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[NEWS] The Push Towards Regional: 2 New Visas + 1 Extra Year For TR Visas

Australian Immigration News

Immigration's push for migrants to move away from the major cities, Melbourne and Sydney, is gaining momentum. 4 key changes were announced last Friday, affecting the Skilled Migration program. More detail has been published since, with much more still to be finalised.

Here's an easy-to-read summary with everything you need to know so far, as well as some comments from our Principal Migration Agent and former-Immigration Officer.


4 Key Changes:

  1. Ceiling for PR places lowered for the migration program

  2. New definition for 'Regional Australia'

  3. Two new regional visas becoming available in November 2019, both with pathways to PR

  4. Regional TR visa holders can stay in Australia for a 3rd year

Below are the details of these changes.


#1. Ceiling Lowered

What: Immigration has announced that they will be slashing the number of permanent residency visas available from 190,000 in the 2018 - 2019 program year, down to 160,000 in 2019 - 2020.

Comments from Principal Migration Agent:

"Unfortunately, this will put more pressure on the places for general skilled migration. This means the points cutoff for many occupations will increase further. State nomination will become even more crucial in the coming financial year. "


#2. New Definition for 'Regional Australia'

When: TBC, will be effective from the start date of this initiative

What: The definition of 'regional Australia' will be expanded to cover all of Australia except for the metropolitan areas of: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth


#3. 2 x New Regional Visas

When: Available November 2019

What: There will be two new regional visas introduced, both with pathways to PR.

  1. 1. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional): Employer sponsored

  2. 2. Skilled Work Regional (Provisional): State and Territory nominated, or family sponsored


  • Visa holders will need to live and work in regional Australia for the entire duration

  • 5 year visa validity

  • Applicants can access priority processing

  • Access to a broader range of occupations compared to those living in major cities

  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) applicants will be able to access almost 700 occupations

  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) applicants will be able access over 500 occupations

  • Migrants on these visas must have lived and worked in regional Australia for 3 years to be eligible for PR

  • 5 additional points for regional nomination or sponsorship on the Migration Points Test

Comments from Principal Migration Agent:

"It appears these visas will be used by the Government to combat the issue of disproportionate migration towards the major Australian cities instead of the regional areas. However, without further information, it's difficult to tell at this stage how these new visas will be more beneficial than the existing TSS or 489 visas."


#4. 3rd Year for Regional TR Applicants

When: First cohort of graduates will be eligible for this visa in 2021

What: Temporary Graduate visa holders will be able to extend their stay in Australia for 1 additional year

Who: To be eligible, students will need to:

  • Have graduated from the regional campus of a registered university or institution with a higher education or postgraduate qualification

  • Live in a regional area for the entire 2 years while holding their first Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa

Comments from Principal Migration Agent:

"Under this initiative, Temporary Graduate visa holders can also obtain an ADDITIONAL Temporary Graduate visa for 1 year. So for a Bachelor or Masters (coursework) graduate from a regional campus, instead of only having 2 years after graduation to remain in Australia, you could have 3 years. You will just need to also live in a regional area during your first Temporary Graduate visa.

This will be beneficial to those who are already studying in a regional area, or intend to start studying in a regional area. Getting the additional year on their 485 visa will give them more time to find relevant work, or complete any other processes required for PR through skilled migration.

It is still unclear whether a student needs to have completed the entire course at a regional campus. We will request for more information and keep you posted."


If you have any questions about how this affects you, or want an assessment of your eligibility for PR, feel free to book in a FREE 1-to-1 consultation with our Principal Migration Agent and former-Immigration case officer.


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