New Regional Visas

Sub class 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) to replace the sub 489 Skilled Regional (Povisional) Visa and the sub class 494 Skilled Employer Regional (Provisional) Visa to replace the 187 Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme Visa (RSMS)

New 494 Skilled Employer Regional Visa

Sub 491: The new 491 visa, will enable eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated areas of Australia for 5 years. Visa holders will be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence visa after three years. Applicants for this visa must be nominated by:

  • an Australian state or territory government agency or
  • sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area and be invited to apply for the visa, following submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) in skill select

The 491 will replace the current 489 visa and commences November 16, 2019. The 491 visa is a skilled and a points test. It has a 45 year age limit and requires a positive

PATHWAY TO PR:

  • Sub 191 Visa To meet the requirements of the permanent visa (from November 2022) applicants must have held a subclass 491 or 494 visa for at least 3 years, have complied with the conditions on that visa and have met minimum taxable income requirements. You must show earnings of at least $53,900 per annum for three years. Your partner can also be the main applicant for the 191 visa if they can demonstrate this criteria.
Skilled Migration Changes:

The skilled migration points test will change from November 16, 2019. The changes will affect subclass 491 applicants as well as applications for other skilled migration visas that have not been assessed at that time (but only in a way that is beneficial for applicants, by providing additional points). Other points for age, qualifications, overseas and Australian work experience, Australian study and English points will apply. The new points details are:

  • 15 points for nomination by a State or Territory government agency or sponsorship by a Family Member residing in regional Australia, to live and work in regional Australia;
  • 10 points for certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ie STEM
Partner Points
  • 10 points, if one of the following apply:
    • skilled spouse or de facto partner (Skills assessment and competent English); or
    • applicants without a spouse or de facto partner (single) or
  • 5 points:  if your partner has competent English Your partner can be over 45 years of age and does not need a Skills Assessment.

So if you or someone you know who is wishing to apply for a skilled visa or has had a visa refused contact us to discuss your options under this new visa class.

Remember TRUST ONLY a Master Migration Lawyer and make an appointment with AR LAW Services: Master Migration Lawyer.

Book a Consultation

Call 03 9614 0218 or email info@arlaw.com.au to make an initial 30 Minute consultation at our Melbourne office. (conditions apply)

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Note: this update, or any previous updates on this page, do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Please call our office to seek professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content on this page

Footnotes – Detailed out line provided by the Department:

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (SWR) visa • Subclass 491 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (SESR) visa • Subclass 494 •

A third new visa will be introduced from 16 November 2022 for persons who hold a subclass 491 or 494 visa at the time of application: – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa •

Subclass 191 Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 2 New Skilled Regional Visas Provisional and Permanent Department of Home Affairs • Currently four definitions of ‘regional’ across nine different skilled migration visas • These will be replaced with one simplified definition from November: Regional will encompass all of Australia except: • Brisbane and Gold Coast • Melbourne • Perth • Sydney Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 3 Regional definition Designated regional area Department of Home Affairs • Employers in regional Australia, as well as State and Territory governments, who sponsor regional skilled migrants will have access to more occupations than the equivalent non-regional visas. – the new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa will have 673 eligible occupations (Over 450 more occupations than closest non-regional equivalent visa). – the new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will have 504 eligible occupations (77 more than closest non-regional equivalent visa). [Footer] 4 Occupations Department of Home Affairs • Applicants for the new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will have access to more points for regional nomination/sponsorship. •

Priority processing. • Require the holder and their families to live, work and study in a regional area for three years. • Report any change of circumstances to the Department within 14 days. • May be required to attend an interview or provide supporting evidence to demonstrate that they are living and working in regional Australia. • Migrants are more likely to stay in a regional area longer-term.

5 What is the difference between the old and new regional visas? Department of Home Affairs Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa Department of Home Affairs • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa • Replaces the subclass 489 First Provisional stream • Two invitation pathways – State / Territory nominated – Family sponsored • Required to declare that all applicants have a genuine intention to live, work and study in a designated regional area • Australian Values Statement applies to all 16 yrs and over • 5 year grant period • More rigorous regional compliance framework (conditions 8578, 8579, 8580 & 8581 imposed on all visa holders) •

Points test amended (6D) Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019

Subclass 491 Department of Home Affairs • Lodge an Expression of Interest and are invited to apply • Form 491 V (Internet) lodged online • Primary applicant: $4045 – additional applicant: over 18yrs $2025 under 18yrs $1010 Second VAC: $4890 if any adult applicant does not meet Functional English • Under 45 years of age • An occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list • Competent English language skills • Meet the Points Test pass mark (65 points minimum); • Eligible to apply for a subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 8 Visa – Skilled Work (Provisional) Other: Department of Home Affairs Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 9 Factor Description Current Points New Points Nomination/sponsorship (where required) Nomination by state or territory government (visa subclass 190 only) 5 Nomination by state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member to reside and work in a specified/designated area 10 +5 = 15 Age Not less than 18 and under 25 25 Not less than 25 and under 33 30 Not less than 33 and under 40 25 Not less than 40 and under 45 15 English language ability The test must be undertaken no more than 36 months before invitation to apply for the visa. Proficient English 10 Superior English 20 Skilled employment A maximum of 20 points can be awarded for any combination of skilled employment in and outside Australia. Outside Australia: employed in nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation • For period totalling at least 36 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation 5 • For period totalling at least 60 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation 10 • For period totalling at least 96 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation

