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

Skillselect Invitation Rounds – January 2020

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.

Australia Accountant Visa Places Cut In Half - Here Is Why

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 stories 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.

Getting Hot! Hot! Hot!

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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Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia. Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assistance. If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Community Forums. Please note All information provided on Getting Down Under should be considered in conjunction with our disclaimer. Please seek professional advice if you have any doubts! 

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