Extra 2000 regional places

Following unprecedented growth (124 per cent) in the number of regional visas granted in the first quarter of this programme year, the Government is increasing the total number of regional places to 25,000.

The definition of regional Australia for migration purposes will also change. Perth and the Gold Coast will no longer be classified as major cities, ensuring they remain an attractive destination for skilled migrants and international students.

The new definition will come into effect on 16 November.

Locations outside of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will have access to the 25,000 visa places, priority processing and international university graduates who live in these locations will be eligible to apply for more time in Australia on a post-study work visa.

Perth to increase in attractiveness for international students
MC 71/19
Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia

Hon. Mark McGowan MLA

Hon. Sue Ellery MLC
Minister for Education and Training

26 October 2019
Perth will be a more attractive destination for international students, with the Federal Government reinstating Perth’s status as a regional city, helping to create local jobs.

In response to recent changes to visa and migration settings, the State Government requested for Perth to be re-classified as a ‘region’ for international students. This will come into effect on November 16.

The Federal Government, with the support of Western Australian businesses and universities, agreed to the change meaning international students will now be able to access incentives to undertake their study in Perth and will enable WA to increase its share in this market.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the State and Federal Government continued to work together to ensure that Australia’s migration system meets the needs of our cities and regions.

“As a regional city, Perth will be an option for international students who want to study here, as they will now be eligible for an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa,” Minister Cormann said.

“That additional year of post-study work by international students who choose Perth will not only benefit students with work experience, income, and post-study financial stability, but also help drive stronger economic growth.”

Premier Mark McGowan said the changes would improve Western Australia’s capacity to attract international students and support the economy.

“Attracting more international students will help diversify and grow the State’s economy and also create employment opportunities for Western Australians,” Mr McGowan said.

“Given WA has no main university campuses outside of Perth, the State Government has adjusted its policies to ensure we are not disadvantaged.

“I’d like to thank the Federal Government for working co-operatively with us to achieve this outcome, in the best interests of WA.”

WA Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said WA’s international education sector currently supports 14,600 full-time jobs.

“Not only do international students enrich the social vibrancy and cultural fabric of our communities, their presence attracts thousands of visiting friends and relatives from overseas,” Ms Ellery said.

The change will have no impact on the Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List (WASMOL), which remains the same.