With the aim of easing congestion in Australia’s major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, and distributing the population to regional areas, the Australian Government is going to introduce regional visas that will require applicants to reside in regional Australia for at least three years to get permanent residency.
On Wednesday, March 20, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new population plan under which 23,000 visa places will be reserved for new skilled regional visas – a significant jump from 8,534 last year.
The Government is also taking steps to encourage international students to take up courses in regional universities rather than Sydney, Melbourne and Southeast Queensland. As a measure to attract overseas students to regional Australia, 1000 scholarships of $15,000 each for local as well as overseas students have been announced by the government. Besides, another incentive being offered to international students is an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman said “For people who migrate to Australia, permanent residency is on top of their list. By linking permanent residency to their stay in regional Australia will help improve compliance.”
The Skilled Employers Sponsored Regional visa, presently known as the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, will have the target increased from 6,000 to 9,000, while the state and territory sponsored visa places will increase from 8,500 to 14,000.
Keeping the slashed annual migration intake by Australia in mind, applying for a regional visa seems a great pathway for those who want to obtain Australian Permanent Residence. Applying under subclass 190 and 489 will surely offer applicants an upper hand in securing visa. These visa holders will not only be given priority processing but will also have access to a larger pool of eligible occupations for permanent residency as well.