Regional Migration

The Australian Government is devoted to incentivizing and attracting migrants to certain Australian areas that are sparsely populated and meet a certain criteria during the COVID-19 pandemic. In summary , Australia’s regional programs constitute the following options

  • 2 skilled regional provisional visas that provide a pathway to permanent residence

  • a skilled regional permanent resident visa ( starting November 2022)

  • additional points under the Skilled Migration Points Test for skilled migrants nominated to live and work in regional Australia

Indicative Regional Visa Categories

Following 3 categories are used for the ‘Regional’

Category 1 – This includes ‘Major Cities’ of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane that do not receive any regional incentives

Category 2 – These include ‘Cities and Major Regional Centres’ of Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong and Hobart

Category 3 – These include ‘Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas’
The regional definition offers regional incentives for skilled migrants who migrate to locations classified as Category 2 ‘Cities and Major Regional Centres’ or Category 3 ‘Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas’.

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    Exploring Options for Regional Visas

    Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191)

    This visa option is primarily for individuals who have lived, worked and studied in a designated regional area in Australia on a previous, eligible visa for at least 3 years and have have had a taxable income at or above a specific income threshold for at least three years while in possession of the visa. This visa entitles them to live and work anywhere in Australia, stay permanently if granted, sponsor relatives and even apply for an Australian Citizenship.

    Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa Subclass 489

    For skilled workers who want to live and work in regional or low -population Australia, this is the right option for you. Please note that you should be nominated by the state or territory government. This subclass entitles you and your family as well to a 4 year stay and work in Australia. Once you are granted this visa, you might be able to apply for the Skilled Regional (Permanent) visa (subclass 887)

    Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa Subclass 491

    This subclass 491 is a visa for skilled people nominated by a state or territory government to live and work in regional Australia. Once granted, it entitles the individual to up to 5 years of stay in Australia. Please note that one must be nominated to apply by a state or territory government agency, or an eligible relative must sponsor. Also, one’s occupation must be identified on a relevant skilled occupation list

    Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa Subclass 494

    This visa enables regional employers to address identified labour shortages within their region by sponsoring skilled workers where employers can't source an appropriately skilled Australian worker. This visa entitles the applicant to live, work and study only in designated regional areas of Australia for up to 5 years. Once eligible, it also deems the candidate to apply for permanent residence after 3 years from the time of commencement of employment