New Regional Skilled Workers Visas

New Regional Skilled Workers Visas

It  is the middle of an important year in Australia in terms of immigration. After the new occupation list published on March 2019 and the federal election on May 2019, the Australian migration program will have significant changes following the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs announcement of an amendment to the Migration Act 1958 regarding two new skilled regional visas.

This article analysed the upcoming changes schedule for November 2019, and may help you to understand what changes has been made to the skilled visa program, who it’s may affect and how it can be beneficial.

If you are uncertain about how these new regulations affects your migration plans, here you gonna find out important information to consider in your next step. 

As The Hon David Coleman MP said: 

The amendments introduce a revised points system for the subclass 491 visa as well as existing General Skilled Migration visas. Points are awarded for attributes that are linked with the applicant’s ability to make the greatest economic contribution, as the key purpose of the skilled migration program is to maximise the economic benefits of migration to Australia” 

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What is changing in the skilled program?

First, we need to quickly explain what is regional Australia and the revised points system mentioned by David Coleman. 

As defined by the department of home affairs, regional Australia includes all of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The points test it’s a requirement for all skilled work visas, a minimum of 65 points is required to all applicants. The attribute based system takes in consideration: Age, English language skills, employment experience, educational qualifications, study requirements, credentialled community language, partner skills and state nomination.

 The revised points test keeps the same structure, however more points are available to applicants that meet the requirements listed below:

  • Increased from 5 to 10 points for having a skilled spouse or de facto partner;
  • Increased from 10 to 15 points for State or Territory government nomination in regional Australia;
  • Extra 10 points for having certain STEM qualifications;
  • Extra 10 points for applicants who do not have a spouse or partner; and
  • Additional 5 points for applicants with a spouse or partner who has competent English level.
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Two New Regional Skilled Visas:

Australia new immigration program demonstrate the government plans of populating the regional areas with skilled works, developing the state economies and consequently, reducing the labour gap of these specific locations. 

In order to stimulate the regional areas, the government announced two new skilled regional provisional visas:
These two new visas are pathways to permanent residence in Australia, according to the publication of the new Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa. Check below more details about eligibility criteria:
  • hold a regional provisional visa (Subclass 491 and 494) when they apply for the Subclass 191 visa, and have held that visa for at least three years;
  • have earned a minimum income for at least three years as the holder of a regional provisional visa; and
  • have complied with the conditions of the regional provisional visa.

Regional Skilled Visa - Benefits:

The changes announced for November provides benefits for those willing to live and work on regional areas. Its an additional option to be considered in yours skilled migration plan. But, how these changes can benefit new applicants?

  • Employers and States who sponsor regional skilled migrants will have access to more occupations than non-regional visas;
  • Regional applicants will have access to 450 more occupations for sponsor visas and 70 more occupations for Skilled Regional Work;
  • Regional visa processing will be prioritized over non-regional visa applications;
  • Five additional points will be available for the new 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional).
Those benefits are also extended to international graduates from regional institutions. For those graduating on a two years course of higher education on regional campus of an education institution will access an one year extension to the 485 graduate visa of two years. 
As announced by the department of home affairs, these changes will not impact on visa applications processes lodged until November 2019. 


If you need more information about visa requirements or would like to have an assessment of your skills and visa options from our registered migration agent, please contact us to schedule an individual meeting. 


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Ellerfield Migration was recommended by a friend, after I wasted some dollars consulting with 3 migration agencies that didn't demonstrate any care for my case. They gave me full support, starting with an initial conversation about my background and understanding my future plans in Australia. 

My Ellerfield agent was fantastic, they show me all my visa options and each requirement that I have to go through to reach my goal. For the first time, someone listen to what I want and they show what and how I need to do it. 

I'm so thankful for your help Ellerfield, now I got my permanent residence obtained through the 190 skill nomination visa. I highly recommend Ellerfield Migration!   

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