1 Nov 2019

Regional Visas for Perth and the Gold Coast

The Government recently announced a change which is set to benefit both skilled migrants and employers in Perth and the Gold Coast.

From 16 November 2019, the new definition of ‘Regional Australia’ for Australian immigration will change to encompass all areas of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The change means both Perth and the Gold Coast will be reclassified as regional areas for visa and migration purposes . More skilled migrants will therefore be able to settle, study and work in these cities in the near future.

2,000 More Skilled Regional Visa Placements Available

Alongside the announcement, the Government also revealed that 2019-20 migration planning levels for Regional Visas will increase from 23,000 to 25,000 placements.

Influencing this decision was a significant growth in the number of Regional Visas granted in the first quarter of 2019-20 – an outcome of around 6,000 Regional Visas granted compared to under 3,000 in the final quarter of 2018/19.

It remains to be seen whether the Government will reduce the number of skilled visa placements that allow migrants to live and work in any area of Australia to allow for the increase. If this does occur, we expect placements may be reallocated from the Skilled Independent 189 Visa program.

Here’s our summary of how the changes may impact businesses with operations in Perth and the Gold Coast, as well as skilled migrants who would like to live, work and study in these cities.

Benefits for Businesses

Businesses may have access to:

-Sponsoring skilled migrants under a wider range of occupations for work in Perth and the Gold Coast, with over 450 more eligible occupations available for Regional Visas from November;

-Priority Government processing for Regional Visas;

-A more cost-effective Permanent Residence pathway for skilled overseas employees working in Perth or the Gold Coast than through existing employer-sponsored pathways.

Benefits for Skilled Migrants and Student Visa Applicants

New skilled migrants may have access to: 

-A permanent residence pathway after living and working in Perth or the Gold Coast for three years on a Skilled Regional Visa;

-An extra year to work in Australia on a Post-study Visa for new international students who choose to study in Perth or the Gold Coast;

-Scholarships worth $15,000 to study as an international student in a regional area.

Migration Connections Made Simple

The recent policy changes emphasise the Government’s current focus on encouraging migrants to live and work in regional areas rather than major metropolitan cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

It is also a response to feedback from the Higher Education Sector, businesses and WA and QLD State Governments to classify Perth and the Gold Coast as regional.

If you are interested in Regional sponsorship or visa options, get in touch for a visa pre-assessment from 16 November when the new Regional Visas commence. 

We encourage you to contact our Registered Migration Agents on 08 6263 4406 or

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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