The 494 skilled employer-sponsored visa that replaced the 187 (RSMS) visa on 16 November 2019.
A total of 9,000 places will be allocated to the 494 visa program every year. The 494 visa does not grant immediate permanent residency, like the 187 RSMS visa did, but a 494 visa holder may be eligible for the 191 skilled regional permanent residency visa after a number of years.
The 494 is a five-year visa. You can access permanent residence through the Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) visa when the following is met:
You do NOT need to be nominated by an employer to make an application for the 191 visa. This is a major difference to the RSMS 187 visa.
You can move to a new employer, but the new nomination must be lodged within 90 days. They’ll also need to meet the same requirements as your previous sponsor, such as obtaining Regional Certifying Body approval, paying the SAF levy and ensuring that you’re paid the correct rate for the role.
A Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy must be paid for each nomination that an employer makes under the 494 program.
SAF levy funds go towards training Australian permanent residents and citizens.
You’ll be eligible to enrol in Australia’s Medicare program, so private health insurance is not required.
Generally, you won’t be able to apply for other skilled PR visas or partner visas whilst you’re on the subclass 494.
The RSMS subclass 187 program will remain open for visa applicants who:
‘Orphan’ 187 nominations submitted before 16 November 2019 will be viewed as withdrawn on 16 November 2019 if: