The New Designated Regional Areas

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The New Designated Regional Areas

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A new list of Designated Regional Areas (DRA) was released today by the government.

It is designed to specify parts of Australia, by postcode, for the purposes of the new definition of Designated Regional Area under regulation 1.03 of the Regulations.

You can find this new list here;

Designated Regional Areas Postcodes

The new list makes effectively makes all of Australia except Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, new Designated Regional Areas.

What does this mean?

  • If you are studying in the DRA’s you maybe eligible for 5 points if your meet the Australian Study Requirement by completing your course at a campus in these DRA’s. For example; If you now study at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School at Leura, postcode 2780 this could be counted with the right courses to meet the Australian Study Requirement. For the extra 5 points it will not matter if you began the study before this new list came out.  It also does not matter if you studied there in the past. For example; University of Wollongong students who studied there (Wollongong) and lived there, maybe able to claim the new points. Remember to claim the 5 points for DRA study you must also live in a DRA region while you studied that course.
  • The DRA list will mean the areas you can work, live and study whilst the holder of the new 491 visa will be expanded.
  • 489 holders who have their visas granted before the 16th November 2019 cannot move outside the list of areas that was in existence when their visa was granted. For example, 489 visa holders cannot now live in the Gold Coast (which is now on the RDA).
  • 489 visa holders who have their visas granted from the 16th November 2019 will be able to live, work and study in the new list of regional areas. Not very fair for those already holding 489 visa’s but that is the way it will be according to a department news release on the 15th November.

There will be  3 categories of Regional Australia from the 16th November 2019

Category 1

‘Major Cities’ of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will not have access to regional incentives.

Category 2

‘Cities and Major Regional Centres’ of Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong and Hobart will have access to the following regional incentives:

  • Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places
  • Priority processing on regional visas
  • Access to the Regional Occupation List – more jobs compared to non-regional lists
  • International graduates with a bachelor or higher qualification from a regional campus of a registered institution will be eligible for an extra year in Australia on a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)

Category 3

‘Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas’ will have access to the following regional incentives:

  • Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places
  • Priority processing on regional visas
  • Access to the Regional Occupation List – more jobs compared to non-regional lists
  • International graduates with a bachelor or higher qualification from a regional campus of a registered institution will be eligible for an extra two years in Australia on a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)
  • Priority in negotiating region-specific Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs)