The outlook for permanent residency in Australia is getting better and better for people interested in genuinely engaging in the Australian economy and society. Outside Australia’s major cities Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; Regional Australia is incredibly scenic and offers diverse cultural and natural environments. The large number of international students and skilled professionals already drawn to Regional Australia have now settled comfortably and become a valued part of their communities. On the back of these success stories, the Australian government has recently developed further incentives for international migration to Regional Australia. All prospective international migrants to Australia should consider the great gains of moving to Regional Australia.

Why choose Regional Australia?

When new skills and culture are brought to regions under the support of government, business and community partnerships, certainly industries in regional areas expand, as does retail, hospitality, arts and entertainment activity. In Australia, the desire for growth in regional areas is palpable and welcomed by local communities. Through generous and prioritised visa programs for Regional Australia, the Australian government is not only supporting its more remote country communities, but other major cities and sub-metropolitan areas such as Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra, Darwin, Wollongong, Geelong, Newcastle and tourist hotspots like the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Byron Bay and Lake Macquarie.

Changes to Australian Post-Study Work Visas and Skilled Regional Visas

In November 2019, with concerns for the impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s economy, the Australian government chose to prioritise and further incentivise international migration to Regional Australia supporting ongoing economic and cultural development Australia-wide. The Australian government is openly stating that foreigners who take up study or employment in Regional Australia will gain easier access to Permanent Residency in Australia through:

  • 2 Skilled Regional Provisional Visas (subclasses 491 and 494) that provide a pathway to permanent residence;
  • A Skilled Regional Permanent Resident Visa (available from November 2022); and
  • offering a second Temporary Graduate Visa to existing TGV holders (subclass 485). This falls under the post-study work stream. (link to 485 extension article)

Skilled migrants settling in Regional Australia have a diverse range of available occupations to match their experience, skills and qualifications. In fact, there are over 600 eligible occupations included on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List that can be filled by individuals with experience in those occupations or who are willing to be trained in them in Regional Australia.

Experiential higher education courses

There are no compromises when it comes to studying at a regional Australian university, TAFE or other higher education provider. Several leading institutions are based in Regional Australia, including Edith Cowan University, Curtin University and Murdoch University in Perth alone. Edith Cowan University, a public university, has achieved a five-star rating every year for the past 13 years for its teaching practices. Can you imagine what it would be like to live between a large sprawling high-tech campus without worry over the quality of your education, and at the same time to be sandwiched between a turquoise coastline and the Swan and Canning rivers in Perth? Try to. It’s not only stunning, but fun.

Often some of the most engaging higher education experiences are to be had in Regional Australia. Whole practical components typically integrated into Australian higher education courses take on a whole new level in Regional Australia. Nursing programs for example, often include practical placements in community hospitals and aged care facilities earlier than city-based programs. On-campus laboratories are available in many regional universities, opening up greater learning opportunities for other scientific research and health care students. In some cases, even highly specialised centres are integrated on campus. This is the case for the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania, which offers some unique specialisations drawing upon Tasmania’s geographical wonders.

Employment opportunities

According to the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) in 2019, jobs in healthcare and social assistance are projected to have the largest increase across different parts of regional Australia. In the medium term up to 2023, an additional 85,000 workers in fields such as medicine, nursing, allied health and social work are required to support regions.

What’s more, long-term research between 2013 and 2016 undertaken by the Regional Universities Network (RUN) showed that both course completion rates and employment take-up for undergraduates and graduates is significantly better in Regional Australia. In terms of course completion rates, this applies to people taking either Vocational and Education and Training (VET) in Regional Australia, and people undertaking tertiary qualifications from a regional Australian city with universities.

The take-up for undergraduates and postgraduates in regional Australian job markets is far better in fact, if you have studied in Regional Australia. RUN found that 69 percent of undergraduates and 55 percent of postgraduates from regional Australian universities ended up working in regional areas upon graduation. Comparatively, only 23 percent of any kind of graduate from universities in major cities gained work in regional Australia.

Lifestyle

One might say, Australia’s best kept secrets are in Regional Australia.

If you are only interested in residing in a city, not only is housing significantly cheaper in Perth, Adelaide and Hobart compared to Sydney and Melbourne, there are phenomenal gastronomical and cultural experiences to be had. Drive only one hour from either Perth or Adelaide and you’ll find some of Australia’s most splendid vineyards. These come complete with state of the art wineries and absolutely moreish food at their in-house restaurants. Around the old harbour in Hobart, you’ll find degustation meals paired (again) with wine, and colonial buildings fitted out with exceptional pubs and bars. After filling your cup so to speak, a short 20-minute ferry (boat) ride gets you to the internationally acclaimed MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art.

Not only this, but people from all over Australia hang on the edge of their seats to attend cultural and sporting events in regional Australian cities. Ever heard of the Adelaide Fringe festival, the Byron Bay Blues Festival or Formula 1 motor racing on the Gold Coast? They’re all amazing, not to be missed, lifetime experiences.

Finally, it is important to pay attention to the “true Australia” you’ll find in the Australian countryside. Australia has a very raw or even rough beauty to her. Skies are endless. Blessed with an absolutely brilliant blue most of the year around and are only altered when there are changes in weather patterns. The colour of the earth changes depending where you are, from golden sands, earthy sandstone and of course, the great red desert in the centre-north. Everything from cavernous rock formations, ancient climbable mountains, the bush, tropical rainforests, rivers and oceans are splattered around the country. And there are a great many activities and hobbies that can be explored to fill up the real time you will have in Regional Australia, considering you won’t have to work as hard to cover your living expenses.

Takeaways

VEVS Global has knowledge of, passion and care for Regional Australia that few others can boast. Having been based in Perth for more than a decade facilitating work and study placements and securing permanent residence in Australia for a substantial number of people, we know the lay of the land better than most.

There is a fit for you and your skills, somewhere across Australia that you just don’t know yet, but we’re here to help. Talk to us about what you’d like to make of your life post-study and we’ll help you compare the relative gains of life in a major Australian city or Regional Australia.