We can expect to hear a lot more about regional visas.
From 16 November 2019, there will be two new regional visas; 23,000 places in the 2019-20 Skilled Migration Program (over 20% of the total) have been allocated to these new visas. The Government has also allocated over $20 million to promotion, processing and compliance relating to new regional visas.
One of the new visas is based on employer sponsorship, providing a pathway to permanent residence for sponsored employees after 3 years.
While there are still a number of important unknowns, employers should consider the following:
- The new definition of “regional” is likely to only exclude Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth;
- The list of available occupations is likely to be very extensive, over 670 occupations;
- The position must be located in regional Australia, and be full time, genuine, and likely to exist for 5 years;
- Labour market testing is required to evidence that the position cannot be filled locally;
- Sponsored employees (and any family members) are required to live, work and study in regional Australia;
- The training levy is payable once at the provisional visa stage ($3,000 if business turnover is less than $10 million, otherwise $5,000), and is not payable at the time of the permanent residence application;
- Permanent residence is not based on an offer of permanent and ongoing employment, rather evidence of the applicant’s income, compliance with visa conditions, among other requirements;
- All regional visa applications will be given priority processing.
Should you have an interest in finding out more, please contact your adviser at Ajuria Lawyers.
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