The Government has confirmed the eligible occupations for Australia’s new Regional Visas and importantly, the lists will establish new Permanent Residence (PR) pathways for skilled migrants from 16 November 2019.
The 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) Visa
The 494 SESR Visa will enable businesses with operations in Perth, the Gold Coast and regional/remote areas to sponsor skilled migrants under a significantly broader list of occupations with a pathway to PR.
A total of 650 occupations will be eligible for the new 494 SESR Visa (over 400 more occupations than equivalent non-regional skilled visas). Eligible occupations will comprise:
- 216 occupations available on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) – which is the same list used for the 186 PR Visa and the 482 Medium Term Stream;
- 434 occupations available on the Regional Occupations List (ROL) – which combines the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and ROL for the 482 Visa and some further occupations.
This is good news for some 482 Visa holders who have been excluded from PR pathways since April 2017 when Perth was removed as an eligible area for the 187 PR Visa and when the Government announced the 457 Visa would be replaced by the more restrictive 482 Visa.
How will the 494 Visa establish new PR pathways?
New PR Pathways for Short Term 482 Visa Holders
Skilled migrants with an occupation on the STSOL currently have very limited or no options for PR. From 16 November 2019, Short Term 482 Visa holders will have a direct pathway to PR through the 494 Visa, as the occupation list for this visa incorporates occupations on the STSOL.
For example, ‘Mechanical Engineering Technician’ is an occupation on the 482 STSOL and until now there was no direct pathway to PR (unless the position was in a regional area and eligible for the 187 Visa).
From next week, the visa holder can apply for a 494 Visa and then apply for PR under the 191 Visa after three years.
While the process of applying for a 494 Visa requires substantial levels of evidence, we encourage employers to consider the 494 Visa option as an alternative to the 482 Visa for work in Perth, the Gold Coast and regional/remote areas.
This will be explored further in our Regional Visa Q&A Video Series for businesses – register for this here.
New PR Pathways for Work In Perth
Since Perth was removed as an eligible regional area in 2017, businesses have not had access to sponsoring skilled migrants for PR through the 187 Visa for work in Perth. They have instead been restricted to the 186 Visa, with only 216 eligible occupations available.
However, following the announcement that Perth would be included in the new regional migration program, businesses in Perth will have access to 650 occupations to sponsor overseas employees under the 494 Visa.
The 494 Visa will effectively replace the 187 Visa and require a three year stay before the applicant can apply for PR under the 191 Visa.
More Q&A’s | Impact on Visa Sponsorship Options
For more insights on how the Regional Visas impact your business, please get in touch with our Registered Migration Agents and also register below for our Regional Visa Q&A Video Series.
Regional Visa Insights for Businesses:
Register to access Interstaff’s Regional Visa Q&A Video Series commencing from 26 November, with insights on questions submitted by HR Professionals, Site/Operations Managers and Business Owners:
Regional Visa Changes for Skilled Migrants
Find out your Regional Skilled Visa options by requesting a pre-assessment:
Business Migration | Strategic Thinking
The new Regional Visas will widen visa sponsorship options for businesses and enable more skilled migrants to work in the Perth and Gold Coast metropolitan areas and regionally.
The eligible occupations for this visa are similar to the occupations listed for the Subclass 489 Visa.
Our team assist individuals and businesses with the visa and sponsorship process for all Australian cities and regional areas. If you have any queries about the visa changes, we encourage you to contact our Registered Migration Agents at [email protected] or (08) 9221 3388.
Interstaff’s Insights | Regional Skilled Visas
Please note, since the time of publishing last month, Perth and the Gold Coast have been classified as regional areas for visa and migration purposes.