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Australia introduces NEW Regional Migration visas!

Good news for International Skilled workers, as Australia is set to introduce two new Skilled Regional visas, which launch on 16 November 2019. An additional permanent visa pathway will also become active from November 2022.

The new skilled regional visas will enable skilled migrants and dependent family members to live and work in regional Australia for upto 5 years.

The two new visas are:

  1. Subclass 491: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: will replace the current 489 Visa. This visa is for individuals who are nominated by an Australian State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member to live and work in regional Australia. Applicants would additionally need to have a positive skills assessment and be under the age of 45 at the time of application. This stream will grant up to 14,000 visas each year.
  2. Subclass 494: Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: will replace the current 187 visa. This visa is for individuals sponsored by an employer in regional Australia, and the sponsorship must be for a minimum of 5 years. Each year, 9,000 places will be granted under this visa stream.

Holders of the 491 and 494 visas will be eligible to apply for Subclass 191: Permanent Residence Skilled Regional visa, which will come into effect in November 2022.

To be eligible for the 191 Permanent Skilled visa, applicants will need to demonstrate that they have lived and worked in regional Australia, for a minimum of 3 years, complied with all other visa conditions, and met minimum income tax requirements, while holding the Subclass 491 or Subclass 494 visas.

Benefits of the New Regional Visas

  • Applicants of the 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visas will have access to over 450 new occupations, and the 491 Skilled Work Regional provisional visa will have access to over 70 more occupations.
  • Priority processing of applications
  • Additional 5 points for each of the following factors on the points test:
    • State nomination/ Family sponsorship
    • Partner skills
    • Partner English
    • Selected STEM occupations
    • Applicants who do not have a spouse or de facto partner will receive an additional 10 points
  • Extension of Australian “Regional” areas to include Newcastle, Wollongong, and Central Coast. (This basically means, all of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or The Gold Coast)

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