The Australian government has recently revealed an ambitious migration vision that aims to reshape its demographic landscape in 2024 and beyond. With a commitment to fostering economic growth, cultural enrichment, and global collaboration, the Australian government has outlined a progressive plan to welcome skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, and students from around the world.
A copy of the Migration Strategy released by the Australian Government is available here, which sets out a number of significant proposed reforms to Australia’s migration system aimed at meeting the future needs of the nation and deliver for Australia—its people, businesses, governments and migrants.
A summary of the key reforms outlined in the Migration Strategy is outlined below:
1. A new three tier skills in demand visa is set to be introduced for temporary visa holders, which will replace the current Temporary Skills Program;
- Essential skills pathway: workers in care roles paid less than $70,000 per year.
- Core skills pathway: Workers in skills shortage area paid $70,0001 to $1,35,000.
- Specialist Skills pathway: Highly paid workers ($1,35,000+) in any field except trade workers, Machinery Operators, Drivers and Labourers.
2. A new system in place to grant visas in 7 days for highly paid overseas staff.
3. All temporary skilled workers will be able to switch employers from late next year and have a pathway for PR (more details to be known).
4. The Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) levy will be able to be paid in intervals by the employer, rather than paying upfront.
5. 2 Year extension of post study work rights for eligible qualifications for 485 visa holders will be scrapped.
6. A genuine student test will be introduced for student visa applications which will consider academic or career progression and usefulness of the intended study to their future career prospects.
7. The Skilled points system will be overhauled, with priority to be given to skills over perseverance.
8. International students working in skilled jobs will have more opportunity to become permanent residents.
9. BIIP will be replaced by a Talent and Innovation visa.
10. Fast track visa processing times for Regional visas.
11. Tougher rules for international students, including lifting English Standards.
12. New online register for employers for sponsor foreign workers to help skilled workers connect with sponsors.
13. Labour market testing will also be overhauled. Employers will no longer be required to advertise positions to locals on the government-run Workforce Australia website before applying to bring in a foreign worker.
14. Students applying for a Graduate visa will require a score of 6.5 up from 6.0, while Student visa applicants will need a 6.0 up from 5.5.
15. Restrictions on applying for a further Student visa after holding a Graduate visa.
Australia’s new migration vision for 2024 reflects a forward-looking and comprehensive strategy aimed at leveraging the talents and contributions of global citizens. Importantly however, a number of the reforms are still under consideration with no fixed timetable, although the government has indicated a preferred timeline of implementation towards the end of 2024.
As the new year unfolds, the implementation of these initiatives will be closely watched, promising a transformative journey for Australia’s migration landscape in 2024 and beyond.