494 Visa pathway to PR has been discussed within the Australian government. The discussion led to a new Visa subclass called Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (subclass 191).

Find the Available Options to Move from 494 Visa to Australian Permanent Residency

Visa 191 will be the new direct permanent resident pathway for visa 494 holders. However, visa 191 will not officially commence till 16 November 2022.

Now, it is four months to the commencement of Visa 191. It is time to prepare yourself to become an Australian permanent resident!

What is Visa 494, and What Designated Regional Area Means?

If this is the first you’re hearing about the Visa 494 Australia, visa 494 is specialized for you to work and live in Australian Designated Regional Area. In that way, the employers in the regional area may sponsor skilled workers to fill the labour shortages in the area where they cannot find a suitably qualified Australian worker.

Australian Designated Regional Area refers to the areas outside the country’s largest cities, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The classification is for immigration purposes only. In general, the designated regional area is divided into two categories:

  • Category 2 – Cities and Major Regional Centres

The areas include Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong and Hobart.

  • Category 3 – Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas

The areas include 11,200 dedicated regional places.

Read more about Visa 494 here.

494 Visa pathway to PR

Introducing the New Visa 494 Permanent Residence Pathway: Visa 191

As mentioned earlier, a new 494 Visa pathway to PR will commence in November 2022. The pathway is by applying for a Visa 191.

It is believed Visa 191 will be a new pathway to permanent residency for 494 visa holders as visa 191 is designated for people who have lived and worked in Australian designated areas on an eligible visa.

Generally, the requirements for visa 191 are:

  • Hold an eligible visa
  • Have lived for at least three years in a designated regional area of Australia
  • Have had a taxable income at or above a specific income threshold for the last three years while holding the eligible visa
  • Have complied with the conditions of the suitable visa

It means that to qualify for the new visa 494 pathway to PR, you must have:

  • Held visa 494 for at least three years
  • Worked and lived in an Australian-designated regional area for at least three years
  • Had a taxable income at or above the income threshold for at least three years

Read more: Update for Working Visa Australia: Age Concession for Visa 457 and Visa Extension for Visa 482

What if I have Held the Visa for More Than 3 Years Now?

If you have held a Visa 494 Australia for more than three years now, you might be wondering if you should wait until Visa 191 to commence or do you have other options?

If you have held a visa 494 Australia, you may consider the below visa subclasses as a pathway to permanent residency:

However, you must ensure that you meet the requirements for each visa subclass above.