Australia to Revamp Immigration System and Visa Processing to Attract Skilled Workers

The Australian government is proposing a major overhaul of its immigration system to attract more highly skilled workers to the country. The proposed changes include modifying the points test used to select skilled migrants, streamlining the visa process for high-skilled professionals, and raising the migrant wage threshold.
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The Australian government has unveiled plans to overhaul its immigration system in a bid to attract highly skilled workers to the country.

The proposals, which were announced on Thursday by Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil, would modify the points test used to select skilled migrants and streamline the visa process for high-skilled professionals.

“Our migration system … is broken. It is failing our businesses, it is failing migrants themselves. And most importantly, it is failing Australians. That cannot continue,” O’Neil said in a speech at the National Press Club.

The proposed changes are intended to address a surge in demand for skilled workers as well as a staff shortage in certain industries, which has been exacerbated by Australia’s ageing population. They would also help the country compete for top talent with other countries such as Canada and Germany.

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Pathway to Permanent Residency for Temporary Skilled Workers

O’Neil also tweeted that by the end of 2023, all temporary skilled workers will have a pathway to permanent residency, though it won’t lead to an expansion of the capped permanent program.

These changes aim to address labour shortages and boost economic growth, as Australia has been competing with countries like Canada and Germany to lure more skilled migrants.

Modifying the Points Test

The proposed changes would modify the points test used to select skilled migrants in order to better identify people with the skill sets that the Australian economy requires. This is expected to expedite the process of bringing in highly skilled workers and make it easier for them to obtain permanent residency.

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Streamlining Visa Process

The visa process for highly skilled professionals will also be streamlined. Temporary skilled visa holders who have been denied permanent residency will be able to apply by the end of this year. This, however, will not increase Australia’s annual intake of permanent migrants.

Raising the Migrant Wage Threshold

The Australian government also intends to raise the migrant wage threshold for temporary skilled workers from A$53,900 to A$70,000 ($46,250), which has remained unchanged since 2013.

According to the government, approximately 90% of all full-time jobs in Australia now pay more than the current threshold, resulting in migrant worker exploitation.

Retaining International Students

Steps will also be taken to retain international students, who have historically been a valuable source of skilled workers. The government hopes to encourage more international students to study in Australia and stay after they graduate.

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The proposed changes are part of Australia’s efforts to attract highly skilled workers and address labour shortages in the country. The government increased its intake of permanent migrants to 195,000 this fiscal year, up 35,000 from the previous year, and pledged more staff and funds to expedite visa processing.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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