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Major changes to Australia’s migration program

By 2 May, 2023June 14th, 2023No Comments4 min read

Last week, the “Review of the Migration Systems Report” was released to the public. This report was commissioned by the Minister for Home Affairs in September 2022 to undertake a comprehensive review of Australia’s migration systems, inviting submissions from the public and relevant stakeholders.

The 195 page report addressed the shortcomings of the existing systems and processes, and proposed a set of objectives and principles for migration to form the basis of a strategy for the coming years.

What are the changes?

Presently, only two actual changes have been announced so far, being the:

  1. increase of the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) from $53,900 to $70,000. The TSMIT is the minimum remuneration threshold employers must meet to sponsor workers; and
  2. access to permanent residency for “short-term” TSS Subclass 482 visa holders. The specifics of this have yet to be announced however.

What are the proposed policy reforms?

Other proposed reforms are likely to take further time to undertake further consultations, draft proposed legislation and pass. Examples of some of the proposed reforms include:

  1. reforming the employer-sponsored visa system – including greater mobility (moving jobs without needing a new visa and a more generous time period to find a new employer), changing the approach to identifying skill needs (from current occupation lists), a body to advise on labour market needs (and the removal of labour market testing);
  2. three tiered employer sponsored visas, including:
    1. a high salary cohort (with streamlined assessment);
    2. a mid-level cohort (with an intermediate level of effort – not dissimilar to current arrangements); and
    3. a lower paid cohort – applications being highly scrutinised with increased post-arrival monitoring.
  3. recalibrating the points test for General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas – for example higher emphasis on a spouse’s attributes;
  4. changing the Global Talent visa to improve clarity in selection criteria and removing the need for nomination;
  5. considering whether the Business Innovation & Investment programs are to be retained as a substantial component of the migration program;
  6. reform the Student/Graduate visa programs to improve international students outcomes;
  7. improved collaboration with State/Territories governments to set regional visa settings including data sharing, skill shortage evaluation tools and other capabilities;
  8. reforming the existing Parent visa program (including either completing removing permanent residence while improving access to temporary migration, or introducing a “lottery”); and
  9. reforming the approach to skills recognition (i.e. skills assessments).

Any questions?

We will provide further details about these reforms as they become clearer and incorporated into the legislation. If you have any questions at this stage, get in touch with our experienced team by email at [email protected] or by phone at +61 3 9016 0484.

This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an immigration professional for up to date information.

Jordan Tew

Author Jordan Tew

Jordan is one of less than 50 lawyers who are Accredited Specialists in Immigration Law by the Law Institute of Victoria, and less than 100 nationally. Accredited Specialists undergo a vigorous assessment process, and make up about 1% of all registered migration agents.

More posts by Jordan Tew

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