A new regional visa and point system
The federal government has introduced a new regional visa and point system for applicants nominated by a state or territory government.
According to the Migration Amendment (New Skilled Regional Visas) Regulations 2019, three new visas have been introduced to ‘assist regional Australia.’
The explanatory statement issued by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs states, “The amendments introduce a revised points system for the subclass 491 visa as well as existing General Skilled Migration visas. Points are awarded for attributes that are linked with the applicant’s ability to make the greatest economic contribution, as the key purpose of the skilled migration program is to maximize the economic benefits of migration to Australia.”
The changes to the points test are to introduce:
- more points for having a skilled spouse or de facto partner (10 points);
- more points for applicants nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by a family member residing in regional Australia (15 points);
- more points for having certain STEM qualifications (10 points);
- points for applicants who do not have a spouse or de facto partner (10 points); and
- points for applicants with a spouse or de facto partner who has competent English (5 points).
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