Is Australia Starting to Lose It’s Shine For New Migrants?

Is Australia Starting To Lose It'S Shine For New Migrants

There are a few articles doing the rounds at the moment highlighting how Australia’s border controls are keeping the virus out, but they are also hampering efforts to revive its immigration program.

Is Australia Starting to Lose It’s Shine As A Destination Of Choice?

Given recent invitation rounds with only 110 invitations issued to applicants seeking an Australian Visa last month, it’s not unreasonable that Australia may be starting to lose it’s shine as a destination of choice, especially as certain conditions, such as a persons age heavily influence a persons ability to qualify for an Australian Visa.

What Is Stopping Migrants From Moving To Australia?

In a word; COVID-19! Australia’s international arrivals are currently capped by a limited isolation and quarantine capacity with even Australian citizens finding it difficulty to return down under.

The situation in Australia is so stark, there is even speculation that Australia will suffer a scenario where more people are leaving the country than flying into. This would be the first time that net overseas migration has turned negative since 1946.

The current Australian immigration Minister, Alan Tudge, earlier this month conceded that the coronavirus-induced fall in immigration would have “very significant economic consequences” which in turn could compound issues eve further as economic consequences often mean a down turn in jobs an opportunities for skilled overseas workers.

Where are international Migrants going?

Well apparently, Canada and the UK have ramped up their pitch for migrants with some success!

Canada increased its migrant intake from 350,000 to 400,000 in an announcement last month, while the UK — fresh from Brexit — has reduced the minimum salary for migrants by almost 30 per cent.

Migrants moving to Canada instead of Australia

Canadian Minister of Immigration, Marco Mendicino, declared immigration was “essential” to getting through the pandemic, to short-term economic recovery and to long-term growth, adding:

“Canadians have seen how newcomers are playing an outsized role in our hospitals and care homes, and helping us to keep food on the table.. . As we look to recovery, newcomers create jobs not just by giving our businesses the skills they need to thrive, but also by starting businesses themselves.”

Both countries allow 14-day home isolation on arrival and both remain open to temporary visitors.

Migrants moving to the UK instead of Australia

As mentioned above, the UK government has reduced the £35,800 minimum salary for migrants to settle in the UK by almost 30%.

Migrants on salaries of £20,480 but with enough points under Boris Johnson’s new Australian-style immigration system to qualify for jobs will also be entitled to settle in the UK after six years and become UK citizens.

The rules, which come into force on 1 December, were published on Thursday by the UK Home Office, with the general threshold lowered to £25,600 as the government tacitly acknowledged the essential contribution that lower-paid migrant workers make to the UK.

What About Australias Global Talent Program?

Back in Australia, the Australian government has moved to increase the number of places for Migrants under Australias Global Talent Scheme visa.

This program targets highly skilled migrants in seven “future-focused” sectors including cybersecurity and mining technology.

The expansion of the Global Talent Scheme at a time when movement is limited has raised questions about how Australia could hope to fill 15,000 places when it managed just 4,100 of a cap of 5,000 last year.

How Does the US Compare to Australia For Migrant Numbers?

In the USA, there are ARTICLES of the US turning its back on skilled migrants, giving Australia an opening for quality applicants.

The US has traditionally been the preferred destination for migrants. It normally gets close to half of the skilled migrants who come to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries which are an intergovernmental economic organisation with 37 member countries, founded to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

In addition to being a destination of choice amongst OECD Countries, The US also accounts for around one-third of skilled migrants globally.

Combined, the English-speaking nations of the US, Canada, the UK and Australia typically capture around 70% of skilled migration flow. While the incoming Biden Administration is expected to take a more relaxed approach on Migration, Trump’s legacy will be difficult to quickly or fully unwind.

What is bad news for America should be good news for industries in Australia seeking skilled migrants, with President Trump’s actions giving Australia the opportunity to capture some of the global talents that would have normally gone to the US.

Unfortunately, new migrants have found themselves increasingly turned away by Australias increasingly restrictive approach when dealing with overseas visitors.

Top Desired Destination Of Potential Migrants

Referred Countries Of Destination For Migrants
A Gallup World Poll, 2015-2017 of the Preferred Countries Of Destination For Migrants

Should Australia Ramp Up It’s Ability To Secure New Migrants?

In the new post-COVID world where a swift recovery will be key to Australia’s ongoing economic success. the Australian government needs to ramp up its ability to secure new Migrants that might otherwise be considering going elsewhere.

As part of this approach, they should look to fund an increase in managed isolation and quarantine capacity which in turn will ramp up our ability to take in new migrants.

