The new skilled regional provisional visas will be for skilled migrants, and dependent family members, who want to live and work in Australia.

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.

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.


Holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will be able to apply for a Permanent Residence visa. The Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa will commence in November 2022.


Importantly, to be eligible for permanent residence, holders of the new skilled regional provisional visas will need to demonstrate they have lived and worked in regional Australia while holding one of the new Skilled Regional Provisional visa.



Regional employers will have access to additional regional occupations to sponsor migrants and priority processing of regional visa applications. There will also be additional points for certain points-tested migrants who are sponsored to settle in regional Australia.

  • Employers in regional Australia, as well as State and Territory governments, who sponsor regional skilled migrants will have access to more occupations than equivalent non-regional visas.
  • Based on current occupation lists, the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa will have access to over 450 more occupations than closest non-regional equivalent visa, and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will have access to over 70 more occupations than the closest non-regional equivalent visa.
  • Priority processing arrangements will be expanded to include all visa applications sponsored by regional employers as well as other visa applicants who will live and work in regional Australia.
  • Five additional points for regional nomination or sponsorship provide an extra incentive for potential migrants to consider settling in regional Australia.

Australia Immigration Levels Plan: 2019-2020 revealed :

The annual immigration intake would be cut to 160,000 people, with effect from 1 July 2019, versus 190,000 before. 23,000 visa places will be reserved for new skilled regional visas within the 160,000 permanent visas to be issued under Australia’s scaled back migration planning level.

The government will also announce measures to encourage new migrants to Australia to work in regional areas to ease the burden of rapid population growth on Sydney and Melbourne.

As many as 87 per cent of the 112,000 skilled migrants who arrived in Australia in 2017-18 settled in either Sydney or Melbourne.

Changes to existing visas

The introduction of the two new regional visas in November 2019 will not impact people who already hold existing visas.

Applications lodged prior to November 2019 will continue to be processed as normal.

There will be no impact on the permanent residence of current permanent visa holders.

Check back regularly over the coming weeks for updates on this new initiative


1)189 quota had been slashed from existing 43990 to 18652 i.e., 42% reduced.


2) Taking this as an average for two of the highest pro-rata ANZSCO codes which are 2613 and 2631, we are looking at below figures respectively for FY 2019-20:


3053 instead of 7271 for 2613* 910 instead of 2167 for 2631*


Note: The above figures are completely based on the total reduction @42% for overall 189 category and might change to an extent but not very alarmingly though.


3)The above reduction in 189 does not mean that people don't have other options as 190, 490 and Employer Sponsored Visa will be there and one can take benefits from them.


4) The above changes will be applicable from the INVITATION round commencing in July 2019 and should not have any effect on people who get their INVITATION before this date. This means you still have 3 more rounds to happen and should try to increase the points in order to get the INVITATION as the occupation ceiling for FY 2018-19 is achieved 70% only so far 2613 and 2631


5) Even with the reduced number for 189, people with high points will still get invite in FY2019-20 so there is no need to panic and just keep preparing well for the occasion in order to secure maximum points in your respective ANZSCO codes



  STREAM AND CATEGORY 2018-19 2019-20 Difference
SKILL STREAM Employer Sponsored (482/186/187) 48,250 30,000 -38%
Skilled Independent (189) 43,990 18,652 -58%
Regional (New Visas) 23,000 Added
Skilled Employer Sponsored 9,000
Skilled Work Regional 14,000
State/Territory Nominated (190/489) 28,850 24,968 -13%
Business Innovation & Investment Program 7,260 6,862 -5%
Global Talent 5,000
Distinguished Talent 200 200 0%
  SKILL STREAM IN TOTAL 1,28,550 1,08,682 15%
FAMILY STREAM Partner 47,825 39,799 -17%
Parent 8,675 7,371 -15%
Other Family 900 562 -38%
  FAMILY STREAM IN TOTAL 57,400 47,732 -17%
OTHER Special Eligibility 565 236 -58%
Child (estimate; not subject to a ceiling) 3,485 3,350 -4%
  OTHER STREAM IN TOTAL 4,050 3,586 -11%
IN TOTAL OF ALL STREAMS 1,90,000 1,60,000 16%
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