Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494)
Australia is among the most renowned destinations for skilled workers worldwide, offering excellent career development and personal growth opportunities. The Australian government has implemented various visa programs to attract skilled workers to regional areas of the country where there is a need for more skilled workers.
The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494) is a temporary visa that permits skilled workers to live and work in designated regional areas of Australia for up to five years. The access gets designed by Engineers Australia to address labor shortages in restricted areas of the country and encourage skilled workers to settle in those areas.
They can sponsor skilled migrants under the 494 visa if they can’t locate a qualified Australian applicant. The subclass 494 visa superseded the 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme on November 16, 2019. Each year, a total of 10,000 visas are available.
To get considered for the position, a candidate must have five years of sponsorship from a regional firm. Unless an exemption applies, it has a 45-year age restriction. For five years, holders of the subclass 494 visa can reside and work in rural Australia.
You must be in or outside Australia to submit a valid visa application. With this visa, you can work, study, and reside in rural Australia. Employer Sponsor and Labour Agreement visas are the two types of visas available. After three years on a 494 visa, you may be eligible for a permanent Subclass 191 visa if you satisfy the conditions (which came into effect on November 16, 2022).
Table of Contents
Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494) Overview
A provisional employer-sponsored visa is a skilled employer-sponsored regional (Subclass 494) visa. This visa allows enterprises to propose highly qualified professionals for temporary visas if they are actively and legitimately functioning in Regional Australia.
A subclass 494 visa get obtained in three stages:
- Sponsorship: The employer must apply for sponsorship approval or have already done so.
- Nomination: The employer must submit a nomination that explains the position’s requirements and identifies the nominee.
- Visa Application: The applicant applies for a Subclass 494 visa in an appropriate stream.
Key Eligibility Requirements
Standard Criteria for All Streams
- Your employer’s nomination must have received approval.
- Your employer must be a Work Sponsor who has to get approved.
- You must have the sincerity to do the job you’ve got assigned.
- The post for which the nomination gets made must be accurate.
- You must meet specific Public Interest and Special Return requirements.
- You must be in good health and have a good moral character.
- It would be best if you meet all Nomination Criteria, including those particular to the stream you are applying for, such as having a qualifying occupation on the relevant list, an associated post in a designated regional area, or a positive evaluation by a relevant Regional Certifying Body (RCB), and so on.
- You must meet specific requirements for the visa stream you are seeking.
Employer Sponsor Stream
- It would be best if you met all applicable health criteria.
- You can work in the specified occupation and a position for your employer unless you are excluded (sponsor).
- It would be best if you were under the age of 45.
- Unless you are exempt, you may be required to have a positive Skills Assessment for your specified occupation from the applicable skills assessment authority.
- Unless exempt, you must have worked in your specified occupation for at least three years.
- ‘Competent English’ must be demonstrated (prescribed applicants may be eligible for exemption).
Labour Agreement Stream
- It would be best if you met all applicable health criteria.
- A signed agreement between the Commonwealth and your sponsor gets required for your specified occupation.
- Unless the Minister agrees otherwise, you must be under 45 years old.
- To execute the professional responsibilities of your specified employment, you must have the credentials, experience, abilities, and English proficiency.
- Unless the Minister determines otherwise, you must have worked in your specified occupation for at least three years.
- The preceding description does not contain criteria and conditions for approval of nominated jobs, certification as a Standard Business Sponsor, or consent by a Regional Certifying Body (RCB).
- This visa requires an official sponsorship, nomination, and RCB.
This page’s content gets offered for getting down under users as general information only; it is not intended to be used as immigration advice and should not get considered as such. Even if a lot of effort gets made to keep the content current and accurate, you cannot guarantee the correctness of the information due to the constant changes in migration legislation.
Application Process for Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494)
The application process for the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494) is as follows:
1. Employer Nomination
The employer must submit a nomination application to the Department of Home Affairs. The nomination application includes the position, salary, and Regional Workforce Agreement information.
2. Visa Application
After the employer nomination is approved, the applicant must submit a visa application to the Department of Home Affairs. The visa application includes personal and employment information, health and character documents, and evidence of English language proficiency.
