NEW SKILLED REGIONAL VISAS (CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS) BILL 2019

Bill introduced to provide access to welfare payments or government services to new skilled
Regional visa holders of subclass 491 and subclass 494 as if they are holders of permanent
Bill introduced to provide access to welfare payments or government services to new skilled
Regional visa holders of subclass 491 and subclass 494 as if they are holders of permanent
visas. Two new regional visas are being introduced to encourage new skilled migrants to
settle in regional areas

The New Skilled Regional Visas (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019 (the Bill) makes
consequential amendments to legislation administered by the Department of Social
Services, the Department of Education and the Attorney-General’s Department, to give
effect to Government policy that holders of provisional skilled regional visas, which come
into effect on 16 November 2019, to have access to welfare payments or government
services as if they are holders of permanent visas.

The following legislation would be amended by the Bill:

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999

Disability Services Act 1986

Fair Entitlements Guarantee Act 2012

Higher Education Support Act 2003

National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013

Paid Parental Leave Act 2010

Social Security Act 1991

This Bill supports the Australian Government’s initiatives in managing Australia’s
immigration program and supporting regional Australia. As part of the Population Package
announced in the 2019-20 Budget, two new regional visas are being introduced to
encourage new skilled migrants to settle in regional areas. The new visas will come into
effect on 16 November 2019 and will require holders to live and work in a regional area for
at least three years before they are eligible for a permanent visa.

The amendments in this Bill give effect to the policy intent that holders of these provisional
skilled regional visas have the same access to welfare payments and government services as
permanent visa holders. This recognises that the visas provide a pathway to permanent
residence.

These arrangements also ensure that provisional skilled regional visa holders are not
disadvantaged compared to holders of permanent skilled visas available for people to work
in metropolitan areas. The new provisional skilled regional visas are set out in the Migration
Amendment (New Skilled Regional Visas) Regulations 2019 (the visa regulations), which
amend the Migration Regulations 1994 to provide for the following visas:

Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)) visa;

Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)) visa.

The visa regulations also amend the Migration Regulations 1994 to provide for a new
permanent skilled regional visa, namely the Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled
Regional)) visa.

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