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Upcoming Changes for Regional Visas

Through our Skilled Migration programs and acting as a Regional Certifying body, we make an important contribution to our region’s economy. For employers who need a position filled and cannot do so with local labour, skilled migrant labour can be critical. For skilled workers from overseas, these pathways to permanent residency are an opportunity for a quality lifestyle in a quiet yet vibrant regional Australian community.

Our role as a Regional Certifying Body for the Department of Home Affair’s Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) includes providing advice to the Department about a nominating employer and how they meet the required criteria, including the inability to fill the nominated position locally. We also provide assessments on behalf of the NSW Government for regional sponsorship for the 489 visa sub-class. The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs has advised that two new visas will be introduced from November this year. We will continue to act as a regional certifying body for these new visas.

The existing Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa will be replaced by a new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa from the 16th of November 2019. This new visa seeks to reform the visa system, including visa requirements, to encourage migrants to settle and stay in regional areas, while also providing additional protection to Australian and foreign workers. It will continue to support regional employers to fill critical skills and labour shortages where suitable skilled Australian workers are not available. The current 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa will also be replaced by the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa in November.

Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to live and work in regional Australia and will be granted visas for a period of five years. Once meeting the criteria, they will be able to apply for a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa.

The introduction of the two new regional visas in November 2019 will not impact people who already hold existing visas. Applications lodged with the Department of Home Affairs prior to November 2019 will continue to be processed in line with the conditions at the time of lodgement. There will be no impact on the permanent residence of current permanent visa holders.

Further information on the new visas is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

We will provide further information about these new visas closer to the changeover of the new visa on our website and through this newsletter as it becomes available. Applications for RSMS may still be submitted by employers or their agents as per the instructions on our website until the change on the 16th of November.

As the financial year draws closer, we have now ceased accepting applications for Skilled Regional Sponsorship for visa sub-class 489 applicants. We anticipate that we will be re-opening applications for sponsorship for the Northern Inland region in early July, and applicants should monitor the Skilled Regional Sponsorship page on our website for updates, which will be listed as soon as the information is available. To ensure the timely processing of current applications, we request that potential applicants do not call the office to enquire about applying in July until details are listed on the website.

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Phone02 6771 0700
Opening Hours 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday
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Address 143 Marsh Street
Armidale NSW 2350
Postal Address PO Box 72
Armidale NSW 2350
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