494 visa subclass (SESR visa) – vital info you need to know.
What do you need to know about 494 visa subclass (SESR visa)?
Migration to regional Australia has been thrust into the limelight of late with the announcement from Australian Department of Home Affairs that three new visas will be introduced effective 16 Nov 2019. All three visa subclasses (494 visa subclass, 491 visa subclass and 191 visa subclass) are expected to alter one way or another the manner of accepting and processing applications for skilled migration to areas in the country that are designated as regional.
Those of you who have a stake in the matter or have loved ones who are keeping tabs on the developments related to migration in regional Australia must be waiting with bated breath how this will play out in the actual implementation.
You may ask these questions: Why are the new visas being introduced? Will they be more beneficial to the applicants, or will they be the other way around? Whose needs are they going to address? What will it take for me to qualify for one of these visas?
Questions such as the foregoing are hard to answer given that the actual implementation is still about half a year away. Hence, the most that we can do in the meantime is to discuss the provisions of the visas, according to the documents released by the DHA.
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494 visa eligibility (SESR visa)?
One of the three new visas up for implementation is 494 visa. Formally called Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa, it is intended to replace Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Permanent) visa, subclass 187. If you have been following the developments in the regional migration front, you will remember that RSMS visa is the skilled regional visa responsible for recruiting skilled foreign citizens to live, work or study in various places in the country designated as regional posts.
With the introduction of 494 visa subclass (SESR visa provisional), we will be bidding goodbye to the popular RSMS visa.
As advised by an Australian government 494 visa subclass migration intake will have 9,000 places allocated per financial year in governments migration program planning levels.
494 visa requirements (SESR visa requirements)
494 visa requirements:
- 494 visa subclass requires the employer to nominate a position
- the position must be likely to exist for 5 years.
- a visa applicant must be under 45 years old at the time of application (unless exempted under Labour Agreement),
- a visa applicant must prove English language proficiency level as competent (unless exempted under Labour Agreement),
- RCB advice is required,
- salary must meet the AMSR (Annual Market Salary Rate)
- visa applicants may require having a suitable skills assessment
- the visa applicant must have at least 3 years of skilled employment in the nominated application
494 to PR
Interestingly, it seems that the only pathway to permanent residency for 494 visa holders will be applying for a permanent visa associated with 494 after 3 years working for their employer in regional Australia. The regulations preclude 494 visa holder to apply for any other permanent skilled visas or even a partner visa.
What are the changes from 187 visa (RSMS visa) to 494 visa (SESR visa)?
Like we said a while ago, the actual implementation of 494 visa is still about half a year away. But based on the announcement from the immigration department, we expect the following changes to this regional skilled visa to take effect beginning 16 November 2019:
- Simplier definition of regional Australia
Regional Australia will have a new, simpler and expanded definition. In the new definition, regional Australia encompasses all areas of the country except Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth. This means that NSW Central Coast, Newcastle and Wollongong will now form part of the designated regional posts.
Indeed, this is more straightforward than the previous reckoning of what regional Australia is and what is not.
- Permanent residency to temporary residency
One of the salient points affecting the change from RSMS visa to SESR visa is the removal of permanent residency. Subclass 187 or RSMS visa is a permanent visa while the upcoming 494 visa subclass is a provisional one.
No, don’t fret just yet. Permanent residency is not really lost here. The DHA has reserved a pathway towards that goal.
- From one stream to two streams
The new 494 visa will be available in two streams. You can apply for it via employer sponsorship or through Labour Agreement (under Labour agreement an employer will be still required). Visa 187 is available only through an employer nomination.
- Increase in the number of available occupations
With 494 visa subclass, the government is dangling more available occupations to interested visa applicants. Per the announcement, about 700 occupations will be offered to foreign citizens who are interested to live and work in areas outside of the big cities.
- Priority processing of applications
The Commonwealth Government has committed to giving priority to the processing of applications of those who are going to avail of 494 visa subclass.
494 visa points
Unlike the old skilled visas (189 visa, 190 visa and 489 visa) and a new 491 visa, 494 visa subclass does not require an applicant to score the particular amount of points for an applicant to be eligible for a 494 visa in an Australian PR points visa system. 494 visa is a successor of 187 visa (RSMS visa) and instead of points score support from an employer willing to hire an applicant is required.
What provisions are retained in 494 visa (SESR visa) ?
- Need for employer nomination
Employer sponsorship or nomination still plays an important role in the availment of 494 visa. Hence, if you are planning to apply for this visa, see to it that an employer who is maintaining a business in regional Australia is willing to sponsor you.
- Meeting the usual requirements
Needless to say, the prospective applicants to should satisfy the usual visa requirements for Australian migration such as age, needed skills, work experience, English language proficiency, character check, health and others.
494 visa conditions?
New visas come with new conditions (also called by some visa restrictions), and 494 visa is no exception. Below are some of the conditions that you need to adhere to if you choose to apply for this visa:
- Condition 8578 of 494 visa subclass obliges you to inform the department of immigration within 14 days should there be any change in the following: your residential address, email address, phone number, passport details, the address of your employer, or the address of the location where you are working.
- Condition 8579 demands that while you are in the country, you must only live, work and study in a location defined as regional Australia.
- Condition 8580 demands that if the Minister requires you to do so, you must provide any or all of these information within 28 days from the date of notice: your residential address, the address of your employer or employers; the address of the location of each position where you are working; the address of any school or university that you attended.
- Condition 8581 requires you, upon the request of the Minister, to attend an interview at a location and time or in the manner specified in the notice.
Not the right time to judge 494 visa yet.
That, in a nutshell, is the new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa based on the documents we gather from the migration department and other reliable sources.
It goes without saying it is still too early to evaluate the merits as well as the demerits of the new 494 visa versus its predecessor, the RSMS visa subclass 187. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses depending on the vantage point from which you look at it. As always, there are two sides to a proposition.
On the side of the Commonwealth government of Australia, they must have possessed weighty issues and considerations on which they base their decision to replace 187 visa with 494 visa.
Perhaps the best course of action we need to take is to wait out until it is finally implemented and find out if it’s worth it or not.
While at that, we need to thank the government of the ever welcoming country of Australia and its people for opening their doors to individuals like you who are in search of an ideal place in which to nurture a family. Regional Australia is where the opportunities abound these days. There’s more to this continent than the big cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth.
If you have questions, call us at Nowak Migration
From now until the 16th of November, more questions rather than answers will crop up while waiting for its implementation. Some of them may be complicated as they deal with rules and regulations.
But you need not worry; we at Nowak Migration are always here to help you sort them out. You can be assured of expert, honest and transparent opinions from our veteran migration consultants who only have your wellbeing in mind. We are fully aware that your future, as well as the future of your family, is at stake in your decision. It’s not easy to uproot your family from your native country and relocate to a rather unfamiliar territory, especially regional Australia. Therefore, you need to have the most informed opinion that you can have before embarking on probably the most important decision of your life.
Since you have reached this point in this article, we take it to mean that you are interested in this topic or may have a personal stake in it. If you want to keep abreast of the latest news on Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa or any visas for that matter, please follow our articles and blogs on this website as well as our posts on various social media accounts.
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