The Gold Coast and Perth were once considered major cities alongside Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but now they’re being treated as regional areas – which is good news for international students hoping to spend more time in Australia after graduation.

From 16 November, students studying in either of these cities will be able to add an extra year to their Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485). Currently, international students graduating from an Australian higher education institution with a Bachelor degree or above can stay and work in Australia for between two and four years after graduation, depending on their qualification. Students graduating in Perth and the Gold Coast can now stay and work for between three and five years. They’ll also have access to the Regional Occupation List, meaning a choice of more jobs and visa options.

Plus, nationally there will be 2000 more places available in the regional visa quota (up from 23,000 to 25,000 out of the total 160,000 places available). Regional visa applicants will also receive priority visa application processing.

Other regional areas that offer the same benefits include Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, the Sunshine Coast, Wollongong/Illawarra, Geelong and Newcastle/Lake Macquarie.

For more information on visas in Australia, including regional visas, head to the Department of Home Affairs website.