On 16 November 2019, the Department of Home Affairs released a list of postcodes confirming the “Designated Regional Areas” that apply to regional visas.

Given that the relevant migration rules stipulate that applicants for regional visas must live and work within an appropriate regional area, it is essential for visa applicants to understand which postcodes are designated as being within regional areas, and which are not.

This follows on from the recent creation of two new regional visas, allowing skilled foreign nationals to work in regional areas (basically anywhere outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) – see our previous article. What the earlier decision did not specify is exactly what is meant by “outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane”. We now have the details of which postcodes are classed as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (ie non-regional areas) and which postcodes are not (ie regional areas).

The regional visa categories affected by the Department of Home Affairs decision are:

Regional Temporary Residence Visas

  • 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (if using an occupation listed on the Regional Occupation List)
  • 489 Skilled Regional (for visa holders nominated by a State and Territory government agency whose visa was granted after 16 November 2019)
  • 491 Skilled Work Regional
  • 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional

Regional Permanent Residence Visas

  • 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (if the position is located in regional Australia, the employer nomination fee is waived)
  • 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Temporary Residence Transition Stream)
  • 189 Skilled Independent
  • 190 Skilled Nominated
  • 888 Business Innovation and Investment
  • 892 State or Territory Sponsored Business Owner
  • 191 Skilled Regional Visa (from 16 November 2022)

The relevant legislative instrument that lists the Designated Regional Area postcodes can be found here.

If you require assistance in lodging any types of visas above that are affected by the Designated Regional Areas, or if you have questions about Temporary or Permanent Residence Visas please feel free to contact the Migration Agents at Employment Innovations for a free consultation.

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