3. Visa Grant
After the visa application gets assessed, the Department of Home Affairs will grant the visa if the applicant meets all the eligibility requirements.
Requirements for Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494)
To be eligible for the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494), the applicant must meet the following requirements:
1. Nominated by an Employer
The applicant must get nominated by an employer with a Regional Workforce Agreement (RWA) with the Australian government. A Regional Workforce Agreement is a formal agreement between an employer and the Australian government to address labor shortages in regional areas of Australia.
To be eligible for the visa, the applicant should have a job offer from an employer with a Regional Workforce Agreement.
2. Skill Assessment
To be eligible for the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494), the applicant must have a positive skill assessment for the occupation nominated by the employer. The skill assessment gets conducted by a relevant assessing authority for the domain set by the employer.
The assessing authority will determine the applicant’s qualifications and work experience to ensure that they meet the required standards for the occupation.
3. English Language Proficiency
The applicant must meet the English language proficiency requirements. The applicant must score at least 5 in these components (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test or an equivalent score in another.
The English language proficiency requirement ensures the applicant can effectively communicate in English while living and working in Australia.
4. Health and Character
The applicant needs to meet the health and character requirements. The applicant must undergo a medical examination to guarantee they are in good health and not threaten the Australian community. Additionally, the applicant must provide a police clearance certificate from each country where they lived for more than 12 months in the past ten years.
5. Work Experience
The applicant must have three years, at a minimum, of relevant work experience in the occupation nominated by the employer. The work experience requirement ensures that the applicant has the necessary skills and expertise to perform the job duties effectively.
6. Designated Regional Areas
To be eligible for the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494), the applicant must have a job offer from an employer in a designated regional area in Australia. The selected regional areas in Australia get divided into three categories:
- Cities and Major Regional Centers: These are designated areas with over 250,000 people.
- Regional Centers and Other Regional Areas: These are designated areas with fewer than 250,000 people.
- Remote Areas: These are designated areas not located in cities or regional centers.
Can I get a PR with a 494 Visa?
The 494 visa does not let you go to Australia directly. It’s similar to the 491 visas, valid for five years. After three years of residence in Australia, applicants can apply for permanent residency.
Conditions and Pathway to Permanent Residence
- You must live and work in regional regions on a 494 visa for three years to qualify for a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) 191 Visa.
- You can change employment, but you will only have 90 days to locate a new nominator.
- You will be ineligible to apply for additional skilled PR for the following three years.
- You are eligible for Medicare and are not required to obtain health insurance while on a 494 visa.
Benefits of Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494)
The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494) provides numerous benefits to the visa holder. Some of the benefits of the visa are:
1. Work and Live in Australia
The visa enables holders to work and live in Australia for five years. The visa holder can work for their nominating employer or any other employer in the designated regional area.
2. Pathway to Permanent Residency:
The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494) provides a pathway to permanent residency in Australia. After working for three years in a designated regional area, the visa holder can apply for the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 191), a permanent residency visa.
3. Dependents Included
The visa allows holders to include their spouse and dependent children in the application. The spouse and dependent children can also work and study in Australia.
The visa holder and their family members are eligible for healthcare services in Australia under the Medicare scheme.
The visa holder and their family members can enroll in schools and universities in Australia and access a world-class education.
The visa holder can travel in and out of Australia multiple times while the visa is valid.
Cost of Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494)
The cost of the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494) is AUD 4,045 for the primary applicant. Additional fees apply to dependent family members.
The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494) is a great way to start a new life in Australia and contribute to the growth of regional communities. This is an excellent opportunity for skilled workers to live and work in regional areas of Australia.
The visa provides numerous benefits, including a pathway to permanent residency in Australia. The pass is only available to applicants with a job offer from an employer with a Regional Workforce Agreement with the Australian government.
Applicants must also meet the eligibility requirements, including having a positive skill assessment, meeting the English language proficiency requirement, and having at least three years of relevant work experience.
Skilled employer-sponsored regional visas (Subclass 494) will take 3-4 weeks to process; no expedited or priority processing will be available. If you have any questions about visa subclass 494, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be delighted to assist you.
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