Skilled migrants who commit to living and working in a regional area now have access to two new skilled provisional visas, as part of the Federal Government’s commitment to tackling skills shortages in regional Australia.

The two new skilled regional provisional visas now in effect are:

  • 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 visas build on the Government’s ongoing regional migration initiatives, which have seen a 124 per cent increase the number of regional visas granted in the first quarter of this programme year.

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

Successful regional visa applicants will become eligible to apply for permanent residency if they can demonstrate they have lived and worked in regional Australia for three years.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the initiatives help ease population pressures on Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and promoting growth in those regional areas that need more people

Applicants for the two new visas will receive priority processing and have access to a wider range of jobs than those applying to migrate to our major cities.

Migrants will be required to live and work in a regional area for at least three years we are encouraging them to put down roots in those communities, meaning they are more likely to stay longer term

Mr  Coleman said a simplified definition of regional Australia will now 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.

The 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.

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It follows the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business beginning public consultation in the review of the skilled migration occupation lists in September.

The Department is meeting with interested stakeholders and will be organising roundtables with selected industries and groups across the country until February 2020.

As part of the review of the skilled migration occupation lists, the Department will publish a Traffic Light Bulletin which outlines the outcomes of initial labour market analysis, stakeholder consultation and views from across government.

The formal submission period opens in December 2019.

AMMA will make a submission seeking to have occupations which are of high concern for our industry placed on the skilled migration list.

AMMA is seeking the input of interested members, and invites further information and where possible, evidence, to inform our submission.

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