An Australian immigration consultant explains the overhauled migration system
In September 2022, The Australian federal government announced that it will undertake a comprehensive review of Australia’s migration system to ‘ensure it better meets existing challenges and sets a clear direction for the coming decades.’ After months of investigation and review, the final report was presented in March 2023; leading to the Minister for Home Affairs, Clare O’Neil MP announcing a significant overhaul to the structure of Australia’s migration system, in order to address some of the challenges it faces. In this article, an Australian immigration consultant at AIVS will go through some of the expected changes and what they mean for Australia’s migration system in the future.
What are the federal government’s immigration objectives?
Some of the key considerations tabled by the review were for Australia to reduce its reliance on temporary skilled visa workers and overhaul the system to speed up the process of getting high-skilled workers into the country, with a smoother path to permanent residency. Australia’s ageing population and fertility rate (1.58 babies per woman) ‘below the replacement rate’ means the government is aiming to try and bring in more skilled workers over the coming decades to stabilise the economy, pay taxes and fill positions in ‘CARE’ industries that can look after older Australians with declining health.
Challenges attracting migrant workers.
With many high socio-economic countries facing similar demographic challenges, there has been ‘fierce global competition’ for skilled migrants worldwide. However, the report found that Australia is ‘falling behind in attracting skilled migrants.’ Research has suggested this is due to factors such as backlogs and the potential for worker exploitation. While the covid pandemic introduced a significant backlog within the migration process, the Australian government has already increased staff to try and work through it. Meanwhile, the report identified that ‘cumbersome’ and ageing Home Affairs computer systems were a significant cause of delay.
Size and complexity of the Visa system
A 2018 study identified that Australia ‘had the most complex visa system of major Western admission countries.’ The report identified that the size and complexity of the system (with over 100 different visa classes) made the system challenging to navigate and difficult to process applicants. Streamlining the process was identified as a significant area for reform within the report. For applicants to combat the complexities of the visa system, getting in contact with an expert such as an Australian Immigration Consultant can help improve and streamline the process.
Two immediate structural changes
Two primary changes that the federal government is aiming to introduce before the end of the year include:
- Introducing a path for temporary skilled visa holders to apply for permanent residency who had been denied the opportunity within their visa clause.
- Raising the migrant wage threshold of temporary skilled workers to $70,000 AUD (full time) from $53900, – as this had remained unchanged since 2013.
The second change aims to reduce the potential for migrant workers to be exploited, as the report found ‘90% of all full-time jobs in Australia are now paid more than the current ($53,900) threshold.’ The threshold will be increased to $70,000 AUD as of July 1st.
How will skilled migrants be identified in the new system?
The report has found the Skilled Occupations List as an inadequate resource for the selection of migrants within Australia’s rapidly changing labour market, as it can’t keep up with the ever-fluctuating needs of the Australian economy. The report identified an alternative selection program – involving the detailed identification of skill requirements by Jobs & Skills Australia. Three categories of skilled migrants would be prioritised by this body – ‘those with in-demand skills,’ ‘those with high human capital’ and ‘exceptional cases.’
The report identified significantly more recommendations for reform to the migration system, allowing it to fulfil the federal government’s objectives whilst making the system easier for migrants and fairer for migrant workers. The government aims to implement more of the recommendations over time and overhaul the system to help reduce the significant challenges and backlogs for applicants.
How can an Australian Immigration Consultant help your visa process?
Even with all the overhauls and changes occurring to the system, an Australian Immigration consultant will be an important asset in your corner during the immigration process. If you have any questions about the expected changes, if and how they will affect your visa processing, then get in contact with an Australian immigration consultant such as a registered migration agent today. They can help applicants navigate the complexities of the Australian visa system and streamline the application process as quickly as possible.
AIVS: Australian Immigration Consultant
Applying for a visa to enter Australia can be a complex and challenging process. At Australian Immigration & Visa Services – AIVS, our team of Australian Immigration consultants are here to help with the process. If you require a worker’s visa, whether it’s permanent or temporary, we encourage you to seek the assistance of one of our Melbourne Visa Consultants today! Our team of experts will make sure the process operates as smoothly and hassle-free as possible.