Invitation for General Skilled Migration visas are already slow, only 200 candidates were invited each round in the last two months. The Australian government has already announced the visa changes for regional migration which would come into effect on 16 November 2019. Now, international students and aspirant migrants eying for the conditions and pathway details for permanent residency through announced regional skilled visas. Initial release by the Home Affairs Department made international students more anxious about their permanent resident journey. As income threshold mentioned latest DHA newsletter 53,900 dollars a year requirement to progress to a permanent residency visa.
Though, announced regional visas are promising wide occupation list and liberal point award system many potential applicants concerned with the income threshold which is not reachable for many. Migration stakeholders fears such income condition will expose visa holders to exploitation.
These are the new visas
A Subclass 491 visa is a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa. This is a points-tested visa. A candidate would have to get the nomination by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area. This visa is set to replace the current subclass 489 visa and come into effect on 16 November 2019. Once a candidate gets this visa s/he cannot apply another permanent residency visa or pathway for a permanent visa for 3 years.
Major Features of subclass 491 Visa
- 14,000 places every year
- Many occupations are eligible for this visa (more than 500 occupations)
- Age Limit: 45 years
- Visa Length: 5 years
- Regional Living: live and work in regional areas for at least 3 years to be eligible for PR
- Wide Range of Living Areas: With the new definition, the regional areas are anywhere in Australia except metropolitan Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth
- Income Threshold: A$ 53,900 annually for three years (concessions may apply)
- Free to Move: once visa granted holder can move into another regional area
- Permanent Residency: Can apply subclass 191 after 3 years living in a regional area, which is a permanent residency visa
- Visa fee: A$4,045 for the primary applicant and the $2,025 for a partner.
494 is a Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa for which the applicant should have sponsorship from a regional Australian employer. The visa works on two streams, Employer-Sponsored and Labor Agreement. This visa would replace the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) – Direct Entry stream from 16 November 2019. To be nominated this visa occupation and position must likely to available for 5 years and full time. After living and working in a regional area the visa holder can apply for permanent residency.
Major features of Subclass 494 visa
- Annual 9000 positions
- Almost 700 eligible occupations
- Age limit 45
- Competent English
- Permanent Residency after living and working in regional areas for 3 years
- Application Fee: A$4,045 and A$2,025 for partner
- Position likely last for 5 years and full-time work offer
- Regional Certifying Body (RCB) approval
- The employee must be paid an Australian Market Salary Rate
This is a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa for those who spent at least 3 years in regional Australia holding Subclass 491 or Subclass 494 visa. Before applying this visa Subclass 191, a candidate must have held a regional provisional visa for at least three years; earned minimum income for at least three years which is now set at 53,900 if no concessions by the government and fulfilled other laid conditions of the regional visa.
Major features of Subclass 191 visa
- Permanent Residency visa
- Available from November 2022
- Only for subclass 491 or 494 visa holders
- At least three years living and working in regional Australia
- Must earn a minimum income wage of 53,900 (if no concession and change)
- Full fill other regional visa obligations