Implementation dates for Subclass 491 and 494 visas, details for Subclass 489 transitional arrangements and visa information for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) is now available.
Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa
- Nominations and invitations can be made as of Nov. 16, 2019, as Subclass 491 replaces Subclass 489.
- There is five years of validity with compliance conditions, such as: living, working or studying only in a designated regional area, as well as reporting changes to personal circumstances to the authorities within 14 days of the change.
- Further evidence of activities may be requested by the authorities and the visa holder could be asked to attend an interview.
Failure to comply with the conditions can lead to visa cancellation and/or loss of a pathway to permanent residency.
Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa
- Requires a Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) and an approved or submitted nomination before an application can be lodged (similar to the Temporary Skill Shortage/ TSS application process).
- From Nov. 16, 2019, businesses with an existing SBS sponsorship certificate can nominate for Subclass 494.
- Labor market testing evidence must be included in the nominations, as well as salary advice from a Regional Certifying Body.
- Employers should be aware of the payable Skilling Australians Fund fee.
- Qualifying criteria includes: applicants must be under 45 and hold a successful skills assessment at the time of application.
- It is valid for five years and visa holders are subject to a work limitation condition (similar to the TSS visa).
Sept. 10, 2019, is the last submission date for a Subclass 489 visa.
Nov. 15, 2019 is the last date for an application that is based on an invitation, as well as lodging of a Subclass 187 RSMS nomination or visa through the direct entry stream.
Applicants of Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme will not be affected.
Pathway to Permanent Residency
A minimum of three years is required for holders of Subclass 491 or 494 in a regional area before being considered for any skilled visa. The eligibility criteria for Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa includes: three years’ residence and evidence of earning a minimum taxable income for three years.
General Skilled Migration (GSM) Points Test
The current GSM points test will be updated on Nov. 16, 2019, giving applicants additional points, provided certain criteria are met.
Those interested in Subclass 491 or 494 visas can begin preparation for skills assessments and English language testing so they are ready to submit an application shortly after the commencement date.
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debra Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager, APAC.
New legislation being implemented in Aug. 2019 will evoke changes to the immigration rules.
Some of the changes include:
- Introduction of quotas for new applications at some consulates.
- Labor market test processing time may be reduced to ten days.
- The residence card will no longer include an address. This means that biometrics will not need to be submitted each time there is a change of address to obtain a new residence card.
- A change of employer will require a declaration from the employee (at least 30 days in advance) and approval from the Ministry of Interior will not be necessary. The change can only occur after six months of residence and on the basis of an employee card.
- Graduates can benefit from a new permit type.
- Residence holders must complete an integration course from 2021 onwards.
- Temporary residence permits issued to EU citizens before the new legislation will be valid for ten years from the date of issue. Permits issued before Jan. 2010 will expire by Dec. 31, 2019.
- Government projects will be open to more nationalities, with simplified qualifying criteria. Three programs will be available: Key and Scientific Personnel (local hires and relocated employees); Highly Qualified Workers (local hires only); and Qualified Workers (local hires from certain countries only).
Employers are advised to review their population of EU citizens whose temporary residence permits were issued before the new legislation takes effect. It is important to consider adjusting current processes in line with new quota regulations for some countries/ consulates. Crown will provide further insights once the new Act has been signed and published.
This summary was prepared using information obtained from Peregrine Immigration Management.
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Laxmi Vikraman, Regional Immigration Manager, EMEA.
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