Skilled Regional Visa - Changes Ahead

Further changes under consideration

Australia offers a number of opportunities for visas to be obtained by applicants, specifically for employment in regional areas. Among others, these opportunities include the Skilled Regional Visa (887) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (187) and they cover a wide range of occupations, from highly technical and a variety of medical professions, to basic fruit picking.

Currently, such visas either require the applicant to work in the selected regional area for a nominated number of years, or necessitate sponsorship by an approved regional employer. They do not however, prevent the migrant from relocating, moving to a capital city, once his or her initial visa terms have been met and it seems that many have been choosing to do just this; an outcome which effectively defeats the core purpose for offering work opportunities in rural and regional areas and which certainly would prove disappointing to those employers who had provided initial sponsorships in good faith.

Changes “contemplated”

In May, the Turnbull Government revealed that it was contemplating further changes to regional work visas; changes designed to “bind” migrants to rural areas for an elongated period of time. The Government did stress however, that the matter remained under review and that no final decisions had been made, at this point in time.

Of course, opposing argument has already been tabled by migrant support groups, on the very real basis that restricting people’s freedom of movement would be inconsistent with Australia’s way of life, but the principle already has a foothold in this country; many overseas doctors currently arrive in Australia on visas which link their Medicare billing to specific regional centres for up to 10 years.

When the Government “contemplates” it is usually prudent to anticipate.

When might this happen?

In the early stages, the signs of impending changes will most likely appear with subtle infrastructure improvements in frequently nominated regional destinations. The Government will want to present “staying in situ” as a viable, even attractive alternative for migrants. The pathway providing the least resistance is always paved with incentives.

Further changes to the conditions covering Regional Visas appear inevitable though, in the due course of time. It’s impossible to state exactly when but whether they are an employer or a potential applicant those currently considering Regional Visa options should keep themselves fully informed.

Retrospective regulation would be highly unlikely, so an early well-planned strategy could effectively avoid complications and delays, as the considered changes come into effect.

Professional preparation and advice are instrumental in success

In the complex and constantly changing world of immigration law, nothing is simple. It really does pay dividends therefore, to obtain professional assistance; skilled practitioners who are specialised in the field, comprehensively trained to recognise the traps and the trends. It can save so much time and avoid so much unnecessary expense.

For more information on this or on any relating issues, contact the migration experts – Sellanes Clark and Associates – specialising in all immigration matters.


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