The Morrison government is delivering its promise of strengthening Australia’s regional areas by ensuring that the migration system encourages skilled migrants to live and work in smaller cities and regions.
The Government reduced the permanent migration cap from 190,000 to 160,000 places, and within that set aside 23,000 places for regional visas, in the first quarter of this year. During the first quarter, government granted more than 6350 regional visas which is 124% more than the number of regional visas granted last year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “We’re using our migration programme to back our regions to grow to take the population pressure off our major capital cities and by supporting strong regions we’re creating an even stronger economy for Australia. These changes will boost the appeal for so many cities and regional centers that are looking to grow their population to support local services like schools and health care, while attracting new workers and students, meaning more jobs and more investment.”
Almost 70% of Australia’s population growth in recent years has been in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, increasing the pressure being felt. This new system will ease the pressures in the country’s three largest capital cities, while providing incentives for migrants to live and work in regional Australia.
Earlier this year, the government announced two new regional skilled visas as the Federal Government wanted the skilled migrants to live and work in regional Australia. These new visas will come into effect from this month. Under these new visas, migrants are required to live in regional Australia for at least 3 years to become eligible to apply for Australian permanent residence.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman said “We know areas of regional Australia want to grow – grow their economies, grow their education sectors and grow their communities. We will continue to review our regional migration settings to ensure they continue to support regional Australia.”
Regional Outreach Officers have been deployed to the regions to promote skilled migration initiatives and provide dedicated support to regional employers, helping them understand their skilled visa options.
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