Perth and Gold Coast are Now Considered Regional for Immigration Purposes

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Perth and Gold Coast have been classified as regional areas in order to attract regional migrants. As these two areas have been listed as regional, this leaves Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane as the only cities not classified as “regional” for immigration purposes. This change is set out to encourage people, especially immigrants, to settle outside the three big cities aka Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane which are considered “metro” under the federal government’s migration classification. The immigration Minister, David Coleman has said in an interview that this is obviously a positive thing as they have seen a lot of demand for skilled migration in regional Australia and in other smaller cities.
Classifying Perth and Gold Coast as regional areas has allowed the skilled workers and international students an easier access to migration. The workers are getting significantly benefited from it as they can now apply for the new regional visas. Australia is now offering them a Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) which has 9,000 places allocated every year. This is an excellent opportunity for workers who have employer sponsorship and a position expected to exist for five years. Furthermore, skilled workers are now also eligible to apply for Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass491) which allows the qualified workers and their families to live, work and study in designated areas of Australia for five years. Besides, they will be able to apply for a Permanent Residence visa after three years. However, to be capable of applying for this visa, the applicant must be sponsored by any eligible family member who is residing in a designated area. These two skilled regional provisional visas allow immigrants access to the regional occupations list which has a wide variety of jobs compared to the non-regional lists.

The regional classification of Perth and Gold Coast can grant the foreign students the ability to apply for the Graduate Work 485 visa. It is an amazing opportunity for students who want to extend the duration of their staying in Australia. It can also help them to get permanent residency in Australia through General Skilled Migration or Employer Sponsorship. It grants full work rights and full study rights. Moreover, it allows the international students to roam around freely in the country within the validity of the visa. What is more appealing is that the international students who have completed graduation or post graduation from a regional campus of a registered institution would be able to get an extra year in Australia through this visa. Not to mention, they will be eligible to get further 5 points in the skilled visa points grid for studying in the regional area. The education sectors of Western Australia and Queensland have welcomed this

approach whole-heartedly. Phil Payne, the CE of Study Perth has stated this action as a “game changer”. He believed it would level the playing field with other big cities and the international students would get another reason to study in Western Australia. Likewise, the CE of Study Gold Coast, Alfred Slogrove is also thrilled about this change and has mentioned that this way the Gold Coast would also get provided with high skilled workers and a diversified workforce.

The department of immigration has declared to add 2000 more places to the regional visa quota, which increases the number to 25,000 out of 160,000 total places available. Also, this new approach enables the skilled workers and international students to get priority processing on visas. Since this regional classification is made, the authority is hoping to see fewer immigrants settling in the metro cities and more people encouraged to set foot in the regional areas. Needless to say, this is indeed a smart move by the Australian Government as it would take the pressure of the population off the major cities and transfer it to the regional areas since they are now in need of more skilled migration. Because of this approach, these regional areas seem more appealing to many and that helps to support the local businesses and services like restaurants, schools, healthcare etc. While attracting new workers and foreign students, the areas create scope to more jobs and more investments which helps them to grow financially. WA Labor Premier Mark McGowan made a statement that he believed it would enhance the state’s appeal to the international students. Therefore, this change is something that has the potential to inspire more immigrants to move to regional Australia in order to have a better life and help the regional areas grow in process.