Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa – Subclass 494

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The Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa is an employer sponsored visa which allows a successful applicant to live, work and study in a designated regional areas of Australia.

A guide to the designated regional areas can be found on the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website.

This visa gives the successful applicant a pathway to apply for permanent residency after 3 years.

It also allows you to travel to and from Australia during the currency of the visa.

To be eligible for the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa you must:

  • be nominated to work in an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • have at least 3 years relevant work experience in your nominated occupation
  • have a relevant skills assessment, unless an exemption applies
  • work only for your sponsor or associated entity, unless an exemption applies
  • be under 45 years of age, unless an exemption applies
  • meet minimum standards of English language proficiency

Your family can be included in the application as long as they meet health and character requirements.

The current costs for the visa as of 1 November 2022 are:

  • AUD $4,240 for the main applicant
  • AUD $2,120 for each dependent 18 years and over
  • AUD $1,060 for each dependent under 18 years.

There is an additional cost of AUD $4,890 if any dependent applicant over 18 years does not have functional English.

The visa has 3 steps:

  • A Business Sponsorship agreement with the DHA allowing the business to
  • The Nomination of the skilled position to be filled by the applicant
  • The 494 Visa, which relates to the Applicant who will fill the skilled position.

Business Sponsorship

The business sponsorship which allows the business to sponsor skilled workers for employment in Australia.

The business sponsorship is valid for 5 years and there is no limit on the number of skilled workers that can be sponsored during that time.

Certain obligations will be imposed by the DHA. Including:

  • Notifying the DHA is the skilled worker ceases employment, change of the company structure of a change of the skilled workers duties
  • Cooperation with DHA and Fair Work
  • Maintain records
  • Pay the skilled workers return airfare if required

Accredited Sponsorship

This gives sponsors access to priority processing of all 494 Nominations and Visa applications.

To obtain accredited sponsorship the business must have:

  • 85% of their workforce must be Australian citizens or permanent residents
  • An annual turnover of over $4 million for the last two years
  • The initial Standard Business Sponsorship approved at least one year ago
  • no adverse monitoring outcome
  • At least one Subclass 457/482 TSS visa Nomination approved in the last 12 months
  • A nomination non-approval rate of less than 3% in the last 12 months
  • Standard employment terms and conditions
  • Internal salary tables used for sponsored workers

The Nomination

The 494 Nomination involves assessment of the skilled position to be filled and must:

  • Be a position on the DHA skilled occupation list and be a genuine position
  • Labour Market Testing has to be undertaken unless exempted
  • The salary must be higher than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) of $53,900 + superannuation.
  •  A Regional Certifying Body must assess the market salary rate

The employer must pay a training levy which is $3,000 for a business with a turnover below $10 million or $5,000 for a turnover over $10 million.

Pathway to Permanent Residency

An applicant who has held a 494 visa for three years and earnt a salary at or above the required threshold, may be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Subclass 191 visa.

How FC Lawyers can help with your Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa?

Our experienced team of accredited specialist have assisted visa applicants for over 20 years.

Contact our team to discuss your needs or if you need assistance with your Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa (Subclass 494).

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