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Today, 2 April 2019, The government of Australia has announced Federal Budget for the financial year 2019-2020. Among these budget updates, we are going to share information related to the Department of Home Affairs and the migration program.
As already announced in the media, the Australian government will reduce its annual migration intake from 190,000 to 160,000 places for four years from 2019-2020. However, in 2017-2018, the government already accepted the lower number of migrants, which was 162,417 than a planned level of 190,000.
To better support the needs of regional Australia and boost such regions, the new regional visas will be introduced from 1 November 2019. These visas are ‘Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa,’ and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa’. They will replace Skilled Regional (subclass 489),’ and well-known ‘RSMS (subclass 187) visas’ respectively.
Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa requires sponsorship by an employer who is doing business in specified regional areas. 9000 places have been allocated to this visa, and it has access to a list of around 700 occupations, which is 450 more occupations than non-regional areas. Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa has more places than the above Skilled Employed Regional visa,’ which is 14,000, and over 500 eligible occupations will be on its occupation list.
Both provisional visas will receive priority processing. These visa will be valid for 5 years, with a pathway to the new permanent visa, Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional), after 3 years of working and living in the specified regional areas of Australia. There will be enhanced compliance activities for these visas whether workers work and stay in regional Australia.
Moreover, there may be an additional benefit for international students studying at the regional universities, giving them access to one more year in Australia on the second graduate work visa. It will commence from 2021. To be eligible, students must graduate with a higher education or post graduate qualification, and have continued to live in the regional areas during their Temporary Graduate Visa.
This change aligns with the Government’s plan to encourage migrants to move to regional Australia which will be redefined as anywhere outside of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Further information will be available for these new visas over the coming months and we, OPARTNERS will update you as soon as possible. In the meantime, feel free to contact OPARTNERS for more information.
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The information provided in this column serves as a general guidance only and does not constitute migration advice. We accept no responsibility for any consequence that may arise from any action taken based on this information. We highly recommend readers to seek private advice or assistance for detailed situations. Thank you.