New Regional Visas
Subclass 491 & SubClass 494
The new skilled regional provisional visas will be for skilled migrants, and dependent family members, who want to live and work in Australia.
Two new provisional visas will be introduced from 16 November 2019 to assist regional Australia:
- Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (SWR) visa – Subclass 491 – for people who are 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) (SESR) visa – Subclass 494 – for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.
A third new visa will be introduced from 16 November 2022 for persons who hold a subclass 491 or 494 visa at the time of application:
Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa – Subclass 191
Currently four definitions of ‘regional’ across nine different skilled migration visas. These will be replaced with one simplified definition from November: Regional will encompass all of Australia except:
- Brisbane and Gold Coast
Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to live and work in the above regional Australia. Visas will be granted with a validity period of up to five years.
Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will be able to apply for a Permanent Residence visa. The Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa will commence in November 2022.
Importantly, to be eligible for permanent residence, holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to demonstrate they have lived and worked in regional Australia while holding one of the new Skilled Regional Provisional visa.
Regional employers will have access to additional regional occupations to sponsor migrants and priority processing of regional visa applications. There will also be additional points for certain points-tested migrants who are sponsored to settle in regional Australia.
- Employers in regional Australia, as well as State and Territory governments, who sponsor regional skilled migrants will have access to more occupations than equivalent non-regional visas.
- Based on current occupation lists, the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa will have access to over 450 more occupations than closest non-regional equivalent visa, and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will have access to over 70 more occupations than the closest non-regional equivalent visa.
- Priority processing arrangements will be expanded to include all visa applications sponsored by regional employers as well as other visa applicants who will live and work in regional Australia.
- Five additional points for regional nomination or sponsorship provide an extra incentive for potential migrants to consider settling in regional Australia.
Extra options for international graduates from regional institutions
This initiative provides for an additional Temporary Graduate visa with an extra year of post-study work rights for international students who:
- graduate from the regional campus of a registered university or institution with a higher education or postgraduate qualification; and
- maintain ongoing residence in a regional area while holding their first Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa
The second Temporary Graduate visa will require ongoing residence in a regional area.
The definition of regional Australia for this purpose will be the same as the definition for skilled migration – all of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
As students need to graduate from a regional campus and then spend at least two years residing in a regional area to qualify, the additional Temporary Graduate visa will be available to the first eligible cohort of graduates from 2021.
Existing Temporary Graduate visa holders may be eligible, provided they can meet these requirements.
There is no change to Student visa arrangements. This initiative simply provides an additional incentive for international students to study and live in regional Australia.
Migration law is constantly changing and engaging an experienced solicitor and migration agent can be invaluable in your goal of becoming a permanent resident or citizen of Australia. Whether you or if you know someone who can apply for Regional Visa, encourage them to contact Migration Guru to see how we can assist. Migration Guru has assisted in countless visa applicants and has more than 50 years of collective experience in a dynamic team of Solicitors and Migration Agents in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra and Hobart. This experience ensures that staff can advise and navigate client’s through the new changes to find their best visa options. We wish to remind readers that the first consultation with Migration Guru is free of charge.
Our team may be contacted by via email on info at migrationguru.om.au or by calling 07 3036 3800. Readers are encouraged to follow us on Facebook for all the updates to Migration Law – https://www.facebook.com/migrationguru/