The new regional sponsored migration visa is the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 494) introduced by the Migration Amendment (New Skilled Regional Visas) Regulations 2019 dated 04 April 2019 which came into effect from 16 November 2019. It replaces the erstwhile Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (Subclass 187) to address labour market shortages in Regional Australia.
What is ‘Regional Australia’?
Most locations of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are considered designated regional areas for purpose of migration. Regional areas are defined on basis of following categories:
Category 2 regional areas – Cities and Major Regional Centres’ of Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong and Hobart. If you noticed, Adelaide and the Gold Coast are newly added to the list of Regional Australia area.
Category 3 regional areas – Only certain locations are considered regional or low-population growth metropolitan area in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania. The entirety of ACT, NT and Norfolk Island are deemed ‘regional or low-population growth metropolitan area’.
It is a temporary skilled migration visa that allows you and your family to live and work in Regional Australia. It also provides pathway to permanent residence via Permanent Residence (Skilled – Regional) Visa (Subclass 191).
Two streams of 494 Employer Sponsored Visa
This visa program has 2 streams:
- Employer Sponsored Stream – if you have at least 3 years relevant work experience in same nominated occupation.
- Labour Agreement Stream – if you have at least 3 years relevant work experience in a specified occupation, where your employer has labour agreement with the Australian Government.
Three step process of 494 Visa
This visa program is a three step process and requires sponsorship, nomination and then the visa application. All three applications can be made at the same time but be submitted in this order only: sponsorship application, nomination application and visa application.
- Sponsorship: The employer in Regional Australia must apply for approval as a standard business sponsor (SBS) or execute a labour agreement with the Government. Employer that is already approved as SBS for the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482) program do not need to apply again.
- Nomination: The sponsor (employer) must nominate an eligible occupation for a prospective visa applicant or existing visa holder.
- Visa application: You must lodge a visa application along with supporting documents.
Thus, you can only apply for this visa if you have been nominated by an approved Australian employer for a job in Regional Australia. At Migration Centre of Australia, we care about your future. If you need advice on understanding the visa requirements contact us today on 02 4626 1002 and speak directly to one of our Registered Migration Agents. Having been in the migration industry for years, our migration agents have the expertise and knowledge to take on any case.