Great news for South Africans interested in migrating to Australia

The Australian government will be launching two new skilled regional visa programs this year, opening the opportunity to more South Africans who want to make the move.
According to Sable International’s Sam Hopwood, there exist currently over 600 qualified occupations available to migrants willing to work in regional Australia.
These occupations are consistent with experiences/skills required in regional areas, including agricultural, trade and professional occupations, he said.
“Once the new regional visas are introduced later this year, skilled migration visas sponsored by regional employers or state and territory governments will receive priority processing.
“These visas permit you to take your family with you, where they’ll enjoy the similar rights as you.”

‘Regional Australia’

Hopwood described that the Australian government currently represents regional Australia by a postcode listing.
“From November this year, regional Australia will be defined as all of Australia except for the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Perth,” he said.
“The new meaning will form single continuous borders, as defined by postcodes, throughout these metropolitan areas.
“Regional Australia is home to 8.8 million Aussies and contributes to one-third of the country’s national output.”

How to move to Australia on a skilled migration visa

From November 2019, the Australian government will be offering the following visas to help address skill shortages in regional areas.
They also aim to encourage many balanced settlements of Australia’s skilled migrant intake, Hopwood said.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)

This visa is a points-based visa for people who want to work and live in nominated regional areas in Australia.
To qualify for this visa, you must have received sponsorship from an eligible relative/family member or state or territory government, be under 45 age and qualified in English.
This Skilled Work Regional visa will permit you to work and live in Australia for up to five years.
You can take your family with you and leave and enter Australia as often as you like while your visa is valid.
This visa will substitute the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489), which is very popular with skilled workers who wish to move to regional Australia. This change also includes the new points system for this visa.
Points will be given as follow:
  • 10 points for a skilled spouse partner;
  • 15 points if you’re nominated by a state or territory, or sponsored by a family member that lives in regional Australia;
  • 10 points if you have specific science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) qualifications;
  • 10 points if you don’t have a spouse partner;
  • 5 points if you have a spouse partner who matches the English language requirement.
After three years of holding the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa and meeting the requirements, you will be eligible to apply for a permanent residence visa.

Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)

Subclass 494 visas will substitute the current subclass 187 visa. It permits skilled workers, who are nominated by an employer, to live and work in Australia permanently.
To be eligible for this visa you must:
  • Must be nominated by an Australian employer;
  • Should Work for your nominating employer in regional Australia;
  • Should have an occupation on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations;
  • Match the English language requirement.

Permanent Residence Skilled Regional visa (subclass 191)

The new permanent residence visa is for skilled migrants who have lived and worked in Australia for three years on one of the two new provisional regional visas. To be eligible for subclass 191visa and permanent residence in Australia, you must:
  • Have held a valid regional provisional visa for minimum three years prior to starting your application;
  • Must Be Earned a minimum income for three years on a valid regional provisional visa;
  • Match the requirements of the regional provisional visa.
“This subclass 191 will only be open for applications from 16 November 2022,” said Hopwood.
“It’s because applicants will need to have held one of the new regional provisional visas for three years before they can be eligible to apply.”

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