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New Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa

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Relocate to Australia through the New Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa!

On 16th November 2019, the Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa was introduced to replace the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa.

The Australian government intends to direct more foreign talent towards the country’s regional areas, which are facing major workforce shortages in several key occupations. To increase immigrant inflow and retention in these areas, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has launched two innovative new visas – the Subclass 491 Visa and the Subclass 494 Visa.


What is the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa?

This Australia visa allows employers in regional Australia to sponsor overseas skilled workers who can fulfill local labor market requirements. Through this pathway, foreign nationals – who are qualified to occupy job vacancies that cannot be filled by the domestic Australian population – can live, work and study in a designated regional area for up to five years.


Can an Australian employer nominate a foreign skilled worker for this visa?

The Subclass 494 Visa has two sub-categories – the Employer Sponsored stream and the Labor Agreement stream. Under the Employer Sponsor stream, an eligible Australian employer can nominate a foreign worker to work in an occupation that is facing skills shortages in the local labor market – in a position under the sponsoring business or an associated entity of such business, located in a designated regional area. This occupation is known as the nominated skilled occupation.

The employer must be lawfully operating a business in Australia, and be an approved work sponsor or have applied to become a standard business sponsor, in order to submit a nomination application for the foreign worker.


How will the introduction of this visa impact the validity of the Subclass 187 Visa?

Since 16th November 2019, the Subclass 187 Visa has been closed to new applications.


What will happen to Subclass 187 Visa applications that are awaiting a decision from the DHA?

Pending RSMS Visa applications submitted prior to 16th November 2019 will continue to be processed as per the transitional arrangements. Subsequently, the DHA will declare the visa outcome.


What are the Subclass 494 visa benefits?

  • Regional visa applications will be processed on a priority basis, resulting in a shorter processing time.
  • Immigrants will be offered incentives for long-term settlement in regional areas.
  • A broader range of occupations are eligible for this regional visa, compared to non-regional visas.
  • Eventually, the visa holder can become eligible to apply for permanent residency Australia.


What are the Subclass 494 Visa requirements?

In order to be eligible to apply for this visa, an aspirant must:

  • Be under 45 years of age.
  • Be nominated by an approved sponsor.
  • Have at least competent English language skills.
  • Have the necessary skills, work experience and qualifications required for the nominated occupation.
  • Obtain a positive skill assessment from the relevant assessing authority.
  • Meet the DHA’s health and character requirements.
  • If applying under the Labor Agreement Stream, be the subject of a labor agreement signed between the nominating employer and the federal government.


How does the 494 Visa lead to permanent residence?

After three years of living in Australia on a valid Subclass 494 visa, the visa holder can apply for permanent residence through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (Subclass 191), if eligible. The Subclass 191 Visa allows successful applicants to permanently live, work and study anywhere in Australia, enroll for the public healthcare scheme, sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence, and eventually apply for citizenship by fulfilling basic requirements.

With the introduction of the Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa, the DHA is on track to achieve its goal of admitting 25,000 new immigrants to regional Australia in 2019-20. This visa will provide an extremely lucrative opportunity for foreign nationals to economically establish themselves in Australia’s charming and well-developed regional areas.

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