Government introduces new visas, employment incentives

The Federal Government has introduced two new skilled provisional visas in a bid to lift the seasonal workforce for horticulture and other industries.

Successful visa applicants will become eligible to apply for permanent residency if they can demonstrate they have lived and worked in regional Australia for three years.

The Federal Government believes the visas will help businesses fill vacant jobs faster and provide additional incentives for skilled migrants and their families to settle and remain in the region.

Applicants for the two new visas will receive priority processing and have access to a wider range of jobs than those applying to migrate to major cities.

The two new skilled regional provisional visas are:

* 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.

The Government has also changed the definition of regional Australia for migration purposes to everywhere except, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Seven Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) have been signed with regions around the country to address their specific skilled migration needs.

The Government has also deployed a team of Regional Outreach Officers to promote skilled migration initiatives and provide dedicated support to regional employers, helping them understand their options to attract and retain skilled migrants.

‘Accommodation brokers’ will also be employed in these areas to work on accommodation solutions.

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