The Department of Home Affairs has made a new announcement a few days ago and I have summarised the changes below.
Skilled Migration Ceiling
Migration program ceiling for skilled migration has been adjusted to 160,000 for 2019-20.
New Skilled Regional Provisional Visas
Two new skilled regional provisional visas (SRPV) will be introduced in 2019 which will have two streams: Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) - sponsorship by an employer in regional Australia; Skilled Work Regional (SWR) - nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a regional area.
The SRPV will require the visa holder to live and work in a regional area of Australia for at least 3 years before the holder is eligible to apply for PR.
Possibility of up to an additional 700 eligible occupations will be added for SESR.
Possibility of up to an additional 500 eligible occupations will be added for SWR.
The proposed validity of the visa after the grant is up to five years.
New PR Pathway
Permanent residence (Skilled Regional) visa will be introduced in November 2022 and this PR pathway is available for the new SRPV visa holders.
Definition of Regional Australia
It is proposed that by November 2019, the definition of regional Australia will be simplified for all skilled visas and expanded to include all of Australia except for the following metropolitan areas: