Australia’s New Migration Plan: What You Need to Know

Australia'S New Migration Plan: What You Need To Know

The Australian Government, led by Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil, has just unveiled an extensive ‘Migration Strategy’ aimed at revamping Australia’s migration system. This strategy, released on December 11, 2023, marks a significant shift in managing migration, particularly targeting various visa categories and policies.

Migration Program Planning Levels

A key aspect of this overhaul is the extension of migration planning beyond the typical 12-month framework. The government expects migration numbers to decrease from a peak of 510,000 to 375,000 next year, with stabilization at this level thereafter. This strategic adjustment addresses critical skill shortages across various states and territories.

Skills in Demand Visa

A major change is the introduction of the Skills in Demand visa, replacing the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) Visa. This new visa features a novel three-tiered system:

Tier 1 – Specialist Skills Pathway:

Targeting high earners (minimum $135,000 annually), this pathway has no specific occupation list but excludes trades workers, machine operators, drivers, and laborers. It promises priority processing with a commitment to a 7-day median visa processing time.

Tier 2 – Core Skills Pathway:

Simplifying the occupation list, managed by Jobs and Skills Australia, this pathway requires a minimum annual earning of $70,000.

Tier 3 – Essential Skills Pathway:

Designed for occupations earning under $70,000 per year, this sector-specific pathway focuses on essential skills. The government is still finalizing details for its introduction.

Visa Features and Benefits

This new visa system will allow a 4-year stay across all streams, offering flexibility for holders to switch sponsors and providing pathways to permanent residency. There’s a commitment to a 21-day median processing time, and visa holders can move between sponsors within an 180-day period, an increase from the current 60-day period.

Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy and Labour Market Testing (LMT)

The government plans to revamp the SAF Levy payment model, allowing smaller increments over time. The LMT requirement has been streamlined, with the need to advertise on Workforce Australia removed and the advertising period extended from 4 to 6 months.

General Skilled Migration and Student Visas

The new migration strategy will see the development of a points test for skilled applications, offering a more efficient route to permanent residency. For international students, the ‘Genuine Temporary Entrant’ requirement is being replaced with the ‘Genuine Student Test’, aimed at reducing misuse of the visa program and enforcing stricter compliance with international education providers.

Temporary Graduate Visas and Regional Migration

Temporary Graduate visa holders will face new restrictions, including a prohibition on applying for another student visa and adjustments to the eligibility age and English language test requirements. The government is placing a heightened focus on regional migration, promising faster processing for regional visa applications.

Working Holiday Makers and Global Talent

While there are no dramatic changes to the Working Holiday Maker visa yet, discussions are ongoing regarding length of stay and work requirements. The government is also focusing on attracting global talent and business innovation, with a potential new ‘Talent and Innovation’ visa in the pipeline.

In Conclusion

As Australia’s migration landscape embarks on a significant transformation, this new strategy is set to redefine the way we approach immigration. With a focus on addressing skill shortages, streamlining processes, and upholding the integrity of visa programs, it marks a pivotal shift in Australian immigration policy. But what does this mean for you?

How do these changes open up new opportunities or present challenges for prospective migrants? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Join the conversation in the comments below and share how this new era in Australian immigration policy impacts your plans and perspectives. Let’s discuss the future of migration to Australia together!

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  1. The issues are still the same for the employer. It’s all well and good to play with the visas but while unions control the industry labour hire agreement companies will not take on OS workers. That is what needs to change and of course what labour government would upset the unions..