Skilled Migration Overhaul – A big step in the right direction for Australia
Australia’s Skilled Migration Program is set to undergo a major overhaul, and we couldn’t be more excited! Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil has announced changes to Australia’s immigration system that will positively affect the skilled migration program while providing significant economic benefit. The changes aim to create a more effective migration program that aims at attracting and retaining international talent while also providing businesses with greater access to skilled workers.
Increase Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT):
Starting on July 1, 2023, the temporary skilled migration income threshold (TSMIT) will increase from $53,900 to $70,000. A welcomed change to the 10-year old minimum annual salary that must be paid to an employee on a temporary skilled visa. “We call it essential to ensuring this program is what it says it is: a skilled worker program, not a guest worker program” – Claire O’Neil
Pathways to Permanent Residency for ALL temporary skilled visa holders from the end of 2023:
From the end of the year, all temporary skilled visa (482) holders will have access to pathways to permanent residency irrelevant of their occupation. Currently, 482 visa holders with occupations on the short-term list do not have access to to permanent residency. This will all change by the end of 2023 with a possible consolidation of the skilled occupation lists. It was made clear that this is not an expansion of the capped permanent program and does not mean more people.
Three new (simplified) pathways for temporary skilled migrants, tightly tailored to the needs of Australia:
- Highly Skilled: A fast, simple route for specialised workers needed to drive innovation in the economy while also helping building the jobs of the future.
- Mainstream: Focused on bringing in the core skills we need. This pathway would include skilled migrants earning above an increased temporary skilled migration income threshold ensuring the system remains a program for skilled migrants.
- Essential Industries: Occupations needed to support Australia’s primary industries.
Although there is still lots of grey area surrounding this update, Claire O’Neil has plans to simplify the exhaustive list of visa sub classes by offering a more streamline and simplified approach.
A switch in thinking from passive to active engagement of people who are able to help build Australia’s future. The proposal will create a new specialised area in the Department with a primary focus on identifying highly talented and skilled individuals working alongside Jobs and Skills Australia. The plan is to go out and find the migrants Australia needs!
Redesigning the ‘points test’:
A critical change that could allow millions of highly skilled people to live in Australia by being selected using this test. According to O’Neil, the current test is not working properly and the bar has been set too low.
Although we seem to have more questions than answers right now (don’t worry you’re not alone), we are working closely with industry stakeholders to provide clarification. Stay tuned and be sure to GET IN TOUCH with our team of experts if you have any questions