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Designated Regional Areas

Any area outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be designated as "regional" as of 16 November 2019. There has been a significant change: Perth and the Gold Coast are now considered regional areas. Included in the regional areas are cities such as Perth, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast as well as Lake Macquarie and the Illawarra region.

Postcodes deemed to be rural districts by the Department of Home Affairs for the following Australian visa lodged on or after 16 November 2019 include:

  • Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa
  • Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated visa

& employer sponsored visa:

  • Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa
  • Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa

Skilled migrants who move to places classed as Category 2 “Cities and Major Regional Centres” or Category 3 “Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas” can take advantage of regional incentives.

Category 2 – Perth, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong, and Hobart are listed under ‘Cities and Major Regional Centres’.

Category 3 – Other regional areas, including regional centres (Include Designated regional area postcodes as per below table)

Regional Postcodes

State or Territory Category Postcodes
New South Wales Cities and major regional centres 2259, 2264 to 2308, 2500 to 2526, 2528 to 2535 and 2574
New South Wales Regional centres and other regional areas 2250 to 2258, 2260 to 2263, 2311 to 2490, 2527, 2536 to 2551, 2575 to 2739, 2753 to 2754, 2756 to 2758 and 2773 to 2898
Victoria Cities and major regional centres 3211 to 3232, 3235, 3240, 3328, 3330 to 3333, 3340 and 3342
Victoria Regional centres and other regional areas 3097 to 3099, 3139, 3233 to 3234, 3236 to 3239, 3241 to 3325, 3329, 3334, 3341, 3345 to 3424, 3430 to 3799, 3809 to 3909, 3912 to 3971 and 3978 to 3996
Queensland Cities and major regional centres 4207 to 4275, 4517 to 4519, 4550 to 4551, 4553 to 4562, 4564 to 4569 and 4571 to 4575
Queensland Regional centres and other regional areas 4124 to 4125, 4133, 4183 to 4184, 4280 to 4287, 4306 to 4498, 4507, 4552, 4563, 4570 and 4580 to 4895
Western Australia Cities and major regional centres 6000 to 6038, 6050 to 6083, 6090 to 6182, 6208 to 6211, 6214 and 6556 to 6558
Western Australia Regional centres and other regional areas All postcodes in Western Australia not mentioned above
South Australia Cities and major regional centres 5000 to 5171, 5173 to 5174, 5231 to 5235, 5240 to 5252, 5351 and 5950 to 5960
South Australia Regional centres and other regional areas All postcodes in South Australia not mentioned above
Tasmania Cities and major regional centres 7000, 7004 to 7026, 7030 to 7109, 7140 to 7151 and 7170 to 7177
Tasmania Regional centres and other regional areas All postcodes in Tasmania not mentioned above
Australian Capital Territory Cities and major regional centres All postcodes in the ACT
Australian Capital Territory Regional centres and other regional areas None
Northern Territory Cities and major regional centres None
Northern Territory Regional centres and other regional areas All postcodes in the NT
Norfolk Island Cities and major regional centres None
Norfolk Island Regional centres and other regional areas All postcodes in Norfolk Island
Other Territories Cities and major regional centres None
Other Territories Regional centres and other regional areas All postcodes in a Territory other than the ACT, NT, or Norfolk Island

It’s divided into three categories and gives incentives for skilled migrants who move to cities and major regional centers in Category 2 or regional centers in Category 3:

  • Category 2 – “Cities and Major Regional centers” including Perth and Adelaide and the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast and Canberra, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong, and Hobart can take advantage of the following regional incentives:
    • Priority processing of regional visa
    • List of Regional Occupations (more employment) than other lists of occupations.
    • For international graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited regional campus, a post-study work visa will allow them to stay an extra year in Australia.
  • Category 3 – There will also be access to 11,200 regional seats, priority processing of regional visa and the Regional Occupations List for ‘Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas.” There are other incentives, such as:
    • Bachelor or higher graduates from regional campuses of registered institutions will be eligible for a post-study work visa for an additional two years.
    • Region-specific Designated Area Migration Agreements have priority in negotiations (DAMAs).