SKILLED WORK REGIONAL (PROVISIONAL) VISA (SUBCLASS 494)
The Subclass 494 visa program is available to prospective applicants whose occupation is either on the Medium to Long Term Occupation List or the Regional Occupation List. You will need an employer to sponsor you, in much the same way as a TSS visa. You will also need a Migration Skills Assessment in your nominated occupation, Competent English and 3 years’ full-time work experience in a relevant position (from the last 5 years).
Subclass 494 Visa Streams
There are three streams for this visa pathway:
- Employer Sponsored stream – allows regional employers to fill labour shortages within their region by sponsoring skilled workers where employers can’t source a skilled Australian worker.
- Labour Agreement stream – allows skilled workers nominated by employers who have a labour agreement. Labour agreements are developed between the Australian Government (represented by the Department) and employers.
- Subsequent entrant – for family members of a Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (SESR) (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) holder who are applying separately for their SESR visa and wish to join the primary SESR visa holder in Australia.
Main Requirements and Benefits of Subclass 494
- be nominated by an eligible employer
- have an occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list
- have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
Subclass 494 visa holders can:
- live, work and study only in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years
- apply for permanent residence after at least 3 years
There are three processing stages when sponsoring an employee from overseas under the Subclass 494 visa programme:
The employer applies for approval as a standard business sponsor.
The employer nominates an occupation for a prospective visa applicant. This involves a “labour market testing” phase of 28 days’ duration. This also involves the offer of a contract of employment to the prospective employee, after the “labour market testing” is complete. The salary offered to the employee must be commensurate with the “market” rate that any Australian in a similar position would be paid.
3) Visa application
The person nominated to work in the nominated occupation applies for the Subclass 494 visa. This is the final step to obtaining the visa.
These 3 stages do not have to be done in sequence; Putt Legal has the experience to do all at the same time to reduce delays.
What Happens When?
If you are lawfully operating a business within a designated regional area within Australia, and you are seeking to sponsor an overseas skilled worker under the Subclass 494 visa programme, you must lodge an application with the department to become an approved standard business sponsor. Then you must nominate a position to be filled. If applying under a Labour agreement please speak to our team prior to applying for standard business sponsorship.
You can lodge a nomination application indicating the nominated position within your business, and the proposed overseas skilled worker when you lodge your application for standard business sponsorship approval.
If you are an overseas skilled worker and have been nominated by a business that is an approved standard business sponsor that is lawfully operating within a designated regional area within Australia, you can apply for a Subclass 494 visa.
This is a general overview of the Subclass 494 visa process. We encourage you to make an appointment with Putt Legal to find out more.
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Putt Legal are your specialists in Immigration Law. We can assist you in making your migration to Australia seamless.
The Australian visa process can be complex and confusing; our lawyers work with you to guide you through every step of the way.
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