In a move designed to boost diversity and prosperity in regional areas and ease growing infrastructure pressures in major metro areas, the Federal Government recently announced a new initiative that will benefit international students who are undertaking their studies with regional educational providers. From upcoming year 2021, Temporary Graduate visa holders (post-study work stream) who graduate from a regional educational institution AND who have lived in a regional part of the country on their first Temporary Graduate visa will be ELIGIBLE for a SECOND Temporary Graduate visa!
This means an EXTRA ONE OR TWO YEARS of post-study work rights.
However, to secure your second Temporary Graduate visa you will have to continue residing in a regional area for the duration of your new visa.
The Department of Home Affairs classifies the following as regional areas – all of Australia EXCLUDING Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane (which are classified as Category 1 – ‘metro’ areas). However, eligibility for this new initiative WILL include international students who studied at a REGIONAL campus of a metropolitan university.
Graduates who have studied and lived in Category 2 regions (cities and major regional centres such as Perth, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong and Hobart) will be eligible for an additional ONE YEAR on a second TGV. Perth and the Gold Coast are now officially classified as regional areas as part of an effort to attract regional migrants (following successful lobbying of the Federal Government by local authorities).
Graduates who have done so for a Category 3 region (all other regional centres/areas) will be eligible for an additional TWO YEARS on their second TGV.
It is expected this new initiative will draw more international students to Australia – and especially in the wake of thew COVID19 crisis. SBS reports an education industry survey conducted last year found post-study work rights were a key factor in drawing overseas students to the country [https://www.sbs.com.au/language/english/this-big-visa-incentive-for-australia-s-international-students-will-come-into-effect-in-2021].