The Australian Government has slashed the number of permanent visas it grants every year while announcing two new ‘geographically restricted’ skilled visas for regional areas of the country. But some fear that the road to permanent residency for those on temporary visas will become much tougher with these latest measures.
The Australian Government will introduce the new two regional visas to distribute the population to regional areas. The applicants will require staying for at least three years in the regional area of Australia as a mandatory condition to apply for permanent residency.
For skilled visas, 23,000 new places are reserved out of 160,000 permanent visas to be issued under Australia’s skilled immigration level that was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday.
The Australian Government also encouraged international students to take up courses outside Sydney, Melbourne and Southeast Queensland in regional Universities. 1000 scholarships of $15,000 each for local and overseas students have been announced as a measure to attract overseas students to the regions. There is another incentive offered to the students on a post-study work visa.
The Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, Alan Tudge said, “Not only are we easing off the migration rate overall, but we are also providing 23,000 geographically restricted visas, basically anywhere outside the big capitals.”
The currently available regional pathways to Australia permanent residency require visa holders to live in particular regions for at least two years. The new measures announced on Wednesday added one more year to that requirement.
The 489 visa currently known as the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme will have places increased from 6,000 to 9,000 and state and territory sponsored visa places will increase from 8,500 to 14,000.
The Immigration Minister of Australia, David Coleman will be able to move within the regional areas of the country. This means that will be able to work anywhere outside Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth. If they live in these areas, they will lose their visa and will not be able to settle in Australia.
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