With the RSMS subclass 187 visa abolished by the Department of Home Affairs a couple of years ago, the long awaited permanent residence visa for regional workers will soon be implemented on 16 November 2022.
There are two streams under the new Skilled Regional subclass 191 visa:
- Regional provisional stream
- Hong Kong stream
Regional provisional stream
The visa will allow individuals who have lived and worked in designated regional areas of Australia on an eligible visa to live and work in Australia permanently. Whilst the full details of the eligibility for the visa have been disclosed, we understand that applicants will need to meet the following criteria
- Hold an eligible visa such as SESR subclass 494,
- Have lived, worked and studied in a designated regional for the last 3 years before being eligible for the permanent residence visa sc191. It is not clear which other visas would be considered eligible visas for the purposes of meeting the sc191 eligibility criteria.
- Hold a taxable income at or above a specific income threshold for at least three years while holding your eligible visa
- Have complied with the conditions of the eligible visa you hold or have held.
Hong Kong Stream
This visa will allow Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport holders who have demonstrated commitment to Australia, to live and work in Australia permanently.
To be eligible for the visa under the HK stream, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Hold an eligible visa such as subclass 457, 482 or 485 visa as the primary visa holder. Your visa must not expire after 8 July 2025 if it was approved before 9 July 2020 and if your visa was approved after 9 July 2025, it must be valid for 5 years;
- Hold a Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport at the time of application;
- You and your dependants must have resided, worked and studied in a designated regional area for the last 3 years;
- You must have complied with the conditions of the eligible visa you hold or have held;
- You must demonstrate Functional English or pay the second instalment of the visa application charge when requested;
- You must meet the health and character requirements for the visa.
Once the visa is approved, the visa holder is permitted to:
- stay in Australia permanently
- work and study in Australia
- enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare
- sponsor your relatives to come to Australia
- travel to and from Australia for 5 years
- if eligible, apply for Australian citizenship.
Further details regarding the eligibility criteria for the regional provisional stream will be provided once the Department of Home Affairs has released further information.
Should you have any questions about these your eligibility for this visa, please don’t hesitate to contact our migration lawyers.