Australia recently announced that it will be reviewing its visa and immigration policies starting in 2023. Due to an ageing population, the country depends on overseas migrants to boost its population growth since 2005-06.
This review of visa and immigration policies comes as the country is facing a shortage of nearly half a million skilled and unskilled workers in various sectors, including healthcare, hospitality, and education.
Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic
During the Covid-19 pandemic, strict lockdowns were imposed by the Australian government, leading to a decrease in international migration. The government instructed foreign students, backpackers, and other visitors to go back home.
However, since the country opened its borders for international travel in July 2022, it is expected to receive over 2.35 lakh immigrants between 2022-23.
Increase in Overseas Migration
As per a population statement issued by the Australian government, overseas migration is expected to increase to a net inflow of 150,000 in 2021-22. It is then forecasted to reach 235,000 from 2022-23 and remain at that level thereafter.
The return of international students, many of whom had been studying online during the pandemic, also played a significant role in restoring overseas migration patterns.
Visa Options for Immigrants
There are two main types of visas for prospective immigrants in Australia – student visas and working visas. The student visa primarily depends on the applicant’s proficiency in English and enrollment with a recognized university.
On the other hand, the working visa is based on several factors, including the applicant’s age, educational qualifications, skills assessment, and English proficiency scores in exams like IELTS or PTE.
An ANZSCO code is also important, which is a three-digit code allotted to each occupation. This code determines whether the applicant can apply for the visa independently or if a prior invitation from the authorities is required.
Impact of New Visa and Immigration Policy on Indians in Australia
With Australia’s announcement to review its visa and immigration policies, there may be potential changes that could impact the Indian community in the country. India has been a significant part of Australia’s immigration landscape, with over 7.8 lakh Indians accounting for 3.1% of the total population, according to the 2021 Census Bureau report.
However, it remains unclear what changes may come as a result of the policy review, and the exact impact on Indians in Australia will depend on the outcome of the review. It is possible that the changes may affect the eligibility criteria for student visas and work visas, as well as the points calculation system used to determine eligibility.
Australia’s review of its visa and immigration policies is expected to bring about positive changes that will benefit prospective immigrants. With the country facing a shortage of skilled workers, the review is expected to boost overseas migration and address the challenges brought forth by an ageing population.
With clear and fair visa options, the country is poised to attract a diverse range of skilled professionals who will contribute to its growth and development.