What is the Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored) visa?
The Subclass 494 visa came into effect on 16th November 2019 and replaced the Subclass 187 (RSMS) visa.
A total of 9,000 places will be allocated to the 494 visa program every year. Unlike the Subclass 187 visa, the Subclass 494 visa does not grant immediate permanent residency.
However, a Subclass 494 visa holder may be eligible for the Subclass 191 (Skilled Regional) visa in the future, which is a permanent visa.
Also, in order to be able to apply for the Subclass 191 visa, an employer nomination is not required – this is one of the key differences between the 494 to 191 pathway and the Subclass 187 visa that it has replaced.
How do I get nominated on a Subclass 494 visa?
In order to be able to nominate you, your employer must:
- Be located in a designated regional area of Australia (meaning that employers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are excluded)
- Be offering you employment in an occupation that is on the relevant occupation list
- Get approval from the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) in your area
- Be offering you full-time employment, in a role that is genuinely needed by the business, and likely to be available for five years
- Pay you at the market salary rate
How do I meet the 494 visa requirements?
In order to meet the requirements to apply for a Subclass 494 visa once you have organised for your employer to nominate you, you must:
- Hold a suitable skills assessment
- Have worked full time for at least three years in a relevant, skilled occupation
- Be under 45 years of age
- Demonstrate Competent English
How does the 494 visa lead to permanent residency?
The Subclass 494 visa will enable you to reside in Australia for five years.
In order to be able to apply for permanent residency via the Subclass 191 visa pathway as a Subclass 494 visa holder, you must:
- Have worked in a designated regional area for at least three years, whilst holding a 494 visa
- Be able to demonstrate that you have earned an annual salary exceeding TSMIT (currently $53,900) for the three years immediately preceding your permanent residency application
It is important to note that if you have included a partner in your Subclass 494 application, only one of you needs to demonstrate that you have earned over TSMIT for the three year period. If your partner is able to demonstrate this and you are not, they can be the main applicant for the Subclass 191 visa.