Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored (Regional): replaced the 187 (RSMS) visa and commenced November 16, 2019. The 494 visa has 10,000 places allocated per year. It requires employer sponsorship from a regional employer and the position must be likely to exist for 5 years. It has a 45 year age limit (exemptions apply), competent English, RCB advice and must meet the AMSR. Visa applicants must have a suitable skills assessment and at least 3 years’ skilled employment.
494 visa requirements (visa applicant):
- Age under 45 at time of application (exemptions apply)
- Competent English at time of application
- You must have been employed in the nominated occupation for at least 3 years on a full-time basis and at the skill level required for the nominated occupation. Generally, you should have gained your experience within the last 5 years. The period does not need to be continuous. Equivalent part-time work may be considered. DHA does not consider casual work.
- GTE requirement does not apply
- If in Australia, hold a substantive or Bridging Visa A, B or C
- Successful skills assessment at time of application
- Doctor registration requirement does not apply
- DoHA Fee (main applicant) $4,045 and for spouse: $2,025, children under 18 : $1010
- Second VAC: $4890 if adult applicant does not meet Functional English
494 Employer and job offer requirements:
- Employer must be located in a designated regional Australia, everywhere except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
- Regional areas include Perth, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Geelong, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra.
- Position be on the list of eligible occupations
- Position must be full time and likely be available for 5 years
- employer will need approval from the Regional Certifying Body (RCB)
- Employer must pay the Australian Market Salary Rate (AMSR)
Benefits of the 494 visa:
- Can apply for permanent residence without a second nomination stage, if eligible, through the subclass 191 visa (commences 16 November 2022)
- Lower cost to employers with only one SAF levy stage for the subclass 494 nomination (compared to the two stages for the current subclass 482 to ENS subclass 186 permanent resident pathway)
Conditions and pathway to PR:
- Must live and work for 3 years on the 494 visa in regional areas to get Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) 191 Visa
- Can move between jobs but will have 90 days to find a new nominator
- Cannot apply for any other skilled PR or 820 partner visa for 3 years
- Eligible for Medicare on 494 visa – Health insurance not required