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New regional visas for Australia

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The Australian Government has introduced two new regional visas which requires migrants to commit to life in regional Australia for at least three years.

This new visa opens to the door to permanent residency for overseas workers from a wider range of occupations than before — including such occupations as real estate agents, call centre managers, actors, historians and even kennel hands.

This can lead to citizenship after four years on a permanent visa.

When launching the visa, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said, “By requiring migrants to live and work in regional areas for three years before they can get permanent residency, we are encouraging them to put down roots and settle in these areas long term,”

New laws will give these new regional visa holders similar access to welfare and government services as permanent visa holders.

There are 2 new skilled regional provisional visas open for applications on 16 November 2019: 

  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) – for people nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member to live and work in regional Australia.
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) – for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia

To be eligible for permanent residence, holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to show they have lived and worked in regional Australia while holding one of these visas. They can then apply for the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) from November 2022.

Regional employers will have access to:

  • more regional occupations to sponsor migrants to work in regional Australia
  • priority processing of regional visa applications
  • additional points for certain points-tested migrants who are sponsored to settle in regional Australia.

Designated regional areas

There are two categories of designated regional areas:

  • Cities and major regional centre
  • Regional centres and other regional areas

Both categories have access to regional incentives:

  • access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places
  • priority processing of regional visa applications
  • access to the Regional Occupation List – more jobs compared to non-regional lists
  • international graduates with a bachelor or higher qualification from a regional campus of a registered institution will be eligible for an extra year in Australia on a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)

Our team have assisted thousands of people to migrate to Australia. Contact our team of Registered Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers about the regional visas and how we can assist you in migrating to Australia.

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