6 Benefits of Living and Studying in Regional Areas

There are several incentives offered to those who chose regional areas to live, study and work. Here are the top 6 benefits!


Longer 485 visas

From November, students who study in regional areas and completing Higher Education courses (Bachelors, Masters etc) will be eligible for a longer Subclass 485 (Post Study Work) visa.

Students in Perth, Gold Coast and other major regional areas, including Canberra, Sunshine Coast, Hobart, Geelong, Adelaide, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra will be eligible for an additional year on their 485 visas. This means that a student completing a Bachelor course in these areas would be eligible for a 3-year 485 visa. A student completing a PhD would be eligible for a 5-year 485 visa (previously 4 years duration).

The second Temporary Graduate visa will require ongoing residence in a regional area.

The definition of regional Australia for this purpose will be the same as the definition for skilled migration – all of Australia except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

As students need to graduate from a regional campus and then spend at least two years residing in a regional area to qualify, the additional Temporary Graduate visa will be available to the first eligible cohort of graduates from 2021.

Students from all other regional areas, including Darwin (NT) would be eligible for an additional 2 YEARS on their Subclass 485 Graduate (Post Study Work) visa.


5 Points for PR

Students who complete a minimum of 2-year course (meeting the Australian study requirement) in any of the regional areas, including Perth and Gold Coast, will be eligible for 5 points for Regional Study.
To obtain 5 additional points you must have at least 1 degree, diploma or trade qualification from an Australian educational institution that satisfies the Australian study requirement obtained while living and studying in a regional area.
To be eligible for the award of points, your educational qualification:

  • must meet the Australian study requirement
  • must have been obtained while you lived in, and studied at a campus in, one or more of the areas listed as regional Australia or a low population-growth metropolitan area
  • not include study undertaken by distance education


Access to Medicare

Subclass 491 and 494 visa holders will be eligible for Medicare, therefore saving thousands of dollars for medical expenses.

Priority Processing

Regional visas will get priority over other skilled visas and therefore, faster processing when compared to other visa types.

Onshore Bridging Visa A (BVA) work rights

Work rights will automatically be attached to BVAs granted to onshore applicants for either of the new regional visas.

Regional Occupation List

Regional visa applicants will have wider access to more occupations on the Regional Occupation List (ROL) as compared to other skilled occupation lists.
Have you heard about the Destination Australia scholarship for students in Regional Australia? Read about it here.
Interested to know more? Click here to book a free call with one of our friendly consultants. You may also fill out the Online Assessment Form for a free assessment to know your eligibility for a visa to Australia.