The new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) 494 Visa will commence on 16 November 2019 and replace existing permanent residence pathways to sponsor overseas workers in regional areas. If your business employs Subclass 457/482 Visa holders in regional areas, it’s important to know how the changes will impact permanent residence options for employees.
How employer-sponsored pathways to regional permanent residence will change
The most commonly used employer-sponsored permanent residence visa in regional areas is known as the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visa. The 187 RSMS visa option currently provides employers the option to either:
- Sponsor regional workers for permanent residence directly through the Direct Entry (DE) stream or;
- Sponsor Subclass 457/482 Visa holders for permanent residence through the Temporary Residence Transitional (TRT) stream after three years of regional work.
From 16 November 2019, the Subclass 187 Visa will close and be replaced by the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) 494 Visa. The new visa will remove the option to sponsor regional visa holders for permanent residence directly without a waiting period, which is currently possible through the Subclass 187 Direct Entry Stream.
The new employer-sponsored 494 Visa will instead be a provisional visa. It will introduce the requirement for a mandatory three year stay in a regional area before migrants can apply to become a permanent resident.
Impacts for current Subclass 457/482 Visa holders
Subclass 457/482 Visa holders who currently live and work in regional areas will no longer be eligible to apply for permanent residence through the Subclass 187 Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream when the program closes in November. Instead, overseas workers will need to hold a Subclass 494 Regional Skilled Visa for three years to become eligible.
Benefits of applying for regional permanent residence before November 2019
Subclass 457/482 visa holders who have carried out three years of work may wish to apply for permanent residence through the Subclass 187 Visa while it is still available. Compared to its replacement Subclass 494 Provisional Visa, the Subclass 187 Visa provides a more immediate pathway for businesses to sponsor employees for permanent residence and ongoing regional work.
Business Migration | Strategic Thinking
Legislation governing Australia’s new Regional Skilled Visas has already been introduced and we will provide further updates on how these visas will be managed in coming months. The approved legislation broadly allows any area to be classified as ‘regional’ except Australia’s busiest metropolitan areas – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth. Read more about the requirements for the new Regional Skilled Visas here.
Our Registered Migration Agents specialise in skilled migration matters and would be happy to advise of your visa and sponsorship options in regional areas of Australia. Simply contact our team of migration agents on (08) 9221 3388 or [email protected]