On Saturday 16 November, two new visas were officially launched:
Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Visa
Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional Visa
This follows the closure of the 489 and 187 visa categories. In a change in policy, all areas outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are now considered regional areas of Australia.
What is the Subclass 494 Visa?
The subclass 494 visa is an employer sponsored regional visa that can be valid for up to 5 years. Employers can sponsor more occupations under the subclass 494 visa than under the current TSS visa program. There is a pathway to permanent residence for these visa holders after 3 years.
What is the Subclass 491 Visa?
The subclass 491 visa is a state/territory nominated regional visa that can be valid for up to 5 years. This means that applicants must be nominated by a state/territory government agency or an eligible relative. Applicants are also required to satisfy points test requirements. Like the 494 visa, there is also a pathway to permanent residence for these visa holders after 3 years.
The Australian Government has officially abolished the Subclass 457 Visa and replaced it with the new Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa, Subclass 482. The new visa was introduced on 18 March 2018, and applications for the Subclass 457 Visa are no longer being accepted.
From 1 July 2016, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is changing the requirements for companies seeking accreditation status in the subclass 457 visa program.
Accreditation enables sponsors to access priority processing and streamlined assessment of subclass 457 (temporary work) nomination and visa applications.
To seek accreditation on or after 1 July 2016, sponsors must:
– be a government agency, a publicly-listed company or a private company with at least AUD four million annual turnover for the last three years;
– have been an active 457 sponsor for at least three years (with no more than a six month break in the past 36 months), with no adverse information (based on monitoring, including formal warnings and sanctions);
– have sponsored at least ten primary 457 visa holders in the 24 months prior to the application for
– meet the Department’s decision-ready and non-approval requirements over the previous three years;
– have Australian workers comprising at least 75% of their workforce in Australia;
– meet the Department’s new employment standard and contract requirements;
If your organisation is interested in gaining accreditation status, a well-evidenced sponsorship variation application needs to be submitted. Please contact us for advice from our migration agents.
Disclaimer: This news alert does not constitute immigration advice or assistance and does not take into account your circumstances. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information in this alert.
The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection has announced the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL) for the 2016-2017 Migration Program Year. The new skilled occupation lists commence on 1 July 2017.