Australian Visa 494 for Overseas Pharmacists | Academically

Australian Visa 494 for Overseas Pharmacists

May 01, 2024 3 min read
Australian Visa 494

Key Takeaways

  • Also known as a Skilled Employer-Sponsored Visa, the 494 visa is one of the best options for healthcare professionals, such as pharmacists, to migrate to Australia. 
  • This visa can be acquired by a pharmacist after clearing the KAPS examination. 
  • To be eligible for this visa, a pharmacist must have at least 3 years of experience and must find an employer ready to sponsor them.

For pharmacists seeking to expand their horizons and practice their profession in Australia, the Australian Visa 494 offers an enticing pathway. This visa is specifically designed for skilled workers willing to live and work in regional Australia. In this article, we will explore all about the Skilled Employer-Sponsored Visa (494 visa), which is a regional visa with outstanding career opportunities for pharmacists. Read the article till the end for complete information. 

Who is Eligible for a 494 Visa?

To begin with, we will have a look at the eligibility criteria for the 494 or the Skilled Employer-Sponsored Visa in Australia. The 494 visa is available for global professionals whose profession falls under the skilled occupation list of the Australian government. This includes several healthcare professionals, including pharmacists and other experts. Here are the most important prerequisites for a pharmacist to get this visa-

  • Positive Skills Assessment and KAPS Result

First of all, a pharmacist needs to get a positive skills assessment and clear the KAPS exam to be eligible for the 494 visa. They must get an eligibility check by submitting their documents and fee, and then take the KAPS exam and clear it with the required score. 

  • 3 years of Post-Graduation Experience

One thing that makes this visa different than the others is that it demand a minimum of 3 years of post-graduation work experience on the part of the pharmacists. 

  • Competent English 

English proficiency is a must to be eligible for this visa. You must clear the PTE, OET or IELTS exam with the required score to get this visa.

Steps to Get This Visa

Here is a step-by-step guide to obtaining the 494 visa for pharmacists in Australia. 

  1. Skills Assessment: The initial step involves obtaining a positive skills assessment from the Australian Pharmacy Council. This assessment validates that your qualifications and experience meet the standards required to practice pharmacy in Australia. Give all the required documents to the APC and receive a positive skills assessment within a few months. 
  2. KAPS Exam: Overseas pharmacists must also pass the written and oral components of the Australian Pharmacy Council’s written Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) examination. This exam evaluates your knowledge of pharmacy practice in Australia.
  3. Register with AHPRA: Successful completion of the KAPS exam enables you to apply for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Registration is a mandatory requirement for practising as a pharmacist in Australia.
  4. English Test: Proficiency in English is crucial for effective communication in healthcare settings. Applicants need to demonstrate their English language proficiency by undertaking tests such as IELTS, PTE or OET, meeting the minimum score requirements.
  5. Search for Jobs with Sponsorship: To get the 494 sponsored visa, aspiring pharmacists must secure a job offer from an employer based in regional Australia willing to sponsor their visa application. This will help you as a pharmacist in getting a job and a visa in your preferred location. 
  6. Get a Visa: Once sponsored, applicants can proceed with their visa application. The 494 visa allows skilled workers and their families to live and work in a designated regional area of Australia for 3-5 years. Within this period, you can gain experience and apply for a PR visa to get permanent residency in Australia. 

Perks of 494 Visa

494 visa is a regional visa, which means it allows you to settle and work in the regional areas of Australia. All the areas outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are considered regional areas. Here are the perks of the regional visa- 

  1. More Jobs in Regional Areas: Regional Australia presents numerous employment opportunities for pharmacists, with a focus on addressing skill shortages in healthcare. Australian residents prefer working in cities, and thus, the regional employers are unable to find skilled labour. This leads to higher job options in regional areas. 
  2. Relocation Benefits like Housing: Employers often provide relocation assistance, including housing allowances or support, to facilitate the transition of overseas pharmacists to regional communities.
  3. Less Cost of Living: Compared to major cities, regional areas generally have a lower cost of living, allowing pharmacists to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle while saving money.
  4. More Savings: With lower expenses and potential salary incentives, pharmacists on the 494 visa can accumulate more savings for their future endeavours.
  5. Bigger Homes: Housing affordability is often better in regional areas, enabling pharmacists to invest in larger properties or fulfil their homeownership aspirations more easily. Moreover, plots are bigger

Know about the other visa options for pharmacists in Australia here -

Australian Visa for pharmacists
Australian Visa


The Australian Visa 494 opens doors for overseas pharmacists seeking to build rewarding careers in regional Australia. By following the outlined steps and embracing the opportunities presented, pharmacists can not only fulfil their professional aspirations but also enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle with various perks offered by regional communities.

In case you are a pharmacist aspiring to get settled in Australia, Academically’s help can be of great importance in your career aspirations. Get in touch with our experts to know more today! 


Q- What is a 494 Visa in Australia?

Ans- The 494 visa is a Skilled Employer-Sponsored Visa, which is for professionals who fall under the skilled occupation category in Australia.

Q- Who is eligible for a 494 visa in Australia?

Ans- Any professional whose profession falls under the skilled occupation category and who has qualified for an internship/job in Australia is eligible for a 494 visa in Australia.

Q- How can a foreign pharmacist get a 494 Australian visa?

Ans- A pharmacist must clear the KAPS exam and then search for an employer ready to give them sponsorship to get a 494 Australian visa.

Sheenu Sharma
Sheenu Sharma
about the author

Sheenu Sharma is a seasoned writer with several years of experience curating content in the EdTech and healthcare sectors. She believes in delivering information and facts to the readers by crafting compelling stories. Through the platform of Academically, she aims to help global healthcare professionals in their career aspirations and dreams!