New incentives to live, work or study in Australian regional areas


In an effort to increase the population in Australian regional areas, the government has proposed introducing new skilled regional visas as well as rewarding those who wish to study within regional areas. The new skilled regional provisional visas will be for skilled migrants, and dependent family members, who want to live and work in Australia. The government’s proposed national population plan was announced in March by Alan Tudge and Scott Morrison.

There will potentially be two new skilled regional provisional visas introduced in November 2019:

  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.
  • 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 skilled regional visas may be a possible avenue for some to consider should it be implemented.

How will this visa work?

  • Holders of the new skilled provisional visas will be required to live and work in regional Australia for at least three years
  • Visas will be granted with a validity period of up to five years
  • Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will be able to apply for a Permanent Residence visa. The Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa will begin in November 2022.


Extra  opportunities for international graduates from regional institutions

A further would-be initiative highlighted by Government is to provide for an additional Temporary Graduate visa with an extra year of post-study work rights for international students who:

  • graduate from the regional campus of a registered university or institution with a higher education or postgraduate qualification; and
  • maintain ongoing residence in a regional area while holding their first Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa

What will be required if passed?

  • The second Temporary Graduate visa will require ongoing residence in a regional area.

As students need to graduate from a regional campus and then spend at least two years residing in a regional area to qualify, the additional Temporary Graduate visa will be available to the first eligible cohort of graduates from 2021.

There is no change to Student visa arrangements.  This initiative simply provides an additional incentive for international students to study and live in regional Australia.


What would be considered a regional area?

The definition of regional Australia for this purpose will be all of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.


What should I do now?

With potential changes from the Government in population  planning and immigration, it is always best to be prepared.  Contact our team for a complimentary consultation to determine the best pathway to meet your Australian migration goals.




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