Australia is one of the most popular destinations for regional migration and international students, where there are about 700,000 international students coming to Australia in a year and about 130,000 immigrant workers.
The federal government has made the executive decision to increase its regional migration program intake from 23,000 to 25,000 after having seen the success of the program initiative. It is now no longer classifying Perth and Gold Coast as major cities so that skilled migrants and international students find it easier to migrate there.
The regional migration program was announced in early 2019, where they would have 23,000 reservations for migrants who have made the commitment to live and work in regional Australia. Committing to living and working in the regions for at least three years makes them eligible for a permanent residency.
Immigration Minister David Coleman has made a statement that 6,000 visas were approved under the migration program in just the first three months since the initiative, compared to 3,000 in the last quarter of 2018. Hence, he has chosen to increase the number from 23,000 places to 25,000 places.
They have also decided to change the definition of migration purposes in regional Australia, where from 16th November, Perth and the Gold Coast will no longer be considered major cities. This is to help take population pressure off of major capital cities, said Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and to support strong regions so that the economy of Australia can become even stronger.
These changes are made with the aim to increase the appeal of a bunch of cities and regional centres that want to increase their population to support services like healthcare and schools. More workers and students mean more jobs and investment.
The new plan includes an ambitious initiative, where the government will deploy regional outreach officers to Perth and Gold Cost, amongst other regional areas, like Newcastle, Hobart, and Wollongong.
There have been statements by Labour that said the Morrison government had been adamant that the classification changes for Perth and Gold Coast could not possibly be made before doing a complete 180 and taking credit for it. The Morrison government had initially considered Gold Coast to be too metropolitan, like the cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, while giving the ‘regional’ status to Canberra and Adelaide.
Despite all the controversy surrounding the reclassification, it will be put in place from the 16th of November.
The additional points to consider
1. The addition of 5 points based on the point-test for engaging in studies in a regional area make some new revelations. It also aims to meet the standards set by the ‘Department of Home Affairs’, as per their minimum threshold for point-verified visas.
2. Students will gain access to an extra year of professional opportunities after work, which would be mainly applicable for post-graduate or PG students. They will also have the opportunity to apply for skills assessment, which will be quite helpful while applying for skilled visas.
3. There’s also an added chance and scope of applying for a scholarship of $15000, per student every year to study, support, and bear living expenses associated with the curriculum of Certificate IV in the regional campus. That’s not all, students can also pursue higher studies and doctoral level courses too.
Perth is perhaps the best place for international students to learn, live, and earn. With the new-found regional status, it would be the perfect location for international students and learners to engage in academic opportunities.
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