“Focus is on quality and skills. It is not about bigger population or more people, the new direction will have smaller migration program over time.”
“Our current migration system is broken and unfair.”
The new direction emphasizes ending the “ad hoc” and “piecemeal” approach to the Australian migration systemes and seeks to establish a redesigned system that attracts skilled individuals. The proposed reforms include restructuring temporary skilled migration, reducing bureaucracy, ensuring the right outcomes for migrants in Australia, and restoring Australian values. This article provides an overview of the proposed directions and immediate changes announced by the Minister.
• Migration Program will be simplified and move away from specific occupation lists, but will have a broader skill list.
• Points test for PR will stay, but “bar” will be lifted.
• Income threshold for skilled migration of $53,900 is outdated. Increase to $70,000 on 1 July 2023.
• Welcome international students, but tightening up and lifting standards to make sure good students are actually here to study.
Restructure temporary skilled migration
To address the current challenges and streamline the temporary skilled migration program, the proposed reforms outline three (3) new pathways for temporary skilled migrants. These include:
a) Fast and simple pathway for highly specialized skills
b) Mainstream skilled pathways based on proper evidence of labour skill shortages. (Proposed increase income threshold from $53,900 to $70,000 p.a.)
c) Essential industry -But will tackle exploitation and “fake students” who are here to work.
Recognizing the need for a more efficient and responsive migration system, the proposed reforms suggested that the current “bar” for permanent residency (PR) is considered to be too low, and the test will be revised to ensure that only highly skilled individuals meet the requirements for PR.
Additionally, the government plans to simplify the visa system by reducing the number of visa categories and utilizing data-driven insights to determine areas where particular skills are required. These changes aim to streamline the application process and align migration with the needs of the Australian job market.
Right Outcome for Migrants in Australia
It was suggested that Australia needs to better plan for population increase. There will be increased flexibility for migrants to move employers and enforce their workplace rights. Simpler pathways will also be established for international students to become permanent, ensuring that high-performing students can continue to stay in Australia. However, stricter measures will be implemented to ensure that only genuine students are allowed entry into the country, raising the standards and tightening regulations.
Restore Australian Value
• Strengthen integrity by increasing monitoring to prevent exploitation.
• Stricter governance on migration agents and education agents.
Addressing concerns related to exploitation, the proposed reforms emphasize the strengthening of integrity measures by increasing monitoring. Stricter governance of migration agents and education agents will be applied to ensure compliance with regulations.
• From 1 July 2023: Minimum income threshold increases to $70,000 p.a.
• By end of 2023: Current temporary workers and all skilled workers will have pathway to PR.
BUSINESS MIGRATION PROGRAM
No mention was made about the current business and investment visa program in the announcement.
However, during Q & A, the Minister mentioned that Australia has enough capital. The focus is on the quality of skilled people. There will be changes to the 188 visa program, focused on quality of skilled entrepreneurs and drivers of economic growth, rather than simply their financial capital.