Australia New Skilled Regional Visas
New subclasses 491, 494 and 191 to replace existing 489 and 187 in November 2019 and November 2022 respectively.
The Migration Amendment (New Skilled Regional Visas) Regulations 2019 amend the Migration Regulations 1994 to introduce three new visas to assist regional Australia (designated regional areas) and make related amendments. At the commencement of the new regional provisional visas, it is intended that the designated regional areas, to be identified in a legislative instrument, will include all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Among the regional areas, Adelaide has the most population of approximately 1.3 million in 2018. Besides, Adelaide has been ranked as the sixth livable city in the world including a high quality of education and low property prices. Therefore, Adelaide will be the hottest immigrant city under the new immigration policy.
Schedule 1 to the Regulations, from 16 November 2019
Introduces the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491), a new and enhanced points-tested visa to assist regional Australia, for applicants nominated by (1) a state or territory government agency or (2) sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area; and
closes the Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional)) visa (Subclass 489) to primary applicants seeking to satisfy the criteria for the grant of a Subclass 489 visa in the First Provisional Visa stream. Subclass 489 is superseded by Subclass 491.
Amend the points test in Schedule 6D to the Migration Regulations to award:
o 15 points for nomination by a State or Territory government agency or sponsorship by a family member residing in regional Australia, to live and work in regional Australia;
o 10 points for a skilled spouse or de facto partner;
o 10 points for certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications;
o 5 points for a spouse or de facto partner with ‘competent English’;
o 10 points for applicants without a spouse or de facto partner; and make a number of minor technical amendments.
The amendments of Points Test will apply to both new applicants who apply for the Subclass 491 visa a well as applicants for a Subclass 189, 190 and 489 who are yet to be assessed. The changes to the points test however are beneficial – no applicant with a pending application will be adversely affected because the changes provide for the award of additional points.