In November 2019, the Australian government rolled out a new regional visa initiative to promote migration to regional areas of Australia. The 494 visa is an Employer Sponsored regional visa that enables regional employers to sponsor skilled workers where employers have been unable to source appropriately skilled Australian workers for their job vacancies.
This is a provisional visa that is granted for 5 years and allows you to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia. If you remain employed in your nominated occupation for at least 3 years in regional Australia and earn above a specified amount, you can then apply for permanent residence without the need for your employer to sponsor you.
Holders of this visa will be able to access Medicare, which is a great advantage over the 482 visa program for those workers from countries without a reciprocal health agreement. In addition, the 494 visa is cheaper for employers to sponsor you.