From today, skilled migrants who commit to living and working in regional Victoria will have access to two new skilled provisional visas, as part of The Nationals in Government’s commitment to tackling skills shortages in regional Australia.
Successful visa applicants will become eligible to apply for permanent residency if they can demonstrate they have lived and worked in regional Australia for three years.
Nationals Senator for Victoria and Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie, said the visas will help businesses across rural and regional Victoria to fill vacant jobs faster and provide additional incentives for skilled migrants and their families to settle and remain in the region.
“Our first priority is always to fill jobs in our regions with locals or other Australian workers, but the immigration system can play a role in helping to address our skills gaps and grow our economy,” she said.
“By requiring migrants to live and work in a region for at least three years we are encouraging them to put down roots, become part of our community and stay longer term.”
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said applicants for the two new visas would receive priority processing and have access to a wider range of jobs than those applying to migrate to our major cities.
The two new skilled regional provisional visas are:
Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa: for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa: for people who are nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member to live and work in regional Australia.
The new visas build on the government’s ongoing regional migration initiatives, which have seen a 124 per cent increase the number of regional visas granted in the first quarter of this
This year, the government has reduced the cap on Australia’s permanent migration program from 190,000 to 160,000. Within that reduced cap, the number of places allocated to regional
visas has increased to 25,000.
From today a simplified definition of regional Australia will also apply. All of Australia, except
Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, are now classified as regional for migration purposes.
Seven Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) have been signed with regions around the country, including Victoria’s Great South Coast, to address their specific skilled migration needs.
The government has also deployed a team of Regional Outreach Officers to promote skilled migration initiatives and provide dedicated support to regional employers, helping them understand their options to attract and retain skilled migrants.
For more information visit: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/regional-migration.