Great news for skilled migrants dreaming of a new life in Australia. The Australian Government has announced a proposal to introduce two new skilled regional visas from November 2019.
The new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa and Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa are intended for skilled migrants, and their dependent family members, who want to live and work in Australia.
The Government has also proposed a route to permanent residence via a new permanent regional visa from November 2022.
Let’s explore further…
Two new regional visas
The Department of Home Affairs has announced a proposal to introduce two new skilled regional provisional visas from November 2019:
- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.
- Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: 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.
These visas are intended to encourage migrants to relocate to Australia’s regional areas. They’re also designed to help regional employers to sponsor migrants and fulfil occupation shortages. Regional employers will have access to additional regional occupations to sponsor migrants and priority processing of regional visa applications.
How many places are available on each visa?
Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional):
- 9,000 places have been allocated, and;
- Almost 700 occupations will be eligible.
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) - State and Territory Nominated/eligible family member:
- 14,000 places have been allocated, and;
- Over 500 occupations will be eligible.
What are the benefits?
Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to live and work in regional Australia. Regional Australia covers all of Australia apart from the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth. These visas have several benefits, including:
- A 5-year validity period,
- Priority processing,
- Access to additional skilled occupations, and;
- Holders of these visas who can demonstrate that they’ve lived and worked in regional Australia for at least 3 years will be eligible to apply for Permanent Residence.
A new Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa has been proposed for November 2022. No further details are available at this stage.
Will the new visas affect current visa applications?
The two new regional visas proposed for November 2019 will not impact migrants who already hold Australian visas.
Applications lodged before November 2019 will continue to be processed as normal and there will be no impact on the permanent residence of current permanent visa holders.
Those who apply for a 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa before November 2019 can apply for permanent residency after only 2 years of living and working in regional Australia. If you’re considering this visa, it’s best to apply as soon as possible to avoid waiting an extra year to be eligible for Permanent Residence.
How to apply?
Currently, these visas are only at the proposal stage and are not yet legislation. Further details on these proposed regional visas will be available during the coming months and FastVisa will keep you posted with any developments.
Need further advice? Contact FastVisa
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