The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) – Subclass 494 visa is a temporary visa that enables companies in regional areas of Australia to recruit skilled overseas workers either directly or through a formal agreement with the Commonwealth. This visa can only be used if the Australian employer is genuinely unable to source appropriately skilled Australian workers.

The SESR Visa has 2 streams :

  1. Employer Sponsored Stream : This stream permits employers in Regional Australia to directly recruit skilled overseas workers to work in specified occupations for 5 years.
  2. Labour Agreement Stream : This stream permits employers in Regional Australia, who have a labour agreement with the Australian Government, to recruit skilled overseas workers to work in an occupation specified in the labour agreement for 5 years.

The 3 stages involved under this visa program are as follows :

  1. Sponsorship or Labour Agreement : An employer applies for approval as a sponsor or enters into a formal agreement with the Australian government.
  2. Nomination : Upon receiving approval to act as a sponsor or entering into a labour agreement, the employer nominates an occupation, that is on a relevant skill occupation list or labour agreement, for a prospective SESR visa applicant.
  3. Visa Application : The SESR visa applicant applies for the SESR visa.

Though the 3 stages of the SESR visa can be initiated at the same time, the approval process will be such that the nomination cannot be approved unless the sponsorship has been approved, and the visa cannot be granted unless the nomination has been approved.

Some common criteria to be satisfied by SESR visa applicants are :

  • You must be under 45 years of age.
  • You must have at least 3 years relevant full-time work experience at the required skill level of your nominated occupation.
  • You must have the relevant qualification, skills, employment background & English language proficiency to work in the nominated occupation in Australia.
  • You must be nominated by an approved Sponsor, whose business is lawfully operating in Australia & must only work for that sponsor in their business or in an associated entity of that business.
  • The nomination mentioned in your visa application must be approved.
  • Visa holder must work only in the nominated occupation.
  • Visa holder must live & work only in a designated regional area in Australia.
  • Unless an exemption applies, you must undertake a suitable “Skills Assessment” for your occupation & that skill assessment should have been taken within the last 3 years from the date of application. You must undertake your skill assessment before lodging your visa application.
  • If it is mandatory for you to have a license, registration or membership to work in your occupation in Australia, you must obtain that license, registration or membership within 90 days of arriving in Australia.
  • You & your eligible family members must meet health & character requirements.
  • All family members must have “Functional English”. If they do not, they must pay the required charges in lieu of not having functional English.
  • You can change your employer only if a nomination by the new employer is approved.
  • If you wish to change your occupation after being granted the visa, you will need to apply & be granted a new visa & also a new nomination.
  • You must not have paid for your visa sponsorship.

Rights of SESR visa holders :

  • They may live & work in Australia for a period of 5 years
  • They are accorded the same workplace rights as Australian workers
  • They can bring eligible family members with them to Australia
  • Eligible family members can live, work or study, but only in a designated regional area in Australia
  • They may travel in & out of Australia as many as times as they want while their visa is valid
  • They can apply for Permanent Residence after 3 years

Australian migration law is constantly in a state of change. To know if you are eligible to apply for this visa and, if so, how to apply in conformity with current relevant laws, contact our registered migration expert who will ensure that you succeed in your migration goals.