When you are looking to study in regional Australia, it is very important to understand the way skilled migration works to maximise your options.

In this way, to apply for permanent residency immigration has a points system. Generally speaking the more points you have, the better chance you have at receiving residency. But over the last 2 years, skilled migration has become more about state sponsorship than just having the most points. In this blog, we will explain how you can strategise your study plan to maximise your points and expand your options!

What are the benefits of studying in regional Australia?

  1. Extra points for your migration process

Generally, speaking, if you choose to complete a 2-year program/programs with a designated Regional Education provider, it will enable you to gain 5 additional points for regional study.

In order to be approved for the 5 extra-regional study points, you must live and study in the designated region. The extra 5 points awarded for regional study covers most programs at Diploma level or above.

So strategically talking, studying in regional Australia will give you 10 extra points: 5 points for 2 years of study, plus another 5 points for studying regionally.

  1. Extra time on the 485 visaAnother benefit for international students, when they go to regional Australia, is the possibility for extra time on the 485 visa. In this case, if you complete study in a regional area at a University level (Bachelor, Masters, or PhD) for 2 years you will have access to an extra year on the 485 post-study work visa(Reminder that there are two streams of the 485 visa and you can read more here)This means more time to get Australian experience, more points, or potentially find a sponsor.

Why is this so important?

This is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, having more time during your 485 visa,  it’s a 50% increase! (3 years instead of 2 for Uni graduates) and gives you the ability to work longer, gain more points for Australian work experience and look more appealing to Australian employers (with more time to work for them).

So how can this extra time on a 485 visa benefit you and your pathway and points? Well, if you secure relevant employment in your occupation you can claim points as follows:

  • 1-year Australian work experience = 5 points
  • 3-years Australian work experience = 10 points
  • Employer sponsorship (482 info here) requires 2-years of experience in your field so this gives you another backup option to consider if you are not invited under the EOI scheme before your 485 ends
  • Regional Employer sponsorship requires you to have 3 years of experience in your field which is possible if you gain a 3 year 485 visa

Secondly. if you prefer to pursue the EOI points-based process towards PR, then State Sponsorship has increasingly become the easiest and sometimes only way to achieve permanent residency in Australia. The graphic below illustrates how each state has approved applicants under the state nominated streams.

State sponsorship and Regional Australia

Study in regional Australia also has a direct correlation with State Sponsorship. State sponsorship is where different states in Australia choose the occupations they need in their state and place them on their state sponsorship list. Then, each state has their own requirements on what you need to do to be approved for the points via state sponsorship.

The majority of states have several ‘in demand’ occupation lists specific to their economies – There is a graduate list as well, which can include waivers (so can be easier to receive nomination points from them) as well as ‘living in’ lists – so if you were to be studying in a regional location you may find that upon completion of your studies you can be eligible to a 3-year post-study work visa, and be considered for nomination under that particular regions ‘graduate list’ and/or ‘living in the area’ list.


How can I start planning my studies in regional Australia?

The more you can maximise your options at the start of your journey, the more opportunities you can give yourself at graduation.

Talk to us for more information on how we can help you with your own strategy to get permanent residency

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