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Why use this service?

Regional areas of Australia are experiencing significant skills shortages, and the Federal government has implemented new skilled migration visas to benefit suitably skilled workers and the organisations requiring this talent. Regional visas feature greater incentives for employers to nominate skilled workers and offer PR pathways for visa holders. Visa options include the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) and the subclass 491 and 494 Regional Visas.

How we can help

Entity Solutions helps organisations and individuals determine their eligibility across the different regional visa schemes and will advise on the most suitable visa based on the given circumstances. We will establish a sound case for the applicant, prepare the required documentation and manage the entire application process.



  • Employers in designated areas experiencing skills and labour shortages can sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers
  • The scheme is already available in NT, SA (Adelaide City and Regional), Orana (NSW), the Goldfields (WA), Great South Coast (VIC) and Far North QLD
  • DAMAs are granted for 5 years. Once in place, it allows employers to enter into individual labour agreements under the conditions of the DAMA

491 & 494 Visas:

  • Eligible regional areas are defined as anywhere in Australia excluding metropolitan Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
  • The subclass 494 Visa requires employer sponsorship and applicants must have a suitable skills assessment plus a minimum of 3 years’ skilled employment
  • Applicants must live and work in regional areas for at least 3 years before becoming eligible for Permanent Residency. They are permitted to move from one regional area to another regional area.


  • Priority processing applies to all visa applications sponsored by regional employers as well as other visa appli­cants who will live and work in regional Australia.
  • Retention incentives such as pathways to perma­nent residency for DAMA holders (including transitional arrangements for existing visa holders) and for visa subclasses 491 and 494.
  • Expanded range of eligible occupations compared to what is available for the non-regional visas.
  • Additional points for regional nomination or sponsorship provide an extra incentive for potential migrants to consider settling in regional Australia
  • Supplements the workforce strategies of states, territories and regions, to support economic per­formance and help them adjust to economic change


The subclass 491 and subclass 494 visas cover all of regional Australia, which for migration purposes, is defined as anywhere excluding metropolitan Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

There are currently seven DAMAs in place that cover the following regions:

  • South Australia: the SA Regional Workforce Agreement which covers the entire state of SA and The Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement which covers the Adelaide Metropolitan region.
  • Northern Territory: one agreement to cover the entire Territory
  • Western Australia: covering the Goldfields region and including the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Shires of Coolgardie, Leonora and Menzies
  • Victoria: The Great South Coast Agreement, which covers the Glenelg, Moyne, Southern Grampians, Warrnambool, Corangamite and Colac-Otway municipalities.
  • New South Wales: The Orana Region agreement, covering 12 local government areas from Mudgee up to the QLD border past Bourke and Lightning Ridge and west to Cobar
  • Queensland: one agreement covering the entire far North QLD region

For a complete list of occupations on the 494 subclass visa, please consult the Australian government website here

For a complete list of occupations on the 491 subclass visa, please consult the Australian government website here

The eligible occupations offered by the DAMAs are determined in consultation with industry associations and key employers, together with data on skills shortages in key industries directly relevant to the State or Territory. Each area has their own occupation list and these are determined by industry demand.

Yes, there are English language concessions and variations to skills and work experience requirements that differ by region. Please contact Entity Solutions for an initial assessment in respect to occupation requirements under your specific regional area.

The subclass 491 and 494 visas have replaced the former visa subclasses 489 and 187, and cover more regional areas compared to their predecessors. They now stipulate migrants must live and work in regional areas for at least 3 years, and offer PR eligibility following this period

The DAMA scheme accesses the existing Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa via the labour agreement pathway. Access to Permanent Residence is provided through the existing Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186 visa programs.

Yes, dependant family unit members such as partners and children under the age of 18 years can be included on the application for any of the regional visas. Dependants aged 18 to 23 years can be included provided they are substantially dependant for their basic needs, such as full time students.

All persons included in the application are required to be of good health and will need to undergo a health assessment. All applicants need to be of good character. Those aged 16 years and over will need to provide police clearance certificates.

Yes, you can access Permanent Residence through existing streams such as the Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186 visa program. Applicants must live and work in regional areas for at least 3 years before becoming eligible for PR.

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