Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored: Substituting the current 187 (RSMS) visa and commencing November 16, 2019 the 494 visa has 9,000 places allocated per year. It requires employer sponsorship and the position must be likely to exist for 5 years. It has a 45 year age limit, competent English, RCB advice and must meet the AMSR. Visa applicants must have a suitable skills assessment and at least 3 years’ skilled employment.
The visa validity period is 5 years. Conditions will be imposed which will enforce the government’s intentions that visa holders live, work and study only in regional areas (condition 8579) and if employer sponsored, only in the nominated position. Visa holders can move between regional areas. Regional areas are defined as any area excluding Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth.
Holders of the new provisional visas will also be unable to apply for most other skills based visas in Australia unless they have completed at least three years in a designated regional area, unless exceptional circumstances exist. Additionally, similar to current arrangements for the subclass 457 and 482 visa program, holders of the new provisional visas can be negatively impacted by sponsor non-compliance.
The new permanent visa will be:
- Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional): To meet the requirements of the permanent visa (from November 2022) applicants must have held a subclass 491 or 494 visa for at least 3 years, have complied with the conditions on that visa and have met minimum taxable income requirements.
Effect on current regional visas:
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (subclass 187) and the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 489) will close to new applicants from November 16, 2019. Transitional arrangements will be put in place for applications which have been lodged and are undecided at that time, as well as applicants whose pathway currently targets the permanent Skilled Regional Visa (subclass 887).
Skilled Migration Changes:
The skilled migration points test will change from November 16, 2019. The changes will affect subclass 491 applicants as well as applications for other skilled migration visas that have not been assessed at that time (but only in a way that is beneficial for applicants, by providing additional points). The new points details are:
– 15 points for nomination by a State or Territory government agency or sponsorship by a family member residing in regional Australia, to live and work in regional Australia;
– 10 points for a skilled spouse or de facto partner;
– 10 points for certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications;
– 5 points for a spouse or de facto partner with ‘competent English’;
– 10 points for applicants without a spouse or de facto partner.
Additionally, the raking order for invitations will change. The new ranking order will be as follows:
– First – primary applicants with a skilled spouse or de facto partner;
– Equal First – primary applicants without a spouse or de facto partner;
– Second – Primary applicants with a spouse or de facto partner who can demonstrate competent English, but does not have the skills for skilled partner points (age and skills);
– Third – Primary applicants with a partner who is ineligible for either competent English or Skilled partner points. These applicants will be ranked below all other cohorts, if all other points claims are equal.
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|