As Australia’s economy recovers, skilled workers are going to become scarce and the more we can do now, the more we can limit the long term impact of COVID-19 on the Australian Economy.

What are your thoughts? 

I feel this article may have turned into more of a rant 😬 but I’m sure my frustration pails into insignificance compared to those of you looking to make the move down under?

What are your thoughts? Are other countries beginning to look more attractive the longer these restrictions go on?

We always love to hear from you so please share your comments below. 👍



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  1. Having been to Australia more than once we as a family want to move out there
    problem is the points system my missis is a graduate accountant with one years experience I will be a qualified teacher/lecturer in January but I’m to old 55 to count missis is 35
    we have friends out their enough money to live yet can’t get out their we would move anywhere in Australia just to get out their but would really like to get to gold cost where we have been

  2. I’m trying to get out of the UK, not in it! I’m told by the company dealing with my visa request that I’m required to do an English exam, which I’m fine with except its not available to do online …well an indicator test is but I’m told is not suitable for immigration, im English, born and bread,my first language is English, shouldnt an indicator test be fine for people who’s first language is English?

    I really hope Australia isn’t only requesting drs/nurses or engineers.

    Anyones thoughts would be appreciated

    1. Actually laughing at my own spelling error on my comment about English *bred
      My apologies ☺

      1. I haven’t got that far yet, can’t progress until I’ve done the test?

        Is that not accurate?

          1. Can you tell me if UIS Australia are a legit immigration company?

          2. Thank you for that.

            I emailed them twice and asked for their address and company registration number and had no reply

          3. Hi Katie, on the basis that you haven’t handed over any $$ at this stage, I would be inclined to look elsewhere.

          4. Unfortunately I have paid them $
            Two lots ‍♀️
            So off putting.
            Is there anyone you would recommend? The process is too complicated to try and do it alone, just the visa options is overwhelming

          5. Hi Kate – Try Fred at Konnecting. Though I haven’t used his services personally, I met Fred a while ago (He is a registered agent) and has been in business for many years. Contact details below.
            [spoiler title=”Contact Details”]
            Let him know I Sent you :)

  3. Hi mark thanks for your newsletter and for keeping us ( migrants) updated. I’m in Australia at the moment and like many others are, I’m considering too the Canada migration option or anywhere else only because Australia makes temporary migrants lifes too hard when it comes to apply for the residency. Not even a worldwide pandemic has had any effect on the Australian immigration department to kinda ” loosen up ” and being more flexible around onshore visa holder who won’t meet the criteria for the upcoming visa requirements. It’s frustrating to think my residency won’t be accepted because i won’t meet the salary threshold because of the restrictions in place in Victoria. It all hurts
    especially after being working so hard for almost 7 years here. Kind regards

    1. Thanks for your comment Sergio and I’m hearing you on the flexibility front.

      What industry do you work in at the moment and what visa options have you considered?

    2. H Sergio. We are implementing a few changes to our commenting system and looks like we may have found a small bug as your last comment created an error.

      I captured your comment from our error log here:

      Hi Mark. I’m on a 482 tss visa applied prior to the 18 april 2017 and eligible for 186 trt. I’m a cook and my employer is going to lodge the nomination soon. But i heard that it’s quite unlikely to be approved because my income and the business’s income have been impacted by the restrictions.

      The business is pretty good meaning that when normally operating, it seats up to 300 people and since we reopened we keep being busy. Which is good, but not enough for home affairs.

      Plus i got married in January this year and planned to apply residency to also bring my wife here.

      Now she’s overseas and unfortunately i think i won’t make it to bring her here…just because i might have to head back to Italy in 8 months time ( my 482 ends in august 2021) and I didn’t consider other visa options.

      Not going to waste more money here..i might move to some other places where migrants are a slightly bit more ” welcomed ” Sorry for the essay

      Sorry that you had issues posting (do you recall if you got a error message)?

      With regards to your income, your employer will need to pay you the same salary he would pay a ‘local’. Are they suggesting you won’t meet this threshold?

      Hopefully our comments are fixed up and you can reply


  4. I think Australia is taking too long to approve certain visas and the other big issue is that professionals have to spend too much money and time to validate what they already studied in their home countries. These makes other countries more interesting.

    1. Its a good comment LinaCasas but I think ou’ll find most countries expect you to validate that you have the experience you say you have.

      I guess, unlke employers (who might do reference checks as part of their employment process), governments can pick and choose who they invite and can put the validation requirement back on the applicants