Australia Focus More On Regional Migration

  During the last financial year, a total of 160,323 permanent residency visas were given-the lowest since 2008. The government is now saying that its focus is on regional migration. Australia's annual continuous migration consumption has dropped to the lowest point in over a century as the government's focus shifts toward more regional Australian Immigration.   Minister of Immigration David Coleman announced that he will continue to concentrate heavily on International Students, qualified migrants and increased migration to  Regional Australia.   The cap on Australia's annual migration consumption has fallen from 190,000 to 160,000 in the 2019-20 year, with qualified migration accounting for about 70%. A total of 160,323 permanent visas were issued in 2018-19, while a maximum of 190,000 stayed for migration planning. The consumption is the lowest since the issuance of fewer than 159,000 visas in 2008.   The government cut the annual migration cap by 30,000 earlier this year to maintain the intake for the next four years at 160,000.   “Our population plan will ease the pressure on the big capitals while supporting the growth of those smaller cities and regions that want more people,” Mr. Coleman said.   “We’re directing migration to those smaller cities and regional areas that are crying out for more people and those regional economies that simply cannot fill jobs with local workers.”   All areas outside Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and the Gold Coast are widely described as regional Australia. Two new regional visas for qualified employees will be implemented, requiring them to spend three years living and working in regional regions before being eligible for permanent residency.   Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional and Skilled Work Regional Visa holders will receive priority processing and access to a bigger pool of qualified job opportunities.   For regional qualified visas, some 23,000 locations will be set aside–this is an increase from 8,534 in 2017-18. This 8,534 accounted for only 7.7 percent of the total 111,000 qualified migrants; their visas needed them to live and work in regional regions for only two years before they could apply for permanent residency. The 23,000 is going to be 21% of the qualified consumption.   New tertiary scholarships will also be available for Australian and international learners to study in the areas, worth $15,000 and going to over 1,000 local and foreign learners each year. A post-study work visa will be granted to international learners studying at regional universities for an additional year in Australia.   An updated skilled migration occupation list will be published on March 2020. The existing lists make about 500 occupations eligible for temporary skilled visas and 673 jobs eligible for the regionally sponsored migration scheme.