Is Canberra a regional area?

Canberra is the capital city of Australia, one of the most developed cities in Australia and a leading centre for science and technology in Australia. It is just about 3 hours from Sydney and an almost 7-hour drive from Melbourne. Does that make Canberra a regional area?

Is Canberra a regional area?

Yes, Canberra is a regional area. In November 2019, the government of Australia declared that any town or small city beyond Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane was a Regional Area. Therefore, the regional area of Australia includes Canberra, Gold Coast, Perth, New Castle, Sunshine Coast, Illawarra, Geelong, Wollongong, Adelaide and Hobart. These regional areas are not rural or backward but rapidly growing towns and cities. The facilities in these areas are no less than the metropolitan cities of Australia like Sydney and Melbourne.

Category of Regional Area

The regional areas of Australia have been categorised into two categories:

Category 2 mainly includes ‘Cities and major regional Centres’. Generally, regional areas have more job opportunities than non-regional areas.

  • Perth – Located towards the west of Australia and is a part of South West Land Division
  •  Adelaide – Capital city of South Australia, located towards the southern central part.
  • Gold Coast – A coastal city in the state of Queensland
  • Sunshine Coast – The Sunshine Coast is located in the South-East part of Queensland
  • Canberra – Situated towards the northern end of the Australian capital
  • New Castle – A local government area in New  South Wales of Australia.
  • Wollongong/ Illawarra – Located in the New South Wales region of Australia.
  • Hobart – Hobart is located in the Southernmost part of Australia.

Category 3 includes ‘regional centres and other regional areas.

It is essential to know how the place is categorised as depending on the place, the available incentives vary. Check this list of Postcodes for the exact details on how a particular location is classified.

Canberra falls in category 2 i.e. ‘Cities and Major Regional Centres.’

Benefits of living in regional areas

Living in a regional area has various benefits for students and working professionals who migrate from different countries in search of better employment opportunities. But the classification of the specific region helps to decide the additional benefits available to you.

Category 2 or ‘Cities and Major Regional Centres’ have access to the following regional incentives:

  • Priority processing of regional visas.
  • Access to the Regional Occupations List – more jobs compared to non-regional lists.
  • International graduates with a bachelor’s or higher qualification from a regional campus of a registered institution will be eligible to access an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa.

Category 3 or ‘Regional Centres and Other Regional Areas’ will also have access.

  • There are dedicated 11,200 regional places, priority processing of regional visas, and the Regional Occupations List.
  • International graduates with a bachelor’s or higher qualification from a regional campus of a registered institution will be eligible to access an additional two years in Australia on a post-study work visa.

Other benefits include:

  • Priority in negotiating region-specific Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA’s).
  • There is not much competition for skilled and professional jobs.
  • The cost of living in regional areas is much more affordable than in bigger cities.
  • The quality of life in regional areas is quite relaxed and laidback, and it is not crowded, and you can enjoy outdoor activities freely.
  • Australia is a vast country to explore. With many sandy beaches, exotic mountains and reefs, Australia have always been one of the most preferred locations when planning vacations.

Also, check if Canberra falls in the New South Wales Region.