494 Visa – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa

Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa

Subclass 494 SESR visa was introduced on 16 November 2019, as a result of Australian government’s efforts in supporting development in regional areas. It helps Australian employers who are struggling with skills shortages. As the name of this visa suggests, this is for a skilled position based in regional Australia only, where the shortages are getting worse with the impact of COVID-19.

For individuals seeking employment, this can be a great visa program because:

  • There is a clear permanent residency pathway ahead if residence, income and compliance requirements are met.
  • You can include family in your visa, whether they are in or outside Australia
  • Applications associated with the Subclass 494 visa program receive priority processing from Department of Home Affairs.
Temporary Skill Shortage Visa

The definition of regional can be subjective. For the purpose of Subclass 494 visa, the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) is utilizing postcodes to make things clear and easy for all parties involved.

Whether you are a future 494 visa applicant, or an Australian employer looking to sponsor, you should always check whether your position is based in one of the postcodes listed above.

You should also remember that this list is subject to change. For example, Perth was added back to the list of regional areas after being removed for a few years.

Similar to other visas in the employer sponsorship/nomination program, the success of Subclass 494 SESR visa application relies on both employer and the visa applicant. Specifically:

  • The Australian employer must apply to become a standard business sponsor. Alternatively, a labour agreement is also possible if the standard Subclass 494 visa program cannot address the skills shortages within a business.
  • The sponsor is then required to obtain approval from a regional certifying body (RCB). This is usually conducted by a state/territory government agency where the position is based.
  • Upon receiving RCB advice, the sponsor can submit a nomination application, with supporting evidence demonstrating that this is a genuine position that cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Once the above steps are completed, the visa applicant can proceed to lodge the Subclass 494 visa application.

Whilst each applicant (employer and/or visa) is unique, some of the fundamental eligibility requirements related to Subclass 494 SESR visa are:

  • The sponsoring business should actively and legally operating.
  • The sponsor must pay Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy for each nomination application submitted. This cost must be paid by the sponsor.
  • The sponsor must conduct labour market testing, i.e. a 28-day advertising campaign at DOHA’s standards.
  • The sponsor must pay the nominated overseas employee at the minimum rate defined by DOHA, AND the market rate for the nominated occupation.
  • The sponsor must demonstrate a genuine need to sponsor an overseas worker, rather than using this visa program to solely achieve a migration outcome.
  • The visa applicant must have competent English, a positive skills assessment and 3 years of relevant work experience for an occupation on Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MTLSSL) or regional occupation list.
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Why VEVS Global?

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Subclass 494 visa can be a complicated process, where both employers and visa applicants are required to deal with multiple third parties and their competing deadlines simultaneously. At VEVS Global, our visa team excels at efficiently facilitating the Subclass 494 application process, from sponsorship all the way to visa outcome.

We have extensive experience in:
  • Strategic and cost-effective planning for corporate clients looking to sponsor
  • Comprehensive support with labour market testing, to ensure all legislative requirements are properly addressed
  • Coordinating amongst all third parties involved in the process, including but not limited to skills assessing authorities, regional certifying body, Department of Home Affairs etc.
  • Reviewing, organizing and compiling applications at the highest possible standards to avoid any potential delays
  • Liaising with relevant authorities to achieve the best possible outcome
  • Assist corporate clients in sponsorship compliance if required

Talk to our team today and find out the best pathway for you.