Why working regional in hospitality can triple your chances of PR

If you are looking for opportunities to get permanent residency in Australia, you have probably heard a lot about regional locations giving more places to skilled migrants, or how regional nomination gives more points towards your EOI. You may even have heard about chefs being added to the Priority list for this new financial year.

Why is Hospitality so important?

We all know the joy of having a nice Saturday brunch cooked for us at the cafe in our suburb, or by the beach – or going out for an evening of food and friends – eating out is a popular regular treat for Aussies and visitors alike. Not to mention the multitude of short breaks on offer to enjoy – whether a weekend in Byron Bay or a mid-week break on the Sunny Coast – Aussies are spoilt for choice in how to enjoy the hospitality industry on their doorstep!

Because of this huge part of the Australian culture, there is always a demand for skilled and qualified staff in hospitality – and it’s not just Chefs or Cooks – there is a need and demand for Restaurant managers, Hotel Managers, Hotel Service Managers (such as Head Porter, Housekeeper, Front Office Manager) to name a few!

Now, there are different visas that are applicable to certain occupations within the Hospitality industry but regional visas will consider most of those listed above depending on the States need.

So back to the statement of  Why working regional in hospitality can triple your chances of PR-

  • Option 1- You meet all the criteria for an employer to sponsor you and you are working in a regional postcode. You could get a 494 visa which is an Employer Sponsored visa, and has a pathway to PR! Department of Immigration is allocating 10,000 places for this visa per year.
  • Option 2– You have sufficient points and are currently working in your occupation in a regional postcode. You see you are on the state “regional nominated list” and after meeting their criteria you can lodge a 491 visa! Once granted, this is not tied to an employer and you have more control over your pathway once it’s granted (and it does have a pathway to PR after 3 years*) Plus you will be eligible for Medicare once it is granted!
  • Option 3 – Spread your options as far and wide as possible! You still have the opportunity to lodge a 482 (employer-sponsored) or 186 (Employer-sponsored PR) or even a chance at the 189 but as there is no real timeframe that immigration can give on processing EOIs and Visas due to COVID, although just by being in a regional location in a relevant job, you are ensuring you don’t miss out on any opportunities that may require applicants to already reside in their relevant region for a specified time prior to being considered for nomination, or for a company to consider sponsoring your 494 without prior experience of your skills.



Jasper is a Chef who studied in Australia, after some well earned time off to travel and enjoy a trip around Australia he decided to settle in the regional area of  Hunter Valley, and he is now on his 485 visa enjoying full-time work as a Chef in a very popular restaurant that caters to the tourists visiting the Hunter Valley Wine region. Thanks to this location he has more options towards his goal of PR.

Specifically for a Chef, NSW regions will require one year of work experience post qualification (for comparison QLD require 3 years of work experience) and upon NSW nominating him for the 491 Stream, he will gain an additional 15 points. Once his 491 is granted, he will have five years temporary visa, but can move to different designated regions should he need to, and he can lodge permanent residency in Australia after 3 years (so long as he can meet the transition criteria regarding salary and location).

Depending on how much work experience he has, Jasper could still consider the 186, if he had the required 3 years of work experience OR he could undertake the 494 Employer-sponsored option OR he could try and get maximum points to do a 189 visa.

If Jasper had decided to remain in Brisbane (where he had originally studied), he would have restricted his visa options and would experience much more competition for jobs in the city when compared to the regional areas Plus he would not be able to get a nomination for the 491 due to the majority of regions requiring potential candidates to have proof they are already residing in the relevant region for a specified time before being considered for 491s.


As you can see, there are many different pathways and your eligibility to access them will depend on the decision and strategy you plan ahead for.

EMSA has a special program called EMSA Employment Solutions where we match skilled candidates with regional employers to give them the best chance of success. If you are interested to know more visit this page and boost your chances to permanent residency in Australia today!

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