8 May 2019

New Regional Visa conditions before Permanent Residence

Australia’s new Skilled Regional Visa options will require migrants to work for three years in regional areas before applying for permanent residence.

Currently, migrants in regional areas can apply for permanent residence directly through the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa. However, under the Migration Amendment (New Skilled Regional Visas) Regulations 2019, the existing Subclass 187 and 489 Regional Visas will be closed and replaced by the Subclass 491, 494 and 191 Visas and visa conditions will require a three year wait. This is scheduled to take place from 16 November 2019.

The Amendment will also broaden the areas to be classified as a ‘designated regional area’ for the purposes of a Regional Skilled Visa. Australia’s busiest metropolitan areas – Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – will be an exception to this.

New Regional Visa Conditions

The new Subclass 491 and 494 Temporary Regional Visas will give migrants the ability to live and work in designated regional areas and also move from one designated regional area to the next. However, conditions will restrict these visa holders from applying for the below visas (until three years have been spent in a regional area):

Subclass 124/858 Distinguished Talent

Subclass 132 Business Talent

Subclass 186 Employer Nominated Scheme

Subclass 188 Business innovation and Investment

Skilled 189 and 190 General skilled Migration

Subclass 820 Partner (Temporary)

Find out more about Australia’s new Regional Skilled Visa options, which will be available from 16 November 2019 below.

Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

This visa will:

Replace the existing Subclass 489 Skilled – Regional (Provisional) Visa;

Allow migrants to stay temporarily for five years, with a pathway to permanent residence after a three year period;

Have two streams; a State/Territory Sponsored Stream and a Family Member Sponsored Stream.

Both streams will be points-tested and require migrants to receive an invitation by the Government before they can apply. Changes to the existing points test will also be introduced in November 2019, and will apply to this visa. Read about this in our article here.

Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

This visa will:

Replace the existing Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visa;

Allow migrants to stay for five years, with a pathway to permanent residence after a three year period;

Introduce visa conditions to allow the visa to be cancelled if the need for the nominated position or intentions to live and work regionally are not genuine;

Have two streams; an Employer-sponsored Stream and a Labour Agreement Stream.

Employer-Sponsored Stream

The application process and applicable sponsorship obligations for the Employer-sponsored Stream are similar to the requirements for a Subclass 482 Visa. Employers will need to:

Provide evidence of the genuine need for the nominated position;

Demonstrate the position will be ongoing for five years;

Pay the visa holder at annual market salary rates;

Pay a National Training Contribution Charge (NTCC) for each sponsored visa holder;

And meet other nomination requirements and sponsorship obligations.

Migrants applying for the Employer-Sponsored Stream will also need to meet several requirements. These are to:

Be suitably skilled and qualified in an eligible occupation;

Have positive skills assessment results, if required;

Have at least three years of relevant work experience;

Have competent English;

Meet health and character requirements and other eligibility criteria.

Labour Agreement Stream

Employers in regional areas will be able to engage migrants for work under the Labour Agreement Stream. Migrants applying for a Regional Skilled Visa through the Labour Agreement stream will need to:

Have at least three years of relevant work experience – with exceptions in some circumstances;

Meet the level of English for the occupation;

Meet health and language requirements and other eligibility criteria.

Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa

After holding a Subclass 492 and 494 Visa for at least three years and complying with regional visa conditions, migrants may become eligible to apply for permanent residence through the new Subclass 191 Visa.

Under this visa, health and character requirements must be met by all primary applicants and members of the family unit, whether or not they are included on the primary visa application. Minimum income requirements and other eligibility criteria will also apply.

How Immigracious can help | Migration Agent Perth

We will certainly keep you updated on upcoming news about Australia’s Regional Skilled Visas. Our Registered Migration Agents regularly assist clients with regional work visa requirements.

We would be happy to assist you to understand your options. Simply contact our team of migration agents on 08 6263 4406 or

Click here to view updates to the information in this article.


Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents

Migration Institute of Australia

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Uncategorized


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