Exploring Opportunities Outside Major Cities with Regional Visas

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January 11, 2024

Regional Australia offers a multitude of opportunities and an enriching lifestyle for those willing to look beyond the capital cities. With multiple regional visa options available for migrant workers, individuals can not only contribute to the growth of these often-overlooked areas but also benefit from incentives designed to foster community development. In this blog, we explore the benefits of life in regional Australia, providing information about visa options and the distinct aspects of migration to these beautiful locations.

The Benefits of Life in Regional Australia

When considering the reasons to move to Australia, also consider the strong benefits of choosing to migrate to the regions. These include:

  • Quality of Life: Regional areas boast a higher quality of life, with a slower pace, cleaner air, and a strong sense of community. The stress and congestion associated with city living often make way for a more relaxed and fulfilling lifestyle.
  • Job Opportunities: Contrary to common misconceptions, regional Australia is not devoid of job opportunities. Many regional areas are actively seeking skilled workers to address shortages in various industries, including healthcare, childcare, agriculture, and hospitality.
  • Affordable Living: One of the most compelling reasons to consider regional living is the affordability factor. Housing costs are significantly lower than in major cities, making it easier for families to own homes and enjoy a more comfortable standard of living.
  • Natural Beauty: From pristine beaches to rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, regional areas showcase the diverse and breathtaking beauty of Australia. Nature lovers, animal lovers, and outdoor enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise with ample opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Regional Visa Options

The Australian government recognises the importance of regional development and actively encourages migration to these areas through dedicated visa programs. Here are some key regional visa options:

  • Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional Visa): This visa is designed to address skill shortages in regional areas. It allows skilled workers to live and work in a designated regional area for up to five years. To be eligible, applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member.
  • Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional Visa): This employer-sponsored visa is for skilled workers nominated by an employer in a designated regional area. It provides a pathway to permanent residency after three years of employment with the sponsoring employer.
  • Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa): This visa is for subclass 491 and 494 visa holders who have lived and worked in a designated regional area for at least three years. It offers a pathway to permanent residency, allowing individuals to make a long-term commitment to regional living.

Incentives for Living Outside Major Cities

The Australian government provides various incentives to bring people out into the regions to live and work. These include:

    • Regional Migration Incentives: State and territory governments are offering various incentives to attract skilled workers to regional areas. These are based on whether the visa is within Category 2 – Major Regional Centres or Category 3 – Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas, as well as other visa-specific factors.
  • Visa-Specific incentives can include:
        • An additional 5 points (from 10-15) under the Skilled Migration Points Test if nominated to live and work in a designated regional Australia.
        • An additional 5 points if your study is completed in a designated regional area and meets the Australian Study Requirement.
  • Category 2 incentives include:
        • Priority processing of regional visas.
        • Access to the Regional Occupations List, which includes more jobs than non-regional lists and allows less competition for the most in-demand jobs
  • Allows certain International Graduates with a bachelor’s or higher qualification to be eligible for an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa.
  • Category 3 incentives include:
      • Priority in negotiating region-specific Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs).
      • Allows certain International Graduates with a bachelor’s or higher qualification to be eligible for an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa.
  • Regional Development Programs: Many regional areas have ongoing development programs aimed at enhancing infrastructure, healthcare, and education facilities. Migrants may find themselves contributing to and benefiting from these positive changes.
  • Community Support: Regional communities are known for their warmth and support. Migrants often find it easier to integrate into close-knit communities, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie.

Unique Aspects of Migration to Regional Areas

There are many unique aspects of migrating to regional areas in Australia. These include:

  • Cultural Immersion: Regional living provides a unique opportunity for cultural immersion. Migrants can experience the authentic Australian way of life, participate in local festivals and events, and develop a deeper understanding of the country’s diverse cultural fabric.
  • Career Advancement: While major cities offer a multitude of career opportunities, regional areas can be a great space for career advancement. With less competition, skilled workers may find themselves in roles with greater responsibility and the chance to make a significant impact.
  • Educational Opportunities: Regional areas are not lacking in educational opportunities. Many universities and vocational institutions have campuses in regional towns, offering quality education in a more serene environment.

How to Make the Move

Making the move to a regional area requires careful planning and consideration. Here are steps to help prospective migrants transition successfully:

  1. Research: Thoroughly research potential regional areas, considering factors such as job opportunities, lifestyle, and community atmosphere. State and territory websites provide valuable information on regional development initiatives and available incentives.
  2. Seek Professional Advice: Engage with migration agencies like AustraliaMigrate. We can provide tailored advice, assist with visa applications, and offer insights into specific regional requirements.
  3. Visit the Area: If possible, visit the chosen regional area before making the move. This firsthand experience will provide a better understanding of the community, amenities, and lifestyle.
  4. Network: Connect with local communities, business groups, and support networks in the chosen regional area. Networking is crucial for both personal and professional integration.
  5. Prepare for Change: Moving to a regional area involves adapting to a different pace of life. Embrace the change and be open to the new opportunities and experiences that regional living can offer.


Regional Australia beckons with its unique charm, promising a fulfilling life that combines career opportunities with a sense of community and a connection to nature. By exploring regional visa options and understanding the incentives for living outside major cities, individuals can embark on a journey that not only enhances their professional prospects but also enriches their overall quality of life. Contact us today to find out more and begin your journey of migrating to the Australian Regions.


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