The Australian government has announced that it will no longer issue permanent residency permit to an applicant who cannot prove their stay in regional Australia.
It has been confirmed by David Coleman, the Australian Immigration Minister, that the Australian government would be scrutinizing the regional visa holders’ residential details and bank details during the evaluation of their PR application. As a result, the new regional visas, which is prerequisite to PR permits, now necessitates migrants to provide proofs that they had stayed in regional Australia.
With respect to this new move, two new skilled regional visas that would be launched later in November this year will require skilled visa applicants to work and live in regional Australia. This becomes a necessity for anyone who wants to apply for the Australian PR permit. Such regional visa holders must have spent at least three years working or living in the region.
Though the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is yet to reveal detailed information about the new visas, Minister Coleman has confirmed that the government would closely scrutinize the personal details of visa holders while evaluating their PR applications. During an interview to 2GB radio, Coleman said: “When regional visa holders apply after they had spent three years in the region, they would have to prove this with their personal details, such as payment details, bank details, residential details, and any other document that prove they had indeed stayed in that region for at least three years.”
The Minister added that “One of the major reasons why anyone would want to move to Australia is the promise of its PR permit, and unless these migrants can actually submit proofs that they had worked or lived in regional areas of Australia, they would not be issued the permanent residency permit.”
Coleman referred to this new rule of making new migrants prior live or work in regional Australia for at least three years a “boost to the bush” which call out for additional people to fill up the skill gap.”
This new rule does not apply to just skilled migrants alone but also to international students who want to study in Australia. According to Coleman, the new policy set up by the Australian government to make migrants prior live in regional areas of Australia will also include foreign students who are moving to Australia to proceed with their studies.
“We are also encouraging international students to first live in regional areas of Australia. Hence, if international students attend regional universities, they will be given an additional one year on their graduate visas. Therefore, they will generally have three years instead of two years.”
Mr Coleman said: “As regards the opportunities opened to Australian immigrants to apply for skilled migration, whether it is through the regions, states, territories, or employers, they are open to the same opportunity to apply as people who applied internationally.”
Rohit Mohan, a registered migration agent, said that the recent changes to the Australian immigration policy have proven to be tough on foreign students as well as skilled migrants who aspire for Australia’s PR permit
The two new regional visas that would be introduced by Australia in November are the “Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa,” which is meant for migrants who are skilled but are sponsored by their employers in the regional areas of Australia. The “Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa” is meant for those who are chosen by the government of a Territory or State or are sponsored by family members who are eligible to work and live in regional areas of Australia.
The two new regional visas would be valid for five years with the opportunity of applying for a PR permit after having lived in the regional area for at least three years.