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New Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

by | Dec 10, 2019 | Migration

The Department of Home Affairs released on 16 November 2019 two regional visas, namely 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (494 visa) and 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (491 visa). Today we will focus on the 494 visa.

In Summary

494 visa is temporary visa that can be granted for up to 5 years, it is similar to 457/TSS visa and the primary difference between 494 visa and 457/TSS visa is that 494 visa requires the visa applicant to work in Regional Australia (everywhere other than Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane).

The visa is designed to respond to labour market shortages in regional Australia.

It enables employers to recruit skilled overseas workers who are willing to live and work in regional Australia on an ongoing basis. This visa can only be used if the employer is genuinely unable to source appropriately skilled Australian workers.

Application Process

  1. Sponsorship – where the employer applies for approval as a standard business sponsor (SBS) or seeks to enter into a labour agreement with the Commonwealth. The SBS is the same class of sponsor as used for the 457/TSS visa program. Australian businesses that are already approved as SBSs do not need to apply again.
  2. Nomination – where the employer nominates an occupation for the nominee.
  3. Visa – where the nominee identified in the nomination application applies for the visa.

Visa Streams

  • Employer Sponsored stream
  • Labour Agreement stream

Nomination Requirement

The employer must:

  1. be a standard business sponsor (same as the one for 457/TSS visas)
  2. be located in a designated regional Australia (everywhere except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane)
  3. pay SAF levy at the time of nomination application
  4. pay the nominee annual market salary rate (AMSR) and a regional certifying body from the relevant State or Territory must assess the AMSR for the nominated position and provide advice

Position must:

  1. be on the eligible occupation list
  2. be genuine
  3. be advertised by the employer conducting labour market testing

Visa Requirement

The visa applicant must:

  1. be under 45 years of age unless exempted
  2. have competent English
  3. have suitable skills assessment unless exempted
  4. have at least 3 years of relevant work experience
  5. meet health and character requirement

Restrictions (Visa Conditions)

  • 8608 (mandatory) – must only work in the approved nominated occupation in the application.
  • 8578 (mandatory) – must notify the Department of any changes on address, email address, phone number, passport.
  • 8579 (mandatory) – must live, work and study in a designated regional area.
  • 8580 (mandatory) – must provide evidence of details if requested by the Minister in writing within 28 days after the date of request.
  • 8581 (mandatory) – must attend an interview if requested by the Minister in writing.
  • 8504 (mandatory) – for visa holders who are outside Australia at time of grant, to make their first entry to Australia on a date that is set at 12 months from the date of visa grant.
  • 8515 (discretionary) – for secondary visa holders – must not marry or enter into de facto relationship.

Pathway to PR

Yes, and available from 16 November 2022 after working for the employer for 3 years.

Benefits of New Visas 

  • Priority processing of regional applications
  • Lower cost to employers with only one SAF levy stage for the 494 nomination (compared to the two stages for the current TSS to 186 permanent resident pathway)
  • Incentives for migrants to stay in regional areas longer term as they build ties through workforce and community participation
  • Can apply for permanent residence without a second nomination stage, if eligible, through the subclass 191 visa from 16 November 2022
  • Broader range of occupations available than non-regional pathways
  • Expanded and consistent classification of regional areas

Please Contact Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne Today for Further Advice and Assistance.

Telephone: +61 3 9614 7111
Email: melbourne@nevettford.com.au