Perth and Gold Coast now Regional Areas

Perth and Gold Coast to be regional areas from November 2019

Both Perth (WA) and Gold Coast (QLD) have been announced to become “regional areas” for the purpose of immigration as part of the government’s focus on diverting international students and skilled migrants to low populated areas in Australia.

The change is set to commence from 16th November 2019 and coincides with the recently announced skilled regional visas (Subclass 491 and Subclass 494).

Government has also increased the total number of regional visas to be granted to 25,000 (from 23,000 previously)

Benefits of Regional Areas

There are several incentives offered to those who chose regional areas to live, study and work.

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 towards 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.

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.