Regional Concessions: What Are They?

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Regional Concessions: What Are They?

Regional Concessions: What Are They?

There has been a lot of talk about regional migration, whether in relation to skilled regional visas or the Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) that have been in place in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Skilled regional visas and Designated Area Migration Agreements not only provide opportunities for regions to increase their population and benefit economically but also assist certain industries in filling employment gaps unable to be occupied by local workers.

While regional migration is encouraged, migrants do need to meet certain requirements in order to obtain a visa.

At a basic level, these usually include:

  • Competent English speaking skills
  • A relevant qualification or work experience to undertake certain occupations
  • Be within a certain age limit
  • Meet health requirements
  • Meet character requirements
  • Not be in debt to the Australian government
  • Signing the Australian Values Statement

Although these requirements are important, there are some cases where regional concessions may apply.

What Are Regional Concessions?

Regional concessions are allowances that are made on certain visa criteria. While migrants are required to meet some of the criteria listed above as well as others depending on the visa they are applying for, there are instances where the standard of these requirements are lowered. Usually this will occur in order to fill a skills shortage in regional areas.

These concessions may include:

  • Lowering the skills required to fill certain occupations
  • English language concessions
  • Increased age limits for some occupations
  • Temporary Skilled Migrant Income Threshold (TSMIT) concessions for employers

While the occupation list is extensive not all occupations offer concessions but the list is constantly under review and evolving. Some of the occupations that currently offer concessions are accounts clerks, bus drivers, aquaculture farmers, motorcycle mechanics, sound technicians and tour guides to name a few.

While regional concessions could be construed as a free pass for anyone wanting to enter Australia regardless of their eligibility, this is not the case. Regional concessions relax the criteria required not abolish them completely. For example, while English language concessions may be applied, migrants may still have to undergo English language testing to ensure they have an adequate command of the language.

What is the purpose of regional concessions?

Regional concessions will enable regions to fill occupations that cannot be filled by local workers. In areas such as the Northern Territory where they are struggling to attract and retain skilled workers, the offer of concessions combined with potential permanent residency is advantageous to both migrants and the city.

If you have any questions about regional concessions and need expert advice, speak to one of the VSA team today. It is a complex subject so it is important to speak with someone in the know.

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