The Department of Immigration introduced the Skilled Independent Regional [SIR] (Provisional) visa on 1 July 2004. Successful applicants are granted a 3 year temporary visa with the prospect of being eligible to apply for permanent residence.
To qualify for this visa, you must:
- be sponsored by a state or territory government authority;
- meet the basic requirements for the General Skilled Migration categories: such as age, English, skilled occupation, recent work experience;
- meet the SIR visa pass mark (currently 110 points);
If you are an overseas student applying in Australia, you must have a positive skills assessment:
- in a 60 point occupation; or
- in a 50 point occupation if you have completed an Australian doctorate;
- undertake to live and work in regional Australia or a low population growth area for at least 2 years.
You can read detailed requirements for the grant of this visa on the web sites of each of the participating State/Territory governments.
SIR visa holders meeting these conditions will be eligible to apply for permanent residence after 2 years through:
Х Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme;
Х State/Territory Nominated Independent visa; or
Х State/Territory Business Owner visa.
Please note that in addition to living in the regional area for at least 2 years, you must work in a skilled occupation for at least 12 months. If you do not meet the criteria for permanent residence after 3 years of holding SIR visa, you can extend your SIR visa for another year.