Subclass 494 is a Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional visa that allows employers of regional Australia to recruit foreign nationals to address the labor shortage needs of their area. The 494 visa enables them to sponsor skilled workers in positions where employers can’t source an appropriately skilled Australian worker.
The subclass 494 visa replaced the old 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) on November 16, 2019. The visa has been given 10,000 places per year. To qualify, an applicant must get sponsorship from a regional employer for the position, which must exist for five years. The subclass 494 visa allows visa holders to live and work in regional Australia for five years. It has an age limit of 45 years unless an exemption applies. Additionally, applicants must fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
- Be nominated by an approved sponsor to work in an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
- Have three years of relevant work experience
- Have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
- Meet minimum standards of English language proficiency
- Be willing to work in a regional area
To get nominated under the subclass 494 visa, the applicant must have been employed in the nominated occupation for at least three years, at the time of application. The job must be full time, and the level of skills required for the nominated occupation must be related to either of the two categories:
- Academic applicants
- Subclass 444/461 workers
Once the applicant lives in the regional area for three years, they can apply for an Australia PR visa.
Relevance of History of Employment
All applicants are required to demonstrate a history of employment while applying for the visa. It is needed to ensure that the applicant has gained the necessary skills to boost the economy of a specific region.
It is required to show that the visa holder can work in the nominated occupation and perform tasks at the same level as mentioned in the closely related discipline.
Understanding the period of full-time employment
Although applicants must show three years of full-time work experience in the nominated occupation, this period does not need to be continuous or have been immediately before the application submission.
Unpaid, volunteer, and casual work experience cannot be counted towards meeting the employment experience.
Applicants must understand that they took breaks, switched their profiles, were unemployed, etc., and must be excluded while calculating the work experience.
Please note that DHA only considers work experience equivalent to three years, where they feel the applicant has worked in areas for which there is a skill shortage in Australia. And, these skills can economically benefit the regional area.
Learn about the level of skills
Applicants under the 494 visa must demonstrate that their tasks in the last three years are the same as mentioned in the list. Or they are closely related to the nominated occupation. In instances where an applicant has indicated to work in the nominated occupation but has not worked, DHA would believe that the applicant:
- Has performed the same or closely related tasks of the nominated occupation as highlighted in ANZSCO; and
- Has acquired the same level of skills with some level of responsibilities
Can I get permanent residence with a 494 visa?
The 494 visa does not give you a direct route to Australia. Applicants can apply for permanent residence after three years of residing in Australia. It is like the 491 visa that grants PR after five years.
For more information you can contact with our immigration consultants at 8595338595 or [email protected]