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The federal government has introduced three new visas to replace current visas available for the migrants to move to regional Australia.

Australia has introduced a new permanent visa to bring more skilled workers to regional Australia. The subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa will commence from 16 November 2022.

The explanatory statement of the Migration Amendment (New Skilled Regional Visas) Regulations 2019, issued by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman states, “The new subclass 191 visa replicates many existing general requirements for permanent residence, and most other visas, including security, health and character requirements.”

Rohit Mohan, a Melbourne-based migration expert, explains the new permanent visa will be available for those skilled migrants who have already lived and worked in Australia for three years on 16 November 2022.

“The new Subclass 191 visa may only be applied for by holders of the new Subclass 491 and Subclass 494 visa. Only those migrants will be eligible to apply for this visa who have earned a minimum income for three years as the holder of regional provisional visa,” says Mr Mohan of Lakshya Migration.

Subclass 494 and subclass 491 are the two new regional visas coming in effect from November this year.

The federal government has closed the permanent Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa and Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa. A new provisional Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional has been created to replace subclass 187 visa.

“Subclass 494 visa is to help employers in regional Australia to employ skilled foreign workers via Employer-Sponsored and Labour Agreement,” says Rohit Mohan.

The other visa is the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa.

“It is a points-tested visa for applicants sponsored by a State or Territory government agency or sponsored by a family member residing in a designated regional area,” he explains.

The Subclass 491 visa will replace 489 visa which was a popular visa among skilled workers who wanted to move to regional Australias.

According to the Migration Amendment (New Skilled Regional Visas) Regulations 2019, the eligibility criteria for the Subclass 191 visa, including that the primary applicant must:

– hold a regional provisional visa when they apply for the Subclass 191 visa and have held that visa for at least three years;

– have earned a minimum income for at least three years as the holder of a regional provisional visa; and

– have complied with the conditions of the regional provisional visa.

The delayed commencement for the subclass 191 visa “is because of the requirement to have held a regional provisional visa for three years before applying for the Subclass 191 visa. Eligibility will not arise before 16 November 2022,” explains Mr Mohan.

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