Skilled migrants who commit to living and working in Far North Queensland will from today have access to two new skilled provisional visas as part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to tackling skills shortages in regional Australia.
Successful visa applicants will become eligible to apply for permanent residency if they can demonstrate they have lived and worked in regional Australia for three years.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the visas will help businesses across Far North Queensland to fill vacant jobs faster and provide additional incentives for skilled migrants and their families to settle and remain in the region.
He said the new visa initiatives were on top of the current Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement designed to address specific skilled migration needs across our region.
“Our first priority is always to fill jobs in Far North Queensland with locals or other Australian workers, but the immigration system can play a role in helping to address our skills gaps and grow our economy,” Mr Entsch said.
“By requiring migrants to live and work in regional for at least three years we are encouraging them to put down roots, become part of our community and stay longer term.”
Federal Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Minister David Coleman said there will be additional incentives for skilled migrants and their families to settle in regional areas.
“Applicants for the two new visas will receive priority processing and have access to a wider range of jobs than those applying to migrate to our major cities,” Mr Coleman said.
The two new skilled regional provisional visas are:
- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.
- Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: for people who are nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member to live and work in regional Australia.
The new visas build on the government’s ongoing regional migration initiatives, which have seen a 124 per cent increase the number of regional visas granted in the first quarter of this programme year.
This year, the government has reduced the cap on Australia’s permanent migration programme from 190,000 to 160,000.
Within that reduced cap, the number of places allocated to regional visas has increased to 25,000.
From today a simplified definition of regional Australia will also apply.
All of Australia, except Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, are now classified as regional for migration purposes.
The government has also deployed a team of Regional Outreach Officers to promote skilled migration initiatives and provide dedicated support to regional employers, helping them understand their options to attract and retain skilled migrants.
For further information visit: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/regional-migration