Regional Skilled Migration Visa Update

Australia’s immigration system is continually evolving and shifting and the upcoming changes to the General Skilled Migration visa program are proving to be no exception.

Here is a summary of the latest update we’ve received –

16 November 2019

On 16 November 2019, the following ‘new’ regional visa subclasses will come into effect –

  • Subclass 494 – Employer-Sponsored (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 491 – Skilled Work (Provisional) visa

More Eligible Occupations

The employer-sponsored regional visa (Subclass 494) will include 673 eligible occupations. This figure represents 450 more occupations than the non-regional skilled occupation lists.

The subclass 491 visa will include 504 eligible occupations, which represents an additional 77 occupations to the current skilled occupation lists.

At the time of writing, the new skilled occupation lists have not been published by the Department of Home Affairs.

Regional Australia – Redefined

The definition of regional Australia will be redefined to include all of Australia, except for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

More Points

Applicants will have access to more points when nominated under Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional.

Faster Processing

Applicants for the new regional visa subclasses will receive priority processing.

Closure of the RSMS Program from 16 November 2019

RSMS applicants under the Temporary Residents Transition Stream will continue for transitional Subclasss 457 and 482 visa holders who –

  • on 20 March 2019, held a TSS (Subclass 482) visa in the Medium-term stream, or was an applicant for a Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa in the Medium-term stream that was subsequently granted, or
  • on 18 April 2017, held a Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa: or was an applicant for a Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa that was subsequently granted.

RSMS nominations lodged before 16 November 2019 is taken to be withdrawn in circumstances where –

  • the nomination has not been decided before 16 November, and
  • the nominee is not a transitional 457/482 employee, and
  • the nominee has not lodged an RSMS visa application before 16 November 2019

Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa

On 16 November 2022, the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa will come into effect. Visa applicants must have held a Subclass 494 or 491 visa for at least three years while living, working and studying in a regional area. There will be no direct entry provision or eligibility to apply from other Australian visa subclasses.

The writer will continue to publish information about the upcoming changes as further details are released.