To encourage potential migrants to settle in regional and rural parts of Australia, the Australian Government plans to introduce two new skilled provisional visas. In this article Suchara Fernando outlines the key requirements for these new visas.
The Australian Government intends to introduce two new skilled provisional visas in November 2019. These visas will target skilled migrants and their dependant family members who want to live in Australia. To be eligible for these visas, migrants must live and work in a regional area of Australia for at least three years before they’re eligible to apply for permanent residence.
If an applicant is successful in obtaining one of the new skilled regional provisional visas, they must live and work in regional Australia. Visas will be granted for periods of up to five years.
Most parts of Australia are considered ‘regional’, the exceptions being Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth.
Benefits for regional employers
These visas will provide greater incentives for regional employers to nominate skilled workers.
Under the new visas, regional employers will have access to:
- a greater number of sponsored-migrant regional occupations
- priority processing of the visa applications.
Based on current eligible skilled occupational lists:
- the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa will have almost 700 eligible occupations
- the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa will have over 500 eligible occupations.
Benefits for applicants
Under the new visas, applicants will receive additional points if they are sponsored to settle in regional Australia.
For international students who have graduated from a regional institution, there are even greater benefits. These are available through an additional temporary graduate visa that allows 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
- maintain ongoing residence in a regional area while holding their First Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.
A new permanent visa pathway, the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa, will also be available for holders of the new regional provisional visas in November 2022.
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