Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional 494 visa (SESR)

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Subclass 494 visa, enables regional employers to employ skilled overseas nationals to fill genuine, full time positions where it can be shown that these positions cannot be filled from within the local labour market. This visa came into effect on 16 November 2019 and replaced Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187).

What is Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional 494 visa?

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional 494 visa is a temporary visa for 5 years from date of grant of visa. 3 years after working with same employer, the visa holder will be able to apply for Permanent Visa subclass 191 with effect from 16.11.2022. This visa is addressed to Regional Employers in Australia who cannot find local Australian to work for them; the employers will now be able to sponsor overseas skilled workers whose occupations are listed on list issued by Department of Home Affairs.

Here are the lists of occupations 

Who can get Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional 494 visa?

Eligibility requirements:

  • under the age of 45
  • the position is in regional Australia (outside of the main cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane)
  • nominate an occupation that is on the skilled occupation lists (including the short-term, medium-term and regional lists)
  • have at least 3 years relevant work experience in your nominated occupation
  • have a relevant skills assessment
  • approved by Regional certifying body RCB
  • meet English language requirement, exempt from the English requirement if you are a passport holder of the following countries: United Kingdom, United States, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland
  • meet health and character requirement
  • meet additional criteria of the stream in which you are applying for
  • the sponsoring business must be actively and lawfully operating in Australia
  • must have a genuine need to fill a skilled position
  • must be unable to find an Australian citizen or permanent resident with the skills and experience needed to fill the nominated position.
  • full-time employment contract for at least five years
  • pay market rate salary
  • business has no adverse information

What is a Designated Regional Area?

Most areas located outside major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are designated regional areas for the purposes of this visa, please note, only certain postcodes outside metropolitan Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are designated regional areas.

South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Norfolk Island are all considered designated regional areas.

Usually, Designated Regional Areas are subject to change.

What is Regional Certifying Body (RCB)?

Employers applying to the Department of Home Affairs to sponsor an overseas professional under the new Skilled Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 494) are required to apply for assessment by a Regional Certifying Body. The RCB’s role is to provide advice to the Department of Home Affairs on the SESR  applications, using local area knowledge to advise on whether the nominee for the position will be paid at least the Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) for the occupation. Please note that an assessment by a Regional Certifying Body (RCB) is one step in the process of an employer nomination application.

What are the Streams under Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional 494 visa?

Employer Sponsored stream – This visa enables regional employers to address identified labour shortages within their region by sponsoring skilled workers where employers can’t source an appropriately skilled Australian worker;

Labour Agreement stream
 – This stream is for skilled workers nominated by employers who have a labour agreement. Labour agreements are developed between the Australian Government (represented by the Department) and employers (your employer has to have a labour agreement with the Australian government in effect);

What is the processing time of Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional 494 visa ?

The Department of Home Affairs will allocate a total of 9,000 places to the 494 visa program each year and will enable visa holders and their family members to transition to permanent residency after living and working for their employer in a designated regional area of Australia for at least three years ( see 191 visa ). The processing time is between 3-6 Months

Other visa options