Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR)

CCIQ is a Regional Certifying Body for the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494).

The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) (SESR visa) enables Australian employers in areas specified by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs in a Legislation Instrument to sponsor (nominate) skilled overseas workers. This is to assist employers in regional and low population growth areas of Australia where they have been unable to fill vacant positions with Australian citizens or permanent residents living in or wishing to move to the regional area where the nominated position is located.

Where an employer decides to nominate a skilled overseas worker for a SESR visa in the Employer Sponsored (ES) stream, the nomination must be accompanied by advice completed by a relevant Regional Certifying Body (RCB) at time of decision. The RCB must have responsibility for the area where the nominated position is located. These requirements are legislated in the Migration Regulations 1994 under Regulation 2.72C. If the nominating employer has not requested the RCB to provide the advice, and the advice has not been received by the Department of Home Affairs, then the lodged employer nomination application cannot be progressed.

Regional Australia

Any Australian employer who is actively and lawfully operating a business in an area specified by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs in a Legislation Instrument can sponsor skilled overseas workers through the SESR visa ES stream.

The SESR visa covers all of Australia except Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Areas of Australia is further defined by reference to a Legislative Instrument that specifies regional areas by post code.

View Designated regional area postcodes here.

RCB Assessment

A “request for assessment” can be made electronically (preferred) to rcb@cciq.com.au or paper based to the relevant RCB office’s post box. Refer to our RCB locations here.

For each request for assessment lodged, the RCB must provide the Department with advice as to whether the identified person would be paid at least the annual market salary rate for the occupation.

Please refer to our checklist for the required documents.

Criteria: Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR)

A new market salary rate framework is in place for the SESR visa program. As a result, where the overseas skilled worker will be paid less than AUD250,000, nominators need to demonstrate that:

  • they have determined the AMSR
  • the overseas skilled worker will not be paid less than this amount (i.e. less than what an Australian worker would be paid)
  • both the AMSR and what the overseas skilled worker will be paid, excluding any non-monetary benefits in both cases, must be no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) – i.e. currently AUD53,900.

Further information on salary and employment condition requirements for sponsored skilled visas, including determining the AMSR, can be found here.

Scenario 1

An Australian worker is performing equivalent work to the nominee, in the same workplace and at the same location as the nominee. If there is an enterprise agreement or industrial award in the form of a fair work instrument, state industrial instrument or transitional instrument or similar and/or registered with the Fair Work Commission, then the annual market salary rate will be specified in those awards and apply to an equivalent occupation in relation to the nominated position.

  • Where there is no enterprise agreement or industrial award in the form of a fair work instrument, state industrial instrument or transitional instrument or similar and/or registered with the Fair Work Commission that is applicable to an Australian worker, then the annual market salary rate for an equivalent occupation in relation to a nominated position must be determined by reference to relevant employment documents.
  • If a nominator has a more or less experienced worker than the nominee, doing similar work at a higher or lower pay grade, then they are not considered an equivalent Australian worker.
  • Nominators who only provide generic market salary data/salary surveys will not satisfy the information required to determine the AMSR if there is an equivalent Australian worker, as this is not relevant
Equivalent Australian Worker
ScenarioRelevant InformationSupporting Evidence
Salary is determined in accordance with an enterprise agreement or industrial award or similar.

The name of the enterprise agreement or industrial award in the form of a Fair Work instrument or transitional instrument or similar and/or registered with the Fair Work Commission, where applicable.

Note: the salary level/occupation group that applies to the nomination occupation must be specified.

N/A
An enterprise agreement of industrial award does not applyExplanation of salary arrangements.Copies of relevant employment contracts and pay slips for other Australian workers performing equivalent work in that workplace.

Scenario 2

There is no Australian worker performing equivalent work to the nominee, in the same workplace and at the same location as the nominee. However, if there is an enterprise agreement or industrial award in the form of a fair work instrument, state industrial instrument or transitional instrument or similar and/or registered with the Fair Work Commission that would apply to Australian citizens or permanent residents in the same workplace at the same location, then the AMSR of an equivalent Australian worker will be specified in those awards and apply to an equivalent occupation in relation to the nominated position.

 

  • Where there is no enterprise agreement or industrial award in the form of a fair work instrument, state industrial instrument or transitional instrument or similar and/or registered with the Fair Work Commission that would apply to Australian citizens or permanent residents in the same workplace at the same location, then the AMSR would be what applies to an equivalent Australian worker, which must be determined by reference to relevant market information.
  • Relevant market information may include:
    - information in relation to statutory minimum entitlements, fair work instruments, state industrial instruments and transitional instruments that apply to Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents in similar workplaces
    - local knowledge and evidence of appropriate terms and conditions of employment including information from: 
  •    unions or employer associations; 
  •    broader labour market data, including Australian Bureau of Statistics Employee Earnings and Hours Survey (see: www.abs.gov.au) and Australian Government’s Job Outlook (see: www.joboutlook.gov.au); 
  •    remuneration surveys; 
  •    job vacancy advertisements from the last six months for equivalent positions in the same location (e.g. state, urban versus regional area).

The nominator must have:

  • determined what the equivalent Australian worker does earn, or would earn, and provide this information in the request for assessment, including where relevant a break-down of monetary and non-monetary benefits that would be included in their salary package; and
  • explained which method they used to make this determination, as outlined under the above scenarios.
No Equivalent Australian worker
ScenarioRelevant InformationSupporting Evidence
Salary is determined in accordance with an enterprise agreement or industrial award or similar

The name of the enterprise agreement or industrial award in the form of a Fair Work instrument, state industrial instrument or transitional instrument or similar and/or registered with the Fair Work Commission, where applicable.

Note: the salary level/occupation group that applies to the nomination occupation must be specified. 

N/A 
An enterprise agreement or industrial award does not apply Explanation of how the nominator has used relevant information to determine what an equivalent Australian worker would be paid.  

At least two (2) of the following: 

  • Job outlook information (See www.joboutlook.gov.au);
  • advertisements from the last six months for equivalent positions in the same location (e.g. state, urban versus regional area);
  • remuneration surveys completed by a reputable organisation; or
  • written advice from registered unions or employer associations 

 

Note: Relevant information will depend on whether or not there is an equivalent Australian worker performing equivalent work on a full-time basis in the same workplace at the same location.

  • The onus is on the nominator to provide sufficient information to satisfy the Department that they have determined the AMSR using the method specified above.
  • If the nominator provides vague, unlabelled salary surveys and does not explain how they have determined the AMSR, they may not have provided sufficient relevant information to demonstrate:
    - what the AMSR is (consequently it would not have been demonstrated that the nominee will not be paid less than the AMSR); and/or
    - that the AMSR has been determined using the specified method.
  • If the market salary rate determined is a 'range', the nominator must explain and provide specific details regarding why the particular AMSR has been selected.

Information on salary and employment condition requirements for sponsored skilled visas, including determining the AMSR, is available here. 

For additional information refer to Department of Home Affairs website.