SUBCLASS 494 SKILLED EMPLOYER SPONSORED (REGIONAL)

Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored (Regional): began November 16, 2019, and superseded the 187 (RSMS) visa. Each year, 10,000 places are available on the 494 visa. It requires regional employer support, and the role must be likely to exist for at least five years. It has a 45-year age limit (with few exceptions), requires competent English, RCB assistance, and must comply with the AMSR. Applicants for visas must have a satisfactory skills evaluation and at least three years of skilled work experience.

NEW REPLACES
Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) – Direct Entry stream

The visa is valid for five years. Conditions will be enforced to ensure that visa holders exclusively reside, work, and study in regional areas (condition 8579) and in the selected post. Visa holders must start working within 90 days of receiving their visa, and they must only work in their specified occupation for the nominating employer in regional Australia. If you don’t, your visa could be revoked.

Any place outside of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane is considered a regional area. A significant shift is that Perth and the Gold Coast have been reclassified as regional areas.

Unless extraordinary circumstances prevail, holders of the new provisional visas will be unable to apply for most other skills-based visas in Australia unless they have spent at least three years in a designated regional area. Holders of the new provisional visas may also be harmed by sponsor non-compliance, similar to the current provisions for the subclass 457 and 482 visa programs.

The procedure for obtaining a permanent visa is as follows:

Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional): Applicants must have held a subclass 491 or 494 visa for at least 3 years, have cooperated with the conditions of that visa, and have satisfied the minimum taxable income requirements to meet the requirements of the permanent visa (from November 2022). For the past three years, you must have earned at least $53,900 every year. If your partner meets these requirements, they can be the principal applicant for the 191 visa.

Impact on current RSMS regional visas:

Beginning November 16, 2019, the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (subclass 187) will be closed to new applicants. Transitional procedures will be made for applicants who have submitted both the Nomination and the Visa but are still uncertain.

494 visa requirements (visa applicant):
  • Age under 45 at the time of application for a 494 visa (visa applicant) (exemptions apply)
  • At the time of application, you must be able to communicate effectively in English.
  • You must have worked full-time for at least 3 years in the specified occupation and at the skill level required for the nominated occupation.
  • You should have earned your experience within the last 5 years, on average. It is not necessary for the period to be continuous. Part-time work that is equivalent to full-time job may be considered. DHA does not accept casual work.
  • The GTE requirement is not applicable if you possess a substantive or bridging visa A, B, or C if you’re in Australia.
  • At the time of application, a successful skills assessment was conducted. 
  • There is no need to register as a doctor. 
  • Fees for the DoHA (primary applicant) are $4,045; spouses are $2,025, and children under the age of 18 are $1010. 
  • Second VAC: $4890 if the adult applicant fails to achieve the Functional English requirements.
494 Requirements for the employer and the employment offer:
  •  Except for Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, the employer must be based in a designated regional Australia.
  • Perth, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Geelong, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Hobart, and Canberra are among the regional areas.
  • Position must be on the list of vocations that are eligible.
  • The position must be full-time and available for at least 5 years, and the employer must obtain clearance from the Regional Certifying Body (RCB)
  • The Australian Market Salary Rate must be paid by the employer (AMSR)
Benefits of the 494 visa include:
  •  the ability to apply for permanent residence through the subclass 191 visa without having to go through a second nomination stage if eligible (commences 16 November 2022)
  • Employers save money since there is only one SAF levy stage for subclass 494 nominations (compared to the two stages for the current subclass 482 to ENS subclass 186 permanent resident pathway)
The following are the conditions and steps to get PR:
  • To receive a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) 191 Visa, you must reside and work in regional areas for three years on a 494 visa.
  • You can switch employment, but you’ll only have 90 days to locate a new nominator.
  • For the next three years, you won’t be able to apply for any other skilled PR or 820 partner visa.
  • On a 494 visa, you are eligible for Medicare, but you do not have health insurance.

SAF Charges (Subclass 494 Visa)

Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa

The following table summarises the amount of the charge that apply:

Years elapsed Turnover less than AUD 10 million In any other case
<1 AUD 3000 AUD 5000
1-less than 2 AUD 2400 AUD 4000
2-less than 3 AUD 1800 AUD 3000
3-less than 4 AUD 1200 AUD 2000
4-less than 5 AUD 600 AUD 1000

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