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Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)

The subclass 494 visa allows employers to sponsor overseas workers to live and work in regional Australia on a temporary basis. This visa is designed to assist regional employers who are unable to meet their skilled Australian workforce needs from the local labour market. The visa is valid for a five-year period with visa holders able to apply for a permanent visa, if they meet the relevant criteria.

Employer

The business seeking to employ you must be actively and lawfully operating in Australia.

In addition, there must not be any adverse information known that is relevant to the business’s suitability as an approved sponsor.

Accreditation

Certain businesses may be able to apply for accredited status, which enables them to receive priority processing for subclass 494 nomination and visa applications. Please contact us to check if your employer’s business may be eligible for accreditation.

Nominated Position

The position to be filled must be on either the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL) and:

  • be a genuine, full-time position in a designated regional area of Australia
  • likely to exist for the next 5 years
  • be in the sponsor’s business (or that of an associated entity), and be subject to a signed, written contract of employment that does not expressly exclude the possibility of extending the period of employment (unless exempt – please contact our office to discuss)
  • have a salary that is:
    • at least $53,900 per year (excluding any non-monetary benefits) AND
    • at least the annual market salary rate (AMSR) for your nominated occupation

NOTE: the AMSR for your nominated occupation (excluding non-monetary benefits) must also be no less than $53,900 per year. The AMSR is the salary that an Australian earns (or would earn) for performing equivalent work on a full-time basis for a year in the same workplace at the same location. You will be exempt from this requirement if your salary is more than $250,000 per year.

  • be subject to terms and conditions of employment that are no worse than those that apply (or would apply) to Australians performing equivalent work in the same location
  • have been subjected to ‘Labour Market Testing’ (LMT) i.e. the sponsor must have attempted to recruit a suitably skilled and qualified Australian to work in the nominated position. This requires the sponsor to provide evidence that it has advertised the position within the last 4 months, for at least 4 weeks

NOTE: Alternative LMT criteria apply in certain circumstances. Evidence provided in support of LMT must meet strict criteria regarding the location, type and content of the advertisement. Sponsors are not required to undertake LMT if an International Trade Obligation applies. Please contact us for further information regarding the type of LMT required for your nomination.

  • certified by a designated Regional Certifying Body

Visa Applicant

As the visa applicant, you must (unless exempt from the requirements):

  • be under 45 years of age
  • have your skills assessed as suitable for your nominated occupation by the relevant skills assessing authority. If your skills assessment is based on an Australian qualification while holding a student visa, that qualification must have been CRICOS registered
  • have at least three years of full-time experience (or the part-time equivalent) in your nominated occupation (or a related field)
  • genuinely intend to work in the nominated position
  • meet any mandatory licensing, registration or professional membership requirements\
  • have competent English i.e.
    • hold a valid passport issued by the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland (and you are a citizen of that country) OR
    • an IELTS test score of at least 6 in EACH test component OR
    • an OET test score of at least B in EACH test component OR
    • a TOEFL iBT test score of at least 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking OR
    • a PTE test score of at least 50 in EACH test component OR
    • a CAE (C1 Advanced) (test score of at least 169 in EACH test component

NOTE: In each case, the test must have been undertaken within the last three years (with the exception of the CAE test, which must be dated on or after 1 January 2015)

  • meet the relevant health and character criteria

Note: Exemptions may apply to some of the criteria listed above. Please contact us to discuss if any exemptions apply to your situation.

Please contact us if you need assistance determining your eligibility, or if you would like us to manage this process on your behalf.

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