The 494 visa allows an organisation to sponsor, nominate and employ an eligible worker in a designated regional area for up to 5 years. The organisation may sponsor the worker as follows:
- Within the employer sponsored stream, if the organisation has been approved as a standard business sponsor; or
- Within the Labour Agreement stream, if the organisation has secured the relevant approval
A 494 visa holder may apply for permanent residency independently of their employer by way of a subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) application (a pathway that will be introduced on or after 16 November 2022), provided they have held the 494 visa for at least 3 years, complied with the conditions of the visa and have met minimum taxable income requirements, in addition to other prescribed criteria.
For the nomination to be approved, the organisation must demonstrate that the position is:
- Located in regional Australia;
- Listed on the relevant occupation list: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/skilled-migration-program/what-we-do/legislative-instruments
- Fulltime and likely to exist for at least 5 years.
In addition, the organisation would be required to seek certification from a regional certifying body and, unless exempt, fulfil Labour Market Testing requirements.
Unless exemptions apply, the primary applicant must be less than 45 years of age, hold a valid skills assessment for the nominated occupation and have at least 3 years of full time relevant work experience. English language, character and health requirements must also be met.
How we can help
We can provide comprehensive professional advice and assistance in relation to the sponsorship, certification, nomination, skills assessment and visa applications, to assist the employer and employee.
Our professional services include:
- Advising on criteria required to satisfy the various applications
- Identifying and managing risk
- Providing advice to meet the relevant regional certifying body’s criteria
- Providing guidance in relation to Labour Market Testing (LMT) criteria
- Preparing any sponsorship application, regional body certification, nomination and visa applications
- Assisting with any skills assessment application
- Assisting the organisation and the visa applicant to obtain all necessary supporting documents
- Advising on and assisting with the preparation of the employment offer and contract to satisfy immigration requirements
- Communicating with the Immigration Department on behalf of the organisation and the visa applicant until a decision is received
To discuss how we can assist you with advice, and managing the sponsorship, certification, nomination, skills assessment and visa applications for your existing or potential worker under the subclass 494 visa scheme, please click here to contact Visa Lawyers Australia.