New skilled regional visas, both independent and employer sponsored will begin on 16th November 2019. On that date existing regional visas (RSMS/187 and 489) will cease for new applications, although transitional arrangements will apply.

Both new visas can lead to Permanent Residence after three years working in a regional area, for eligible applicants. Regional Australia is now defined as any area except Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

  1. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 494)

  • Employers can use existing standard business sponsorships to lodge the new nomination and visa applications
  • The visa will be granted for 5 years
  • The visa holder/s will be eligible for Medicare, and therefore no health insurance will be necessary
  • Visa will be granted with regional compliance condition, ensuring that the visa holder remains in a regional area during the course of their visa.
  • Labour Market Testing is mandatory and there are no exemptions for International Trade Obligations.
  • Broadened list of available occupations (673 in total)
  • Visa applicant must:
    • Be under 45 at time of application
    • Have a successful skills assessment at time of application
    • Competent English
    • Have a genuine intention to perform the occupation

2. Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491)

  • Either State/Territory nominated or family sponsored
  • More points available for regional nomination:
    • 5 for state/family sponsorship
    • 5 for specialized Australian Masters degree
    • Extra 5 points for partner skill
    • 5 points for partner not eligible for skills points, but with competent English
    • Single applicants – 10 points
  • Priority processing arrangements apply
  • 5 year grant period
  • Increased compliance regime to ensure that the visa holder remains in a regional area during the course of the visa.
  • Broadened list of available occupations – 504 in total.

Adrian Felton

Migration Consultant (MARN:0105680)

Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances.