The Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa ('482 visa') and the subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa ('494 visa') are both employer sponsored visas. The 494 visa is intended for visa applicants who wish to live, work and study in a designated regional area in Australia (excluding Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) whereas the 482 visa is not restricted to a particular location within Australia.
An applicant is eligible for the 482 visa if their occupation falls on the Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL), Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or 482 Regional Occupations List (ROL).
Occupations that are on the 482 STSOL do not offer a pathway to permanent residency.
An applicant may be eligible for the 494 visa if their occupation falls on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the 494 ROL. The 494 ROL encompasses a broader range of occupations and also includes occupations that are on the 482 STSOL.
Pathways to permanent residency
For the 482 visa, there are pathways to permanent residency through the Subclass 186 visa after either (a) completing 3 years' full time employment with the sponsor or (b) obtaining a positive skills assessment and providing evidence of 3 years' work experience. Both ways require the employer's support.
For the 494 visa, after 3 years' full time employment the visa holder can apply for access to permanent residency through the Subclass 191 without employer support.
There are restrictions for 494 visa holders in applying for other permanent visas (such as the Subclass 820, 124, 132, 186, 188, 189, 190 and 858 visas) unless they have held the 494 visa for at least 3 years. However, there are no restrictions for 482 visa holders to access other permanent visas.
Differences in visa length
The 482 visa can be granted for a period of up to 4 years (for occupations that are on the MLTSSL) or 2 years (for occupations on the STSOL) while the 494 visa is a provisional visa that is granted for up to 5 years.
Costs involved for employers
The 482 nomination attracts a fee of $330 while there is no nomination fee for the 494 visa.
The Skilling Australian Fund (SAF) levy payable by an employer varies depending on the turnover of the business in the most recent completed financial year and the proposed period of employment.
|Visa||Sponsor turnover >$10M||Sponsor turnover <$10M|
|482||$1200 per year||$1800 per year|
|494||$3000 one-off||$5000 one off|
Both visas operate in a similar way and both use the same 'Standard Business Sponsorship' to access the visa program. The two visas have distinct but similar Nomination and Visa requirements.
|Stage||Sc 482 Process||Sc 494|
|1.||Standard Business Sponsorship – relates to the sponsoring business|
|2.||482 Nomination – relates to the position to be filled||494 Nomination – relates to the position to be filled|
|3.||Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa –relates to the person to be employed.||Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) –relates to the person to be employed.|
Differences in process
As the 494 visa provides a more streamlined pathway to permanent residency, the requirements to obtain the visa are higher.
|Nomination||MLTSSL||MLTSSL or ROL|
|Occupation on relevant list||Yes||Yes|
|Labour Market Testing||Yes with certain exemptions||Yes (no applicable exemptions)|
|Market Salary Rates||Yes (must be at least the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold of $53,900)||Yes (must be at least the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold of $53,900)|
|Regional Certifying Body advice||No||Yes|
|Skill||Qualification (Cert III / Dip / Bachelor)*||Qualification + Skills Assessment**|
|Experience||Min 2 years' full time post qualification||3 years' full time post qualification|
|Age||No age limit||Applicant must be under 45 years old at time of application|
|English||IELTS Minimum 5.0 in each band||Competent English i.e. IELTS Minimum 6.0 in each band|
* A limited number of occupations require a Skills Assessment.
**Exemptions are available for academic applicants, subclass 444/461 visa holders or those who have had a previous skills assessment for a 457 or 482 visa for the same occupation
The 482 visa has less stringent conditions than the 494 visa which has additional conditions which the primary visa holder must abide with.
|482 visa||494 visa|
The pros and cons of each visa
The 482 visa offers an easier pathway to permanent residency. However, depending on your personal circumstances, the 494 might be the more appropriate choice.
The above information is not intended to be legal advice but merely offers a brief summary of the differences between the 482 and 494 visas.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.