Recent concerns about population growth and its consequences in Sydney and Melbourne have added momentum to the debate on ways to achieve a more even geographic distribution of population. However, there is little contemporary evidence about the impact of regionally-focused immigration policies in delivering positive migrant outcomes and easing pressures in major cities. The aim of this paper is to compare migration, employment and settlement outcomes between permanent and temporary skilled migrants to South Australia (SA) as well as the factors influencing migrants’ decisions to move into and out of the State. Data in this paper draws on the South Australian General Skilled Migrant survey of State-sponsored skilled migrants conducted by The University of Adelaide in 2015. Lifestyle and employment factors were important in decisions to come to, stay or leave SA. Permanent migrants were more likely to choose SA as a destination because it was perceived as a good place to raise a family, while temporary migrants were more likely to cite employment. Temporary visa holders had relatively poor employment outcomes. Temporary and permanent visa holders experienced different settlement and employment outcomes, demonstrating that a more detailed understanding of migrant characteristics and outcomes may be useful in designing and evaluating regionally -focused migration initiatives.