15 In Australia: employed in nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation • For period totalling at least 12 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation 5 • For period totalling at least 36 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation 10 • For period totalling at least 60 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation 15 • For period totalling at least 96 months in the 10 years immediately before invitation 20 Department of Home Affairs Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 10 Factor Description Current Points New Points Qualifications Met the requirements for… Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or other doctorate of a recognised standard 20 At least a bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution or other degree of a recognised standard 15 Diploma or trade qualification completed in Australia 10 An award or qualification recognised by the assessing authority in the assessment of the skilled occupation 10 Australian study requirement At least one degree, diploma or trade qualification from an Australian educational institution that meets the Australian study requirement 5 Specialist Educational Qualification A Masters degree by research or a Doctorate degree from an Australian educational institution that included at least two academic years in a relevant STEM field. 5 +5 = 10 Other factors Accredited in a community language 5 Study in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area (excluding distance education) 5 Partner skill qualifications 5 +5 =10 Partner with competent English but not eligible for Partner skill qualifications points 0 5 Single applicants (no partner) 0 10 Professional year in Australia for at least 12 months in the four years before the day applicants are invited to apply 5 Department of Home Affairs Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 11 Regional compliance framework • 8578 – notify immigration of changes within 14 days • 8579 – live, work and study only in a designated regional area • 8580 – if requested to do so, provide evidence within 28 days • 8581 – if requested to do so, attend an interview Department of Home Affairs Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 12 Transitional arrangements Department of Home Affairs Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa Department of Home Affairs • Will be incorporated into the Standard Business Sponsorship framework – no separate sponsorship class created – existing SBS will be able to lodge SESR nominations – sponsorship obligations will apply – some regulations have been amended • Two streams – Employer Sponsored – Labour Agreement New Provisional Visas 14 Subclass 494 visa program Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa Department of Home Affairs • Form 494V (Internet) lodged online • Fees: Primary applicant: $4045 additional applicant: over 18yrs $2025 under 18yrs $1010 Second VAC: $4890 if adult applicant does not meet Functional English • Grant period will be 5 years • Eligible for Medicare – health insurance not required • GTE requirement does not apply • Doctor registration requirement does not apply • Regional compliance conditions + 8608 (similar to 8607) Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 15 Visa – SESR Department of Home Affairs Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 16 Subclass 494 visa program Three stages Sponsorship Nomination Visa Department of Home Affairs • Form 494N (Internet) lodged online • NIL nomination fee • Applicant must be an approved sponsor – SBS – Australian businesses only – party to a Labour Agreement that authorises subclass 494 visas • Position must be located in a designated regional area • Occupation must be specified in the relevant occupation list or in the Labour Agreement (and any caveats met) • Must be a genuine position • Labour Market Testing must be undertaken (no International Trade Obligations exemptions) •

Full-time position (no provision to disregard) • Annual Market Salary Rate requirements (no provision to disregard for part-time) • No information that employment conditions are less favourable than for an Australian worker Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 17 Nomination – SESR Nomination requirements include: Department of Home Affairs • Must be engaged as an employee under a written contract of employment (unless exempt) • Associated entity provisions apply • Sponsor must not have engaged in discriminatory recruitment practices • SAF contribution must be paid – $3000 small business / $5000 other businesses – pro-rata SAF levy if nomination is for a 494 holder to change employer (must provide visa grant date) • Regional Certifying Body certification provided regarding AMSR • No adverse information Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 18 Nomination – SESR Nomination requirements include: Department of Home Affairs • No adverse info about sponsor • Under 45 at time of application • Have an approved subclass 494 nomination that hasn’t ceased (in the correct stream) • If in Australia, hold a substantive or Bridging Visa A, B or C • Successful skills assessment at time of application • Genuine intention to perform occupation • Have at least three years’ full-time relevant work experience in the nominated occupation or a related field, at the same level of skill • Competent English at time of application • Meet health and character requirements (one fail – all fail) • Australian Values applies to all 16 and over • Members of the Family Unit are listed in nomination or sponsor has agreed to include in writing Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 19 Visa – SESR Visa requirements include: Department of Home Affairs • No new RSMS Direct Entry applications will be able to be lodged from 16 November 2019 • RSMS TRT applications will only be able to be lodged if the nominee is either: • a transitional 457 worker, or • a transitional 482 worker • RSMS nominations lodged before 16 November 2019 where the:  nomination has not been approved or refused before 16 November 2019; and  nominee is not a transitional 457 worker or a transitional 482 worker; and  nominee has not lodged a 187 visa application before 16 November 2019 are taken to be withdrawn on 16 November 2019. Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 20 Transitional arrangements Department of Home Affairs Employer Sponsored Visa Program – update for AAT members June 2019 21 Transitional arrangements I have … I can… an existing SBS sponsorship • nominate overseas workers under the TSS program or the new SESR program an approved RSMS DE nomination but a visa application has not been lodged • not lodge an RSMS DE visa application • request the SAF levy be refunded as my nomination cannot be used an approved RSMS TRT nomination but a visa application has not been lodged, and my nominee is not a transitional 457 or 482 worker • not lodge an RSMS TRT visa application • request the SAF levy be refunded as my nomination cannot be used an approved RSMS TRT nomination but a visa application has not been lodged, and my nominee is a transitional 457 or 482 worker • lodge an RSMS TRT visa application an RSMS nomination (DE or TRT) that hasn’t been approved or refused, a visa application has not been lodged, and my nominee is not a transitional 457 or 482 worker • request the SAF levy be refunded as my nomination is deemed to be withdrawn Department of Home Affairs • The new Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) (subclass 191) visa comes into effect on 16 November 2022. • The key requirements for this visa are: – The primary applicant must have held a regional provisional visa for at least 3 years; – The primary application must have earned a minimum taxable income for three years as the holder of a regional provisional visa (level still to be determined by the Minister); – complied with the conditions of the regional provisional visa; particularly the requirement to live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia. •

Applicants can also apply for a subclass 189 or 190 after 3 years if invited to apply