The government has recently announced that the number of regional visas granted under the RSMS (subclass 187) programme has increased by 179%, and the Regional Skilled Sponsored visas by 79%.

Although this is before the introduction of the new regional visa program, and the phasing out of the RSMS visa, it shows that there is a continued commitment to the regional visa programme.


The Department of Home Affairs has recently clarified some aspects of the forthcoming regional visas, to be introduced in November:

The minimum taxable income for the subclass 494 and 191 visa will be set at the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) unless concessions are agreed (such as in relation to a DAMA). TSMIT is currently $53,900 per annum

Members should be aware that holders of Subclass 491 visas will therefore also be required to earn the TSMIT level income of $53,900 for three financial years before they can apply for the Permanent Residence Skilled Regional Subclass 191 visa. This is a high threshold for many regional employers to meet.

Employers interested in nominating overseas workers under the subclass 494 visa need to be an approved Standard Business Sponsor (SBS). Employers can lodge their SBS application now before visa applications open from 16 November 2019. Existing Standard Business Sponsors can sponsor workers under the Subclass 494 from 16 November 2019.


The first NSW DAMA (Designated Area Migration Migration Agreement) has recently been announced, and will be overseen by the Orana Regional Development Australia (RDA).

The Orana RDA covers the Central West, Western and Mid Western regions of NSW, and incudes the towns of Mudgee, Bourke, Bogan, Brewarrina, Cobar, Coonamble, Dubbo, Gilgandra, Narromine, Walgett, Warren and Warrumbungle.

The Orana DAMA utilises a labour agreement stream of the TSS SC 482 visa and includes a pathway to permanent residency with the ENS SC 186 visa stream.

Seventy three occupations ranging from skill level 1 to 5 have been approved under this DAMA. Skills/work experience, TSMIT and English language concessions are available for a small number of the occupations.

Further information about the DAMA is available on the ORANA RDA website.

Adrian Felton

Migration Consultant (MARN:0105680)

Please contact us directly if you have any questions regarding the above information.

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.