"By requiring migrants to live and work in regional areas for three years before they can get permanent residency, we are encouraging them to put down roots and settle in these areas long term."

By Ian Horswill


Posted on November 19, 2019

There is no better chance to live in Australia than now.

Australia is opening its doors to welcome skilled migrants with two new types of visas that are going to be given priority processing and will give visa holders the chance of permanent citizenship in three years, instead of the usual four years which is required for migrants on a permanent visa.

However, there is one condition. The new visa requires the skilled migrant to live outside Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. That means you can live in the cities of Perth and Adelaide, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory and all the great regional towns and cities across the sun-burnt Australia.

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The two new skilled regional provisional visas are:

  1. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.
  2. 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.

The new visas build on the Australian Government’s ongoing regional migration initiatives, which have seen a 124% increase in the number of regional visas granted in the first quarter of this program year. The regional skilled visas open the door to permanent residency for overseas workers from a wider range of occupations than before including real estate agents, call centre managers, actors, historians and even kennel hands, ABC News reported.

“We are easing the population pressures on Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and promoting growth in those regional areas that need more people,” said David Coleman, Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs.

“Our first priority is always to fill jobs with Australians, but the immigration system can play an important role in helping to address regional skills gaps and grow local economies.

“From today a simplified definition of regional Australia will apply. All of Australia, except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, are now classified as regional for migration purposes.

Seven Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) have also been signed with regions around the country to address their specific skilled migration needs, Coleman said in a press release.

The Australian Government has also deployed a team of Regional Outreach Officers to promote skilled migration initiatives and provide dedicated support to regional employers, helping them understand their options to attract and retain skilled migrants.

migrants Australia

The Australian Government has reduced the cap on Australia’s permanent migration program from 190,000 to 160,000 this year. Within that reduced cap, the number of places allocated to regional visas has increased to 25,000.

“By requiring migrants to live and work in regional areas for three years before they can get permanent residency, we are encouraging them to put down roots and settle in these areas long term,” he told ABC News.

“That is what our smaller cities and regional communities need.”

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