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Australia Visa Changes 2019


New Visa and Amended Points Test from November 2019

Proposed changes are to take place on 16th November 2019. The new changes are relevant to applicants applying under the Skilled Migration or Employer Sponsored Visa pathways.

The new Regulations are due to come in force on 16th November 2019. The new rules would amend the current Australian Migration Regulations 1994 by introduction of three new visas to assist Regional Australia and ease strain on migration to metropolitan cities. Other legislative changes include the amendments to the points test applicable to the Skilled Migrant (Points-Tested) Visas.

The proposed changes include:

  • Introduction of the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa, subclass 491.
  • Closure of the current subclass 489 Skilled Regional ( Provisional) Visa for new applicants.
  • Introduction of the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional ( Provisional ) Visa, subclass 494.
  • Closure of the current RSMS Visa ( Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme), subclass 187 (*transitional arrangements are expected to be put in place for current RSMS visa holders).
  • The current RSMS to be taken over by the 494 visa.
  • Further changes planned for November 2022 include introduction of a new subclass 191 ( Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional Visa) for holders of the 491 or 494 Visas.
  • Holders of the new regional provisional visas will be subject to visa condition 8579, requiring the visa holder to live, work and study in regional Australia. If a visa holder chooses not to reside in regional Australia, this may result in cancellation of their visa. Holders of the new regional visa will be able to apply for permanent residency visa after 3 years.
  • Changes to the points test, including:

– 15 points for nomination by a State or Territory government agency or sponsorship by a family member residing in regional Australia, to live and work in regional Australia;

– 10 points for a skilled spouse or de facto partner;

– 10 points for certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications;

–  5 points for a spouse or de facto partner with ‘competent English’;

– 10 points for applicants without a spouse or de facto partner


It has not been confirmed whether the Visa pass mark (currently 65) is likely to increase. There is no mention whether the Skilled Occupation List is due to change in November.

Further information regarding the above changes will be published as soon as they become available.

Looking to emigrate to Australia as a Skilled Migrant? Contact us to discuss your Visa options and how we can help with the application process: [email protected] or call us on 0207 427 5290.

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