News

New Designated regional areas in Australia

11/18/2019

DAMA Locations New Migration Program New skill regional visas Regional Australia Subclass 491 Subclass 494

New Australian Regional Migration Scheme

Residents of Kalgoorlie celebrate Australia Day in style at Centennial Park

By Emma Gallagher

On 16th November 2019 Australia launched its new regional migration scheme. Scott Morrisons Government announced in March 2019 that it was “stepping up its commitment to regional Australia” by ensuring that the Australian migration system encourages skilled migrants to live and work in smaller cities and regions.

From Saturday 16th November 2019 most locations of Australia outside major cities (Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) are classed as designated regional areas for migration purposes.

The designated regional areas will be split into two categories:

  1. Cities and major regional centres
  2. Regional centres and other areas

Each category will have access to regional benefits:

  • 25,000 dedicated regional places
  • regional visa applications will have priority processing
  • more occupations will be added to Regional Occupation List
  • international graduates with a bachelor or higher qualification from a regional campus of a registered institution will be eligible for an extra year in Australia on a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)
  • Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) can also be negotiated for some region-specific regional centres and other regional areas.

Cyrus Mistry Comments

Cyrus Mistry is the founder of EasyMigrate, where he has been specialising
in Australian migration for 20 years.

It is good to see this bold initiative by the Federal Goverment. There will be 504 “occupations” avaiable for the new subcalss 491 and about 650 occupations for the company sponsored subclass494.

We are hoping that the State Governments support this initiative by including these occupations for state-nomination. (Only Victoria has said “yes” to the listat the time of writing this article). I encourage prospective migrants to look seriously at this new option that has opened.

The subclass 491 & subclass 494 visas are provisional visas for five years and you can get “permanent residency” after three years of living and working in “Regional”

New Regional Postcodes

The Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) has a list of postcodes that specify designated regional areas.

The list of postcodes applies to the following visas:

Regional visas:

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)
Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)
Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)* – designated regional areas only apply to visa holders nominated by a State and Territory government agency whose visa was granted after 16 November 2019.

Skilled visas:

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)


Employer sponsored visas:

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187)
Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) – only if the position is located in regional Australia, the nomination fee is waived.
Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) – if using an occupation on the Regional Occupation List for this subclass.


Business investment visas

Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888)
State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner visa (subclass 892)

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