New Skilled Regional Visas – from 16 November 2019

New Skilled Regional Visas – from 16 November 2019

New Skilled Regional Visas

Provisional and Permanent

Two new provisional visas will be introduced from 16 November 2019 to assist regional Australia:
  •    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 visas at the time of application:
  • Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa Subclass 191

What is the difference between the old and new regional visas?

  • 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.


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).

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 491

  • 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)
  • 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
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

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 494 

  • 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 Requirements
  • 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)

Nomination – SESR

Nomination requirements include:
  • 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
    • 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

Visa – SESR

Visa requirements include:
  • 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

Transitional arrangements

  • 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 worker, or
  • a transitional 482 worker
  • RSMS nominations lodged before 16 November 2019 where the:
  • the nomination has not been approved or refused before 16 November 2019; and
  • the nominee is not a transitional worker or a transitional 482 worker; and
  • the nominee has not lodged a 187 visa application before 16 November 2019
are taken to be withdrawn on 16 November 2019.

Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) (subclass 191) – PR Pathway

  • 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

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