Australian Government Announces Reforms to the Australian Migration Program

Australian Government Announces Reforms to the Australian Migration Program

Written by Julie Williams | MARN 9903637 | Published 28 April 2023

Australian Migration Program Update (April 2023)

On 27 April 2023, the Home Affairs Minister, Clare O’Neil addressed the National Press Club announcing major reforms to the migration program.

The emphasis is on restoring the Australian values into Australia’s Skilled Migration Program to bring in:

• Integrity – Otherwise without it we will lose the public confidence
• Ending the ‘temporary’ status – clearer pathways and clarity for becoming a permanent resident
• Inclusion – Skills streaming to make certain skilled migrants enter the market at the level of their qualifications

The Minister went on further to state, “we have every reason to believe that our migration system can help us deliver a more secure and prosperous Australia, as it has done many times before”.

It is essential to ensure this program is a skilled worker program, not a guest worker program, providing certainty and clarity for migrants in regards to permanent residence pathways.

All the finer details over the overhaul will be worked through in the weeks and months ahead and will be legislated in phases.

Some of the key points from the announcement.

  • At the end of 2023 all temporary skilled visa holders will have a pathway to permanent residency
  •  TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold) to be increased to $70,000 from 1 July 2023
  • There will be a three-tiered approach to reduce the number of visa categories with the following new pathways
    –  Fast & Simple for highly skilled and innovative migrants to help build jobs of Australia (a potential relaxation on Labour Market Testing) for high-wage earners
    – Mainstream – for those earning above the minimum annual salary threshold
    – Essential Industries – Providing a proper, safe and capped number to provide a far better protection to skilled workers
  •  Tightening of student visa program with a focus on integrity and on attracting brightest students to study in Australia
  • A redesign to the skilled points test, to ensure this part of the skilled migration program is delivering on the skills Australia needs to support future economic growth, whilst delivering better outcomes for migrants
  • Creating a new area of global talent
  • Do away with ‘outdated, inflexible’ lists and instead give Jobs & Skills Australia the authority to determine what occupations are in need, working together with the Department of Home Affairs

The government’s plan will, in fact, slightly reduce the immigration intake over the medium term, with the fix for the labour shortages to come from improving the quality of who is granted a visa.

Speaking at the National Press Club, Minister O’Neil, said “what’s really important to me is that we’ve got these big national problems facing our country and we’re not getting the right people here through the migration system to help us address them.” The TSMIT is being increased to $70,000 from 1 July 2023 and this, Minister O’Neil said that the increase was “a substantial increase to ensure we have skilled workers coming under a skilled program”.

Do you wish to learn more about how you can secure your place in Australia as a permanent resident? Book in a consultation with one of our experienced Registered Migration Agents

Before any immigration advice can be provided, we must hold an initial consultation which will attract a fee of $385.

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