Regional Employer Sponsored Visas in Australia

Regional visas, including employer sponsored visas or skilled visas enable employers from rural cities and regionals to sponsor overseas workers where they cannot source an equivalent skilled worker in Australia. The whole of Australia is classified as “regional” except for Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne.  

Regional visas are typically granted with a validity period of up to five years. You may be eligible to self-sponsor yourself for permanent residency without your employer’s support (a feature not available for mainstream visa subclasses).

Many skilled regional provisional visas are available for skilled migrants and dependent family members who want to study, live and work in regional Australia. These include the following:

  • Subclass 485 – Second Post-Study Work Stream
  • Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa
  • Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme 
  • Subclass 462/417 – Work and Holiday Visa

Subclass 485 – Second Post-Study Work Stream

Subclass 485 – Post Study Work Visa enables holders of the first Temporary Graduate visa who have:

  •  Graduated from a regional institution; and 
  • have lived in regional Australia on their first 485 visas; 


to be eligible for a second Temporary Graduate visa.

A second 485 visa can be beneficial for applicants currently holding a 485 visa and unable to fulfil any other visa requirements. The visa scheme also simultaneously boosts diversity and economy in regional Australia.

Applicants eligible for a second visa are required to remain in a regional area for the duration of the new visa. You may be eligible to stay one to two years depending on:

  • the regional location of the educational institution that you graduated from that led to the grant of your first Temporary Graduate visa 
  • the regional area that you live in as the holder of your first Temporary Graduate visa post-study work stream

Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

The Subclass 494 visa is a provisional employer-sponsored visa that enables you to live, study or work in Australia in a designated area of regional Australia for a maximum period of 5 years. 

Subclass 494 visa holders can self-sponsor themselves for permanent residency through the Subclass 191 Visa. To be eligible for 191 visas;

  1. Holders must have worked in the designated regional area for at least three years while holding a 494 visa.
  2. Holders must show earnings of at least $53,900 annually for three years. 


Subclass 191 does not commence until 16 November 2022.

Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa

Subclass 491 is a state/territory nominated pathway that enables eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia for five years. Once a 491 visa is granted, applicants can remain in Australia for five years and be eligible for permanent in three years via the Subclass 191 stream.

Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme

The Temporary Residence Transition stream of the RSMS visa allows nominated skilled workers in regional Australia to live and work in Australia permanently. To be eligible for this visa, you must: 


  • have been nominated by an Australian employer
  • Currently hold a substantive visa or a Bridging visa A, B or C; and 
  • have worked for your employer in regional Australia for at least three years full-time while holding a subclass 457 or TSS visa

Work and Holiday Visa – Subclass 417/462

Subclass 417/462 is a temporary Australian visa that allows young people between 18 and 30 years old to work in Australia while travelling.

A second Working Holiday visa is typically granted for those applicants who complete three months of specified work in regional Australia while holding their first Working Holiday visa. 


If you would like to discuss your options for Regional Employer Sponsored Visas in Australia, contact our office as below! 

Phone us on +61 3 9654 8611 

Please email us your resume at: [email protected]

or contact us through:

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