From 16 November 2019, a new visa known as the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) Provisional 494 Visa will replace the existing regional visa sponsorship program, known as the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa. The new 494 Visa will provide employers greater flexibility to sponsor visa holders for regional work.
Australia will introduce the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) 494 Visa as part of its focus on encouraging migrants to live and work in regional areas. Here’s three ways employers can sponsor workers in regional areas with greater flexibility under the new 494 Visa.
More areas across Australia to become eligible for regional visas
Currently the areas in Australia that are eligible for regional migration vary depending on the type of visa, however this will change from November. Under the Migration Amendment (New Skilled Regional Visas) Regulations 2019, the classification of ‘regional areas’ for visa and migration purposes will soon encompass all of Australia except Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The new classification will widen the availability of the regional skilled visa programs to employers across a broader area of Australia and make the definition of ‘regional’ consistent across visa types.
Access to 673 eligible occupations for regional visa sponsorship
Employers in regional Australia, as well as State and Territory Governments, will have access to over 450 more occupations to sponsor visa holders than for non-regional employer sponsored visas. The new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) 494 Visa will broaden the number of occupations available for regional visa sponsorship according to labour shortages in regional areas.
Faster government visa processing for migrants in regional areas
Employers will also have access to priority processing for regional visa sponsorship. Under the existing Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, it can take the Government up to 23 months to process a visa application, whereas priority processing could reduce this significantly. Access to priority processing will benefit regional businesses with critical labour requirements who may not be able to easily secure suitable employees locally.
It is worth noting the new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) 494 Visa will still require employers to undertake Labour Market Testing to provide evidence of the difficulty in engaging local applicants before proceeding with sponsorship.
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We will keep you updated as further information about Australia’s new skilled regional visas becomes available. Our Registered Migration Agents specialise in skilled migration matters, including regional visa sponsorship and we 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@example.com