In March 2019, Australian Government announced significant changes to the General Skilled Migration and Employer Sponsored visa programs in 2019.
New regional visas to Australia.
This shift in focus replaced: both the RSMS (subclass 187) Visa and the Skilled Regional (subclass 489) Visa, by two new temporary regional visas. Both with pathways to permanent residency after 3 years.
494 Skilled Employer Sponsored (Regional) visa – sponsored visa
Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored (Regional) replaced 187 (RSMS) and has 10,000 places allocated per year.
491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa – point tested visa
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) has replaced the Skilled Regional Nominated visa (subclass 489). New regional visas came into effect from 16th November 2019. The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (subclass 187) will close to new applicants from November 16, 2019. Transitional arrangements will be put in place for applicants who have lodged both the Nomination and Visa and are undecided at that time.
About 494 visa.
This visa is for people who wish to settle in regional Australia who have an occupation which is in high demand in Australia’s labour market.
Additionally, like current arrangements for the subclass 457 and 482 visa program, holders of the new provisional visas can be negatively impacted by sponsor non-compliance.