5 Sep 2019

Changes to regional employer-sponsored permanent residence

Does your business currently employ Subclass 457 or 482 Visa holders in regional areas? If so, it’s important to know how the visa changes in November 2019 will impact permanent residence options for employees.

Regional permanent residence changes

The new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) 494 Visa will commence on 16 November 2019 and replace existing pathways to sponsor overseas workers for permanent residence in regional areas.

This visa will replace the most commonly used employer-sponsored visa for regional areas – the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visa.

Currently the 187 RSMS visa option provides employers the option to either:

Sponsor regional workers for permanent residence directly through the Direct Entry (DE) stream or;

Sponsor Subclass 457 or 482 Visa holders for permanent residence through the Temporary Residence Transitional (TRT) stream after three years of regional work.

Once the new 494 Visa commences, the 187 visa option to sponsor regional visa holders for permanent residence directly without a waiting period will be removed.

Instead, the 494 Visa will be a provisional visa. It will introduce the requirement for a three year stay in a regional area before migrants can apply to become a permanent resident.

How this impacts current regional Subclass 457 or 482 visa holders

Subclass 457 or 482 Visa holders who currently live and work in regional areas will no longer be eligible to apply for permanent residence through the Subclass 187 Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream once the program closes in November.

Overseas workers will instead need to hold a Subclass 494 Regional Skilled Visa for three years to become eligible.

Benefits of applying for permanent residence before November

Subclass 457/482 visa holders who have completed three years of work may wish to apply for permanent residence through the Subclass 187 Visa before it closes.

Compared to its replacement Subclass 494 Provisional Visa, the Subclass 187 Visa provides a more immediate pathway for businesses to sponsor employees for permanent residence and ongoing regional work.

Migration connections made simple

Legislation has already been introduced to broadly allow any area to be classified as ‘regional’ except Australia’s busiest metropolitan areas – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth.

To understand how the above changes impact your visa and sponsorship options, simply contact Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents on 08 6263 4406 or


Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents

Department of Home Affairs

Migration Institute of Australia

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

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