Australia’s Immigration Minister David Coleman has said he wants his department to focus more on attracting migrants to regional areas and increasing the number of international students studying in the country.
Speaking at the Sydney Institute earlier this week, Minister Coleman said immigration had been “absolutely fundamental” to Australia’s success as a nation but it needed to be approached with “clear eyes”.
The minister said that international education was “extremely good for Australia” and would remain a key feature of the government’s immigration policy.
“The education sector supports high-skilled, high-wage jobs, the exact type of jobs we want to develop,” he said.
To encourage more international students to study outside capital cities, an additional year will be offered to people on the post-graduate study visa for those who choose to live and work in regional areas.
He also announced that 23,000 places will be allocated to ensuring regional migration under two new visa categories that require migrants to live and work in regional Australia for three years in order to be eligible for permanent residency.
When questioned on how the government would ensure migrants remained in these areas after relocating, Mr Coleman said he believed the desire for permanent residency – which is only available after living in regional areas for three years – would be a sufficient driver.
“We are very confident there will be very high levels of compliance,” he said.
Regional Australia is broadly defined as all regions outside of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and the Gold Coast.
Article published 14th August 2019