Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The New Regional Areas: Implications to International Students

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First, the bad news. It may already be stale news, but in March 2019, the Australian government has reduced the permanent migration cap from 190,000 to 160,000 places. This means that it will be a little bit more difficult to get a permanent resident (PR) visa merely because the quota has been reduced by 30,000.

Now, the good news. A little bit stale, but still worth sharing the information. From 16 November 2019, the definition of regional Australia has been changed for migration purposes. These changes will mean that: International students studying in a university in Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle and the Lake Macquarie area, Wollongong and the Illawarra region, Geelong, and Hobart will be eligible to access an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa. This is in addition to the 2 to 4 years one would be eligible for depending on the degree completed.  

International students studying in a university in a location other than Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle and the Lake Macquarie area, Wollongong and the Illawarra region, Geelong, and Hobart, BUT NOT IN Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, will be eligible to access an additional 2 years in Australia on a post-study work visa. Again, this is in addition to the 2 to 4 years one would be eligible for depending on the degree completed.  

What is the implication of these changes to those not studying in the universities, or studying in a university but not a degree? For those taking up Cert III, Cert IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma, there is no additional year(s) of stay that can be accessed under the graduate work visa.  

Quick Note:  

After completing studies in Australia, if eligible, one can apply for the Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485). This visa type has two streams: the post-study work visa for those who completed a degree (Bachelor, Master or Ph.D.) and the graduate work visa for those who completed a trade qualification (Cert III, Cert IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma).  

In short, the changes announced in the classification of regional areas does not really affect the length of stay under the Temporary Graduate Visa for those studying Cert III, Cert IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma.  

But that’s not all.  

The changes in the definition of regional Australia means that, for everyone, regardless of whether the study led to a Bachelor, Master, or Ph. D. degree or a Cert III, Cert IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma qualification, additional 5 POINTS can be obtained under the points tested migration scheme for studying in a regional area, in addition to the 10 points awarded for a Diploma or trade qualification from an Australian educational institution and 5 points for completing two years of study in Australia (for those whose course duration is at least 92 weeks). Check out the Points Table for Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 491, click here.  


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6:28 AMManny Diaz