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Regional migration

The Australian Government is committed to supporting regional areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. See information below regarding visa programs to attract migrants to help strengthen our economy and boost our regional areas.

In November 2019, the Australian Government announced changes to our immigration program to strengthen our economy and boost regional areas. Australia’s regional migration program consists of:

  • 2 skilled regional provisional visas that provide a pathway to permanent residence
  • a skilled regional permanent resident visa (from November 2022)
  • additional points under the Skilled Migration Points Test for skilled migrants nominated to live and work in regional Australia
  • more options for international students who graduate from regional universities

The Australian Government works closely with state, territory and local governments, and local communities, to attract migrants to regional areas. Skilled migrants settling in regional Australia have a diverse range of available occupations to match their experience, skills and qualifications.

Working​ in agriculture

The Australian Government has introduced a number of temporary visa measures to address labour shortages in the agricultural sector – to assist temporary visa holders who work in agriculture and employers looking for workers.

For further information, see working in agriculture.

COVID-19 concessions

For the latest information, see: COVID-19 visa concessions

Business, Industry and Regional Outreach

Business, Industry and Regional Outreach Officers are located across Australia and provide general information on Australia’s regional and Skilled Migration Program to key stakeholders. This service is not available to individuals.

To make an enquiry use the​ Business, Industry and Regional Outreach contact form.

International graduates studying in a regional area

From 2021, Temporary Graduate visa (TGV) holders (post-study work stream) who have graduated from a regional educational institution and have lived in regional Australia on their first TGV will be eligible for a second TGV.

Those eligible for a second TGV will be required to remain in a regional area for the duration of their new visa.

Eligibility will include international students who studied at a regional campus of a metropolitan university.

  • International graduates who have studied and lived in Category 2 will be eligible for an additional year on a second Temporary Graduate visa.
  • International graduates who have studied and lived in Category 3 will be eligible for an additional 2 years on a second Temporary Graduate visa.

The initiative will provide an additional incentive for international students to study at a regional institution and to live in regional areas post-study, boosting diversity and prosperity in regional Australia.

At the same time, it will help ease growing infrastructure pressures in our major cities.

There is no change to Student visas. This option is available as an initiative for international students to study and live in regional Australia

Eligible regional areas

The regional definition is comprised of the following 3 categories:

  • Category 1 – ‘Major Cities’ of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane do not receive any regional incentives
  • Category 2 – ‘Cities and Major Regional Centres’ of Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong and Hobart
  • Category 3 – ‘Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas’

The regional definition offers regional incentives for skilled migrants who migrate to locations classified as Category 2 ‘Cities and Major Regional Centres’ or Category 3 ‘Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas’.

For further information, see: Designated regional areas.