Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Subclass 494 visa allows the regional employers to source sponsored skilled workers where they can’t source an appropriately skilled Australian worker. The approved employers can nominate overseas skilled workers to come, stay and work in Australia for up to 5 years. So, under this visa, you must work for the employer in the nominated occupation only. Now the question may arise, “Can I leave my employer or sponsor after I receive the visa?” The answer is “it depends” on certain conditions. Therefore, if you are thinking to leave your sponsor and are not sure about the consequences, please read on. We one of our registered migration agents Melbourne have given some advice regarding the possible consequences of leaving your sponsor during a 494 visa.
Conditions of 494 visa subclass
This subclass of visa has three separate streams-
To avail of this visa, you will have to fulfil certain conditions.
- Work for your nominated occupation
- Work for your nominating employer in regional Australia
- Have a relevant skills assessment
- Be nominated to work in an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
- Have, at minimum, three years of work experience in your nominated occupation
- Be under 45 years of age, unless an exemption applies
- Meet the minimum standards of English language proficiency
Visa obligations of 494 visa
Obligations do employee have under sponsor visa
If you apply for an employer sponsored visa, you must:
- Work for your sponsoring employer
- Live, work and study only in regional areas
- Work in your nominated occupation
- Commence work within 90 days of the visa being granted
If you apply for the Subsequent Entrant pathway, you must be the family member of a primary SESR visa holder or main applicant for a SESR visa.
The obligation does the sponsor have under this contract
The sponsor must:
- Pay market salary rates to the sponsored workers
- Ensure your employee works only in the nominated occupation
- Offer a skilled position for at least 5 years
- Be located in a designated regional Australia
- Get the approval from the Regional Certifying Body (RCB)
- Have the genuine need to employ an overseas worker to fill a skilled position
- Have a labour agreement (a must for the Labour Agreement Stream)
Employee rights under a sponsored visa
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) protects all employees working in Australia. As an employee on sponsored visa, you have the rights to:
- Approach the FWO for any support, like workplace exploitations
- Seek the help of FWO, even if you breach your work-related visa conditions
- Seek assistance from FWO if your employer threatens to cancel your work visa
- Your visa cannot get canceled by your sponsoring employer
What will happen if you leave during a 494 visa?
Much similar to subclass 187, under 494 visa, the employee must adhere to the mandate to work for the nominating employer only. The condition of this visa clearly states that the applicant can only work in the nominated occupation in the business that nominated them. Hence, if you are planning to leave your employer during your visa period, the chances are high that the Department will revoke or cancel your visa. That being said, if you are looking to change your profession, you will need to apply for a new nomination. Moreover, your new nomination must be approved before you can start working for your new employer.
How can a migration lawyer help?
In the conclusion, we can state that you cannot just leave your employer while being under a 494 visa. However, as we stated, you can opt to choose a new employment opportunity through the proper channel. Hence, if you are planning to do any such changes, we suggest you consult the Australian Visa Lawyer, who can help you through the applications, visa options, and other documentation to retain your current visa status.