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What is an Australian Regional Visa?

Some years ago the Australian Federal Government identified the need to attract people to its regional areas. South African’s would understand ‘Regional’ as being rural. Regional Australia is their countryside. It is home to magnificent wine regions, beautiful farmlands and miles of pristine beaches.

What Is An Australian Regional Visa

The Department of Border and Immigration Control’s definition of regional Australia is that it is non-urban areas where the population growth is lower than that of metropolitan areas.


Where is Regional Australia?

• New South Wales is home to the rugged Blue Mountains, rainforests and outback towns where opals are mined. Along the coastline are long surfing beaches. The Hunter Valley region, in the north, has dozens of wineries.

• Queensland boasts a coastline stretching nearly 7,000km. Its offshore Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, hosts thousands of marine species. The city of Cairns is a gateway to the reef and tropical Daintree Rainforest.

• Victoria offers the most European experience in the country. The region is dotted with award winning wineries, breathtaking national parks and even beautifully quaint Alpine Villages.

• Anywhere in Western Australia is considered ‘Regional’ except Perth and surrounding areas.

• Your Australian Regional Visa would allow you to live and work in all off South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

Which visa?

The Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)

This visa allows the holder to live and work in a regional area of Australia. You’ll need an employer or eligible relative to sponsor you to get your hands on this visa. ‘Skilled’ here means that you have the relevant qualifications and skill requirements for the nominated occupation.

The Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa is granted for four years, specifically so that the holder can thereafter meet the employment and residence criteria for a permanent residency visa

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187)

This is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers who have been nominated by an approved Australian employer for a job in regional Australia (anywhere except Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle, Wollongong or the Gold Coast).

Visa Requirements

The visa requirements include, but are not limited to:

• be under 45 years old
• have the relevant skills and qualifications needed for the position
• meet the English language requirement
• meet the health requirement
• certain character requirements

What this visa lets you do

• Stay in Australia indefinitely
• Work and study in Australia
• Make use Medicare, Australia’s national health scheme
• Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence

Migrants keep regional Australia strong

The data from the 2016 Census clearly showed that overseas migrants keep the population of regional Australia growing. The population growth rate in these areas is much lower than in the metropolitan areas. The 2016 Census found that between 2011 and 2016, 151 regional areas were able to offset their plummeting populations by encouraging international migration. For many of the small towns, migrants were the sole source of population growth.

A case study was done in Darwin, the beautiful coastal capital city of the Northern Territory, between 2011 and 2016. In the 2011 Census, Darwin had 45,442 Australian-born locals and 19,455 born elsewhere. By 2016, the number of Australian-born locals had reduced to 44,953 and the number of overseas-born had increased to 24,960.


Without this population boost from migrants, the Darwin population would have decreased and the community would have consisted of those 55 years and older. The working population would have declined, and the economy as a whole would have suffered heavily as a result.

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