Over the weekend, the Government announced the new definition of ‘Regional Australia’ will change to encompass all areas of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from 16 November 2019. As a result, both Perth and the Gold Coast will be reclassified as regional areas for visa and migration purposes to allow more skilled migrants to settle, study and work in these cities.
Skilled Regional Visas Allocated 2,000 More Placements
The Government has also announced 2019-20 migration planning levels for Regional Visas will increase from 23,000 to 25,000 placements.
The decision follows significant growth in the number of Regional Visas granted recently. In the first quarter of 2019-20, the Department of Home Affairs granted 6,000 Regional Visas, compared to under 3,000 in the final quarter of 2018/19.
It is unclear whether the Government intends to reduce the number of skilled visa placements that allow migrants to live and work in any area of Australia to accommodate the increase. If this is the case, we expect placements may be reallocated from the Skilled Independent 189 Visa program.
Benefits for Businesses, Skilled Migrants & International Students
The changes may benefit businesses with operations in Perth and the Gold Coast, as well as skilled migrants who intend to live, study and work in these areas. Find out how below.
Benefits for Businesses
Businesses may have access to:
- Sponsoring skilled migrants under a wider range of occupations for work in Perth and the Gold Coast, with over 450 more eligible occupations available for Regional Visas from November;
- Priority Government processing for Regional Visas;
- A more cost-effective Permanent Residence pathway for skilled overseas employees working in Perth or the Gold Coast than through existing employer-sponsored pathways.
Benefits for Skilled Migrants and International Students
New skilled migrants may have access to:
- A permanent residence pathway after living and working in Perth or the Gold Coast for three years on a Skilled Regional Visa;
- An extra year to work in Australia on a Post-study Visa for new international students who choose to study in Perth or the Gold Coast;
- Scholarships worth $15,000 to study as an international student in a regional area
Business Migration | Strategic Thinking
According to Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, around 70% of Australia’s population growth in recent years has been in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Mr Tudge believes migration has been the primary driver of this growth.
The recent policy changes reflect the Government’s push for regional migration, as well as feedback from the Higher Education Sector, businesses and WA and QLD State Governments to classify Perth and the Gold Coast as part of ‘Regional Australia’.
Regional Visa Q&A Series for HR Professionals and Business Owners
In an online Q&A Video Series releasing on 28 November, Interstaff will be addressing questions submitted by HR Professionals, Site/Operations Managers and Business Owners about the impact of the new Regional 494 Visa for businesses with regional operations.
Importantly, the Regional Visa Q&A Series will now also address the shift in sponsorship and visa options for businesses requiring skilled migrants for work in Perth or the Gold Coast.
To take part and submit questions for the Q&A Video Series, and to access upcoming Videos and Visa Tools, register now and stay informed about how the Regional Visa changes impact your business.
Regional Visa Changes for Skilled Migrants
If you are a skilled migrant and interested in Regional Visa options, you may wish to get in touch for a visa pre-assessment from 16 November when the new definition of ‘Regional Australia’ and the new Regional Visas commence.
Our team assist individuals and businesses with the visa and sponsorship process for all Australian cities and regional areas. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of Registered Migration Agents on 1800 449 858 or [email protected]
Interstaff’s Insights | Regional Skilled Visas
With the new Regional Skilled Visas commencing on 16 November, our articles in The Australian Mining Review and The Australian Oil and Gas Review newspapers provide some timely information for businesses with a need to employ skilled migrants for work in regional or remote operations. Have a read.