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Reasons why regional Australia should be your next destination

The legislation establishing the new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Subclass 494 has been published by the department of Home Affairs. These visas replaced the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Subclass 187 and the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489, respectively, as of November 16, 2019.

Applicants are now eligible for the subclass 491 and subclass 494 visas in addition to the visas offered under the General Skilled Migration Program, giving them access to a larger selection of eligible occupations on the Regional Occupational List (“ROL”).

The 491 and the 494 are both temporary visas with a five-year initial validity period.

In order to accommodate the introduction of these visas, the definition of “regional Australia” was expanded to include all of Australia, with the exception of the major cities of Melbourne, and Sydney. As a result, Perth, the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong, and the New South Wales Central Coast are now considered to be eligible regional areas.

Skilled Work Regional (provisional) Visa (subclass 491)

A State or Territory government must nominate an applicant for the 491 program, or an eligible family member who lives in rural Australia must sponsor them. Many of the prerequisites for the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa, such as the minimum points requirement, English language requirements, and skills assessment criteria, also apply to the 491 visa.

Those who have eligible family members who already live in regional Australia can benefit from the addition of the family sponsored stream, and qualified applicants may use it as an alternative to a State or Territory Government sponsorship.

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 494)

After three years, the employer-sponsored 494 visa offers a path to permanent residency. This is a choice for people who will be nominated by a local employer, can provide proof of three years of full-time employment in the nominated occupation, and have received a favorable skills evaluation.

The regional certifying body in the area, which will conduct an independent investigation into the position to determine its need and the state of the local labor market, must also provide its recommendation in addition to the nomination.

A pathway to permanent residency is provided by the 494, a 5-year provisional visa, after three years. Before being qualified for the permanent subclass 191 visa, you must work on the 494 visa with your sponsoring employer in the nominated occupation for at least three years.

You must also show proof of a salary of at least $53,900 over the course of these three years in order to satisfy the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (or “TSMIT”).

Advantages of 491 and 494 visas

Unlike most other temporary visas, which do not allow the visa holder to enroll in Medicare, holders of the 491 and 494 visas will be able to do so.

Another program by the Australian government to promote regional migration is the full grant of work and study privileges on the associated bridging visa A to those who have applied for a 491 or 494 visa.

Disclaimer: Information in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as expert advice. Speak to an immigration agent for specific information depending on your circumstances.

Reasons why regional Australia should be your next destination

The legislation establishing the new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Subclass 494 has been published by the department of Home Affairs. These visas replaced the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Subclass 187 and the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489, respectively, as of November 16, 2019.

Applicants are now eligible for the subclass 491 and subclass 494 visas in addition to the visas offered under the General Skilled Migration Program, giving them access to a larger selection of eligible occupations on the Regional Occupational List (“ROL”).

The 491 and the 494 are both temporary visas with a five-year initial validity period.

In order to accommodate the introduction of these visas, the definition of “regional Australia” was expanded to include all of Australia, with the exception of the major cities of Melbourne, and Sydney. As a result, Perth, the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong, and the New South Wales Central Coast are now considered to be eligible regional areas.

Skilled Work Regional (provisional) Visa (subclass 491)

A State or Territory government must nominate an applicant for the 491 program, or an eligible family member who lives in rural Australia must sponsor them. Many of the prerequisites for the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa, such as the minimum points requirement, English language requirements, and skills assessment criteria, also apply to the 491 visa.

Those who have eligible family members who already live in regional Australia can benefit from the addition of the family sponsored stream, and qualified applicants may use it as an alternative to a State or Territory Government sponsorship.

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 494)

After three years, the employer-sponsored 494 visa offers a path to permanent residency. This is a choice for people who will be nominated by a local employer, can provide proof of three years of full-time employment in the nominated occupation, and have received a favorable skills evaluation.

The regional certifying body in the area, which will conduct an independent investigation into the position to determine its need and the state of the local labor market, must also provide its recommendation in addition to the nomination.

A pathway to permanent residency is provided by the 494, a 5-year provisional visa, after three years. Before being qualified for the permanent subclass 191 visa, you must work on the 494 visa with your sponsoring employer in the nominated occupation for at least three years.

You must also show proof of a salary of at least $53,900 over the course of these three years in order to satisfy the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (or “TSMIT”).

Advantages of 491 and 494 visas

Unlike most other temporary visas, which do not allow the visa holder to enroll in Medicare, holders of the 491 and 494 visas will be able to do so.

Another program by the Australian government to promote regional migration is the full grant of work and study privileges on the associated bridging visa A to those who have applied for a 491 or 494 visa.

Disclaimer: Information in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as expert advice. Speak to an immigration agent for specific information depending on your circumstances.