Perth and Gold Coast are classified as ‘regional’ to attract students and migrants (491 and 494 visa)

Immigration minister David Coleman announced the Gold Coast and Perth will be reclassified as regional areas in an effort to attract regional migrants.

With this change regional areas include Perth, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Lake Macquarie, Illawarra, Geelong, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra. Previously both Perth and Gold Coast, along with Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane were considered “metro” under the federal government’s migration classification.

This news came after a bid to attract migrants and foreign students by Perth and Gold Coast in making submissions to the federal government to be classified as “regional Australia”.

This will open the door to easier migration to Perth and Gold Coast for international students and skilled workers.

The change is significant for skilled workers trying to apply for the new regional visas commencing 16 November 2019 namely:

  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) and
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)- It also significantly increases the number of occupations business owners could seek to sponsor overseas workers

It would benefit students who would be awarded:

Without doubt, the regional classification of Perth and the Gold Coast would improve their capacity to attract international student and overseas skilled workers and enable businesses to source their skilled work force from overseas workers.

In March this year, the Government announced it would reduce the permanent migration cap from 190,000 to 160,000 places, and within that set aside 23,000 places for regional visas.

Following unprecedented growth (124 per cent) in the number of regional visas granted in the first quarter of this programme year, the Government is increasing the total number of regional places to 25,000.

Migration definitions

Definition Locations Regional incentives
Major Cities Sydney

Melbourne

Brisbane

–          N/A
Cities and major regional centres Perth

Adelaide

Gold Coast

Sunshine Coast, Canberra Newcastle, Lake Macquarie

Wollongong, Illawarra, Geelong

Hobart

–          Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places.

–          Priority processing on regional visas.

–          Access to the Regional Occupations List –  more jobs compared to non-regional lists.

–        International graduates with a bachelor or higher qualification from a regional campus of a registered institution will be eligible for an extra year in Australia on a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)

Regional centres and other regional areas All other locations –          Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places.

–          Priority processing on regional visas.

–          Access to the Regional Occupations List – more jobs compared to non-regional lists.

–        International graduates with a bachelor or higher qualification from a regional campus of a registered institution will be eligible for an extra two years in Australia on a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485).

–          Priority in negotiating region-specific Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs).

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Perth and Gold Coast are classified as ‘regional’ to attract students and migrants

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