Schedule 1 – Changes to certain skilled visas
Schedule 1 to the legislative instrument makes amendments to:
close the Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional)) visa to primary applicants for a first provisional visa;
introduce the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa, 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;
amend the points test in Schedule 6D to the Migration Regulations to award:
- 15 points for nomination by a State or Territory government agency or sponsorship by a family member residing in regional Australia, to live and work in regional Australia;
- 10 points for a skilled spouse or de facto partner;
- 10 points for certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications;
- 5 points for a spouse or de facto partner with ‘competent English’;
- 10 points for applicants without a spouse or de facto partner; and
make a number of minor technical amendments.
Schedule 2 – Changes to Employer Nominated visas
Schedule 2 to the legislative instrument makes amendments to:
- close the permanent Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa, except for certain Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa and Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa holders;
- create the Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494) with two streams: Employer Sponsored and Labour Agreement, for employers in regional Australia to employ skilled foreign workers; and
- bring employers seeking to employ foreign workers under the sponsorship regime under of the Migration Regulations, which includes provisions aimed at the protection of both Australian and foreign workers and at the integrity of the program.
Schedule 3 – New permanent visa
Schedule 3 to the Regulations, from 16 November 2022:
- introduces a new Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) visa for persons who hold a Subclass 491 or a Subclass 494 visa at the time of application; and
- details 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.