Introducing two new regional visas - Subclass 491 and Subclass 494
The Australian Government has announced changes to the migraton program that will boost migration to regional Australia including Canberra. To do this it is creating two new skilled regional visa which will enable migrants and employers to access a wider range of occupations. These changes are epected to attract a flow of international students into regional Australia who will be seeking to transition to the regional visas at the end of their studies and then to permanent residence in Australia.
Definition of Regional Australia
In November 2019, the definition of Regional Australia for all skilled visas will be simplified and expanded to include all of Australia except for the following metropolitan areas:
- Gold Coast
Surprising as this may be to some, Canberra, the national capital, is defined as a region.
New skilled regional provisional visas
The following are the two new skilled regional provisional visas that will be introduced the 16 of November 2019:
Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: Substituting the current visa subclass 489, this visa has 14,000 places allocated per year. This is a skilled migration (points tested) visa which requires either state government nomination, or sponsorship by an eligible family member who is settled in a designated regional area. The age limit for this visa is 45 and you must have a positive skills assessment.
Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored: Substituting the current visa subclass 187 (RSMS), this visa has 9,000 places allocated per year. It requires employer sponsorship and the position must be likely to exist for 5 years. It has a 45 year age limit, competent English, RCB advice and must meet the AMSR. Visa applicants must have a suitable skills assessment and at least 3 years’ skilled employment (unless exempt).
Neither the ACT Government nor the other state governments have released their new nomination policies and it is impossible to give advice at this stage on what you may need to do to be eligible.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THIS SPACE FOR FURTHER UPDATES.
The new visas will have a valdity period of up to five years with visa holders being required to live and work in a regional area of Australia for at least three years before becoming eligible to apply for permanent residence.
These new regional visas are intended to provide greater incentives for regional employers to nominate skilled workers, including priority processing of applications and access to additional skilled occupations. Based on current eligible skilled occupation lists employers will be able to sponsor up to 700 occupations for the the Subclass 494 visa and there will be 500 possible occupations open to the Subclass 491 visa.
As part of the changes the Subclass 489 State Nominated Skilled visa will be closed off as will the permanent Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa. The introduction of the two new regional visas will not impact people who already hold existing permanent skilled visas or who apply for a Subclass 489 or 187 prior to November 2019.
Source of information:
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