Visa Summary

Visa Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional . This visa is appropriate for the skilled workers who have a company in a designated area in Australia willing to sponsor them.

How this visa works

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa (subclass 494) is applicable for skilled workers from other countries or skilled temporary residents who currently live and work in Australia. This visa CAN lead to permanent residency via the subclass 191 visa to be released in November 2022. The 191 visa will require a person holds a 494 visa for 3 years to be eligible.

To apply for this visa, you must:

  • be nominated by an approved employer for a position in their business in regional Australia
  • be younger than 45 years of age
  • meet the skills and qualifications requirements including having 3 years experience.
  • meet English language requirements

There are exemptions relating to age, skills and English language ability. These depend on your nominated occupation, salary and past work experience.

If you do not have an employer who will nominate you, you can lodge an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. Prospective employers and state and territory governments can then view your details and decide whether to nominate you for skilled migration.

If you owe any amount of money to the Australian Government, you may not be eligible to be granted a visa until you have made arrangements to pay the debt.

Visa application process:

This visa requires 3 stages to be complete.

  1. The sponsoring company must be established as a sponsoring employer.
  2. The sponsoring company nominates a position in the business for an occupation on the approved skills list.
  3. The applicant applies for the visa.

Visa Requirements:

You can apply for this visa if you:

  • Have a sponsor willing to nominate you in regional Australia (most of Australia excluding Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne).
  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer located in regional Australia
  • are younger than 45 years of age
  • meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements

 

Skills Requirements

The 494 visa requires a skills assessment unless you are an academic or a New Zealand citizen. Active Migration Australia can assist you with skills assessment requirements specific to your case.

 

Lodging the application

You must lodge your application online. This can be done while you are in Australia or in other country. You must pay the initial application charge  at that time.

Applicants and dependants who are 18 years or older and have less knowledge of functional English, are bound to pay an extra amount as second charges. This second charge has to be paid before the visa is granted.

According to the rules of lodging application for this visa, you must make sure that you agree with the Australian Values Statement. You must ensure that you have read about these values or were explained to you from the book ‘the Life in Australia’.

Waivers

An 8503 and 8534 waiver exists based on the genuine intention to apply for a 494 visa, In other words a no further stay can be overridden if you have a 494 sponsor. 

Provide relevant documents

You must provide essential documents that prove the claims you make in your application. The required documents are identified and explained in the Document Checklist. This checklist also explains whether you need to provide original documents or certified copies.

Any document in a language other than English must be accompanied by an English translation that has been done by an accredited translator.

If you do not provide all the documents, the information provided by you should explain about this. It is in your interest to support your application with as much as information possible.These documents must be submitted with your online application.

The department will contact you if they need any additional information and/or other documentation such as original documents.

Make use of helpful information

Certain requirements need to be fulfilled if dependent family members are included in your application. For further details you must read about the rules of ‘Including dependent family members’ mentioned in your application.

Information to help prepare your application has advice on certified documents, statutory declarations, translating documents, communicating with the department, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from the department, and receiving assistance with your application.

Employer Sponsored visa program definitions has a list of meanings of words used in relation to this visa.

Requirements after applying for visa

After you lodge your application and documents, the department will let you know that they have received your information, assign you a case officer, consider your application, request an interview (if needed), ask for more information (if needed) and make a decision.

Provide more information:

Meet health requirements

You and all members of your family unit must meet certain health requirements. The department will tell you when to arrange health examinations.

Meet character requirements

You and all members of your family unit must meet certain character requirements. This means you and each of your dependants (whether migrating or not) who are aged 16 years or older must provide police certificates. These need to be obtained from each country you and your family members have lived in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years or, in the case of those younger than 26 years or age, since each person turned 16 years of age.

The department will tell you when to arrange police certificates.

Provide bio metrics

You may be asked to provide bio metrics (a scientific form of identification) as part of your application. Countries and visa sub-classes included in the bio metrics program has more information.

Attend an interview

You may be asked to attend an interview, either face-to-face or by telephone, after lodging your application. If it is a face-to-face interview, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents.

Provide a comment, if required

If another person gives the department information that could result in you being refused a visa, the department will give you the chance to comment on that information.

Obtain a bridge visa

If you apply for the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa while you are in Australia, you are likely to be given a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in the country lawfully while your application is processed.

If you want to travel outside Australia while your application is being considered, you may need to apply for a specific Bridging visa that allows you to leave and return to Australia.

People who already have a valid visa that allows them to travel to and from Australia (such as a subclass 457) will not need to do this.

If you apply for this visa outside Australia and then travel to Australia on another visa before this application is decided, you may need to apply for a Bridging visa.

Wait for a visa decision

The department has service standards relating to the time it takes to process applications for this visa. The country you reside and you lodging your application from Australia or other country affects the time it takes for your application to be finalized.

Receive a visa decision

If your visa application is approved, the department will send you an email with the:

  • visa grant number
  • visa conditions (including a specified initial entry date)
  • details of what you must do next

If your visa application is not approved, the department will send you an email stating:

  • why the visa was not approved
  • your review rights, if any
  • a time frame for lodging an appeal, if applicable

Conditions and obligations for holders of visa subclass 494

There are some new conditions not seen before being released for the 494 visa. The new conditions are:

Condition 8578 requires the visa holder to notify Immigration of any change, within 14 days of the change occurring, to the holder’s residential address, an email address of the holder, a phone number of the holder, the holder’s passport details, the address of an employer of the holder, or the address of the location of a position in which the holder is employed. 

Condition 8579 requires that while the visa holder is in Australia, they must live, work and study only in a designated regional area.

Condition 8580 requires that, if requested in writing by the Minister to do so, the visa holder must within 28 days provide any or all of the following: the visa holder’s residential address, the address of their employer or employers; the address of the location of each position in which the holder is employed; the address of any educational institution attended by the visa holder.

Condition 8581 requires the visa holder, if requested in writing by the Minister, to attend an interview at a place and time or in the manner specified in the request. The interview may be face to face or undertaken using modern video conferencing applications such as Skype or Facetime.

 

Cancellation

The department may cancel this visa if you do not make a genuine effort to begin employment with your sponsor within six months of:

  • your first entry to Australia if you were granted this visa while you were outside of Australia, or
  • the visa being granted if you were granted this visa while you were in Australia

The 494 can be cancelled if the applicant is deemed not to have a genuine intention to perform the work or if the position is not genuine. 

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