The minimum requirements of this Subclass 494 visa are set out below:
- Employer Requirements
- Nominated Position Requirements
- Visa Applicant Requirements
- Application Requirements
- How Long Does it Take?
The business seeking to employ you must be actively and lawfully operating in Australia.
In addition, there must not be any adverse information known that is relevant to the business’s suitability as an approved sponsor.
Certain businesses may be able to apply for accredited status, which enables them to receive priority processing for subclass 494 nomination and visa applications. Please contact us to check if your employer’s business may be eligible for accreditation.
The position to be filled must be on either the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL) and:
- be a genuine, full-time position in a designated regional area of Australia
- likely to exist for the next 5 years
- be in the sponsor’s business (or that of an associated entity), and be subject to a signed, written contract of employment that does not expressly exclude the possibility of extending the period of employment (unless exempt – please contact our office to discuss)
- have a salary that is:
- at least $53,900 per year (excluding any non-monetary benefits) AND
- at least the annual market salary rate (AMSR) for your nominated occupation
- be subject to terms and conditions of employment that are no worse than those that apply (or would apply) to Australians performing equivalent work in the same location
- have been subjected to ‘Labour Market Testing’ (LMT) i.e. the sponsor must have attempted to recruit a suitably skilled and qualified Australian to work in the nominated position. This requires the sponsor to provide evidence that it has advertised the position within the last 4 months, for at least 4 weeks
- be certified by a designated Regional Certifying Body
As the visa applicant, you must (unless exempt from the requirements):
- be under 45 years of age
- have your skills assessed as suitable for your nominated occupation by the relevant skills assessing authority. If your skills assessment is based on an Australian qualification while holding a student visa, that qualification must have been CRICOS registered
- have at least three years of full-time experience (or the part-time equivalent) in your nominated occupation (or a related field)
- genuinely intend to work in the nominated position
- meet any mandatory licensing, registration or professional membership requirements
- have competent English i.e.
- hold a valid passport issued by the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland (and you are a citizen of that country) OR
- an IELTS test score of at least 6 in EACH test component OR
- an OET test score of at least B in EACH test component OR
- a TOEFL iBT test score of at least 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking OR
- a PTE test score of at least 50 in EACH test component OR
- a CAE (C1 Advanced) (test score of at least 169 in EACH test component
- meet the relevant health and character criteria
Stage 1: Sponsorship Application
The application for standard business sponsorship is lodged with the DHA on behalf of your employer. The main criterion is that your employer’s business is actively and lawfully operating in Australia. An approved sponsorship is valid for five years. During this time, the business can nominate overseas workers for subclass 494 SESR visas (and subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visas).
Stage 2: Nomination Application
The nomination application is lodged with the DHA on behalf of your employer, either at the same time as the sponsorship application, or during the sponsorship validity period. The main criterion is that the nomination meets the requirements listed above.
Stage 3: Visa Application
Your visa application is lodged with the DHA either at the same time as the nomination application, or before the nomination expires (generally within 12 months of approval). The main criterion is that you fulfil the requirements listed above.
You may generally be in or outside Australia when applying for this visa. However, you may be ineligible to apply in Australia if you do not hold the required type of visa, or have previously been refused a visa (or had your visa cancelled).
Once the DHA has approved all three applications, you will be granted a subclass 494 SESR visa. The visa is valid for 5 years. You may be either in Australia or overseas when your visa is granted.
There are several conditions attached with this visa that you must comply with. For instance, you must only work in the occupation which was nominated and for the employer that nominated you.
Additionally, you must notify the DHA of any changes to your residential address, email addresses, phone number, passport details, employer address/location of your employed position, within the time frame required. You must also comply with requests from the DHA for information or attend an interview as requested by the DHA. If you would like more information about the visa conditions, please contact us.
Once you have held this visa at least three years, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa, provided you meet all of the relevant criteria. This includes the requirement to have resided in a specified regional or designated regional area of Australia (in accordance with your nomination or sponsorship, as referred to above) for at least three years. As well as met the minimum income requirements for that period and complied with the conditions of the subclass 494 SESR visa. The permanent visa does not require employer sponsorship.
The time that it takes the DHA to process your application is dependent upon its processing time service standards, and may also vary due to a number of other factors, including the complexity of your case, perceived risk factors and processing priorities. Please contact us for current information regarding likely processing time frames for this type of application.
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