Australia Immigration: Adds 2,000 Places for 491 & 494 Regional Visas -28th October, 2019

Australia Immigration: Adds 2,000 Places for 491 & 494 Regional Visas
In a media release with many ministers, the Australian Prime Minister announced that due to tremendous demand for regional visas, there will be an more 2,000 places to this program year for the Skilled Work (Provisional) Regional (Subclass 491) visa and the Skilled Employer Sponsored (Provisional) Regional (Subclass 494) visa.

And after much discussion, the definition of regional & non-regional area will divide into 3 categories:

  • Major cities
  • Cities and major regional centers
  • Regional centers

Additional 2,000 Provisional Regional Visas

Due to a 124% boost in the number of regional visas awarded, the cumulative number of positions for the current program year will grow by 2,000 to 25,000. While this is not surprising, just how regional positions are determined is not clear.

Why this development in demand is not shocking is due to the termination of the permanent Regional Sponsored Migration (Subclass 187) Scheme visa and the Skilled (Provisional) Regional (Subclass 489) visa. The Department of Home Affairs is conscious that any prior notice of the termination of a visa subclass usually results in a rush of appeals, particularly when the substituting visas make the object of a permanent visa harder. It is possibly why the cancellation of Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visas was sprung on the public in March 2017 with result following shortly after.

A forecast will be that the lodgements number for subclass 489 and especially subclass 187 visas will quicken towards the 15 Nov 2019 closing date. It is because the way the latest regional visas have been created will need living and working in a selected regional area for minimum 3 years, which is an increment from 2 years for subclass 489 visa holders looking to appeal for a Skilled– Regional (Subclass 887) visa. The net outcome is that more time is required to hold either a subclass 491 and subclass 494 visas to reach the qualification criteria for the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) (subclass 191) visa.

Major cities, Regional centers, Cities and major regional centers, and different regional areas

The binary outline of regional or non-regional will modify to a ternary definition of Major cities or Cities & major regional centers or other regional areas and Regional centers.

Major cities will be:

  • Melbourne
  • Sydney
  • Brisbane

Cities and major regional centres will be:

  • Adelaide
  • Perth
  • Sunshine Coast Canberra Newcastle or Lake Macquarie
  • Gold Coast
  • Wollongong or Illawarra Geelong
  • Hobart

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