation.d) Temporary Residence: The 494 visa grants temporary residency for up to five years, providing visa holders with the opportunity to live, work, and study in a designated regional area.e) Pathway to Permanent Residency: After holding the 494 visa for at least three years, visa holders can apply for permanent residency through the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa, subject to meeting specific requirements.
Key Differences:
  1. Nomination/Sponsorship: The 491 visa requires state or territory nomination or sponsorship by an eligible family member, while the 494 visa requires employer sponsorship.
  2. Occupation List: The 491 visa relies on the relevant skilled occupation list, while the 494 visa considers both the skilled occupation list and the Regional Occupation List.
  3. Application Process: The 491 visa is a points-based visa, whereas the 494 visa is an employer-sponsored visa with specific requirements.
  4. Residence Obligations: Both visas require holders to live and work in a designated regional area to fulfill their visa conditions.
Conclusion: While the 491 and 494 visas share the common goal of promoting regional development, they differ in terms of nomination/sponsorship requirements, occupation lists, and application processes. Understanding these differences is crucial for individuals considering regional migration to Australia. Ready to apply? Contact the best migration agents perth.

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