There is currently only one provisional regional visa (apart from the regional sponsored RSMS visa). The government will introduce a new package of provisional regional visas in November 2019 intended to give intending migrants an opportunity to select prioritised visas where they agree to settle in a regional area.

In November 2019 the definition of Regional Australia for all skilled visas will be simplified and expanded to include all of Australia except for the
following metropolitan areas:
• Sydney
• Melbourne
• Brisbane
• Gold Coast
• Perth

1. Skilled -Regional (Provisional) (sub-class 489) visa

Once an applicant has lodged an Expression of Interest (EOI) and been nominated by a State or territory government, met the required point score (60) and received an invitation to lodge a visa application for regional areas then this is one of the skilled visa options

110_F_44361348_buNrj9Gd9PJwqfPye71pdXbetMkdF00hMost States and Territories (except the Australian Capital Territory- ACT) have separate skill lists in their migration plans for this category – See state and territory links below for further details. The eligibility requirements are a little less rigid. What is a regional area is defined by post code.

Unlike the Skilled Independent visa and the Skilled- Nominated visa which are permanent visas, the Skilled -Regional visa is provisional only and can be granted for up to 4 years. This is a pathway to permanent residency through the Skilled –Regional visa (sc 887) after at least two (2) years on this visa and working for at least 12 months.You can apply for a permanent visa any time after two years if you are able to satisfy the criteria.There is also the capacity to request an extension of this visa to satisfy the requirements for the  permanent visa.

While Australian cities have high demand for labour, shortages have become critical in regional and country areas. If you are prepared to work in places other than the major population centres, a Skilled – Regional Visa may suit.

State & Territory Migration links (including skilled occupation shortage lists and other useful information):


New South Wales

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

South Australia

Northern Territory (NT)


Western Australia


Family sponsorship where the nominated occupation is on the MLTSSL.

Applicants for this provisional visa may also be nominated by prescribed relatives as long as the relative is living in a designated area. The nominated occupation must be on the MLTSSL and all other requirements of the SkillSelect process must be met. This is different to State & territory nomination

This category can also be applied for on or off-shore.

2. ***New skilled regional provisional visas (Sub-class numbers and regulations TBA)

There will be two new skilled regional provisional  visas introduced in November 2019:

  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia.
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: for  people who are nominated by a State or  Territory government or sponsored by an eligible  family member to live and work in regional  Australia.

Under these new visas, migrants will be required to  live and work in a regional area of Australia for at least three years before they are eligible to apply for permanent residence.

These new regional visas will provide greater incentives for regional employers to nominate skilled workers, including priority processing of applications and access to additional skilled occupations. Based on current eligible skilled occupation lists:

  • the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa will have almost 700 eligible occupations; and
  • the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will
    have over 500 eligible occupations.

Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to live and work in regional Australia. Visas will be granted with a validity period of up to five years.

The introduction of the two new regional visas will  not impact people who already hold existing  permanent skilled visas. Applications lodged prior to November 2019 will continue to be processed as normal. Further information will be made available it it comes to hand.

For further information on Skilled Migration, Skilled Independent visa or Skilled Nominated visa please click on the links.