Just Landed: The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

The new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (subclass 494) was introduced on 16th November 2019 and replaced Subclass 187 visa.

What is the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa?
This new visa is available to migrants and their dependent family members who want to live and work in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years. As is the case with regional visas, the introduction of the subclass 494 visa aims to help fill the tens of thousands of job vacancies in regional Australia as well as ease congestion in major Australian cities. This visa allows the holder and their family to transition to permanent residence after three years of working, living or studying in an Australian regional area.

Basic eligibility for this Visa Includes:
– Have an approved work sponsor.
– Hold an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list.
– Have a positive skills assessment for the occupation you will be nominated in.
– Have a least 3 years relevant work experience in your nominated occupation.
– Be under the age of 45
– Meet minimum standards of English language proficiency

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa holds many similarities to the Temporary Skilled Shortages Visa (Subclass 482). When compared to the Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa (TSS), there are some differences and in some cases certain advantages to hold a subclass 494 visa.

How Does the 494 Visa Compare With the 482 Visa?

Visa Validity Period
The subclass 494 visa has a maximum visa validity period of up to five years. The subclass 482 visa is valid for up to two years on the short-term stream or for four years on the medium-term stream.

Pathway to Permanent Residency
While both visas offer a pathway to permanent residency, the subclass 494 has more occupations to offer for permanent residency than the subclass 482 that will offer limited occupations.

In addition, the subclass 494 does not require a second nomination by the Employer to apply for permanent residency.  The subclass 482, on the other hand, requires Employer nomination to be lodged again, should the employee wish to apply for permanent residency, and must also pay the SAF levy again.

How much would each of these visas cost an Employer?

PR Pathway – Subclass 494 Nomination to Subclass 191 Permanent residency
Subclass 494 Nomination – SAF levy of $5,000 or $3,000 (depending upon the annual turnover of the business)

PR Pathway – Subclass 482 Nomination to Subclass 186 Nomination
Subclass 482 Nomination – $330 plus the SAF levy of $1,800 or $1,200 per year.
Subclass 186 nomination – $540 plus the SAF levy of $5,000 or $3,000.
Total government charges for a four-year visa – $8,670 (for businesses with a turnover < $10 million) or $13,070 (for businesses with a turnover > $10 million).

Availability of Occupation under Subclass 494 vs Subclass 482
The number of occupations available for each of these visas leading to permanent residency differ. The subclass 494 visa has 650 occupations available on its list as compared to 508 occupations on the subclass 482 visa occupation list, and not all of them lead to Permanent residency.

At a glance, the subclass 494 visa is an advantageous proposition for employers.

If you have any questions about Regional Visas and need expert advice, speak to one of the Visa Solutions Australia team. It’s a complex subject so it is essential to speak with someone in the know.