There is a lot of discussion on the greatly anticipated Government’s release of its ‘Migration Strategy’. The Hon Clare O’Neil MP, Minister for Home Affairs and the Hon Andrew Giles MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs today released the report with most of the changes have been foreshadowed throughout the year and will not be implemented before the end of 2024.
We will hold a webinar on the government’s strategy:
Australia’s Migration Strategy – what are the proposed changes
Thursday, 14 December 2023
Most of the announcements are preliminary with little detail and subject to ongoing consultation and consideration. However the direction of the Government is now somewhat clearer:
- Create different rules for different types of employees sponsored by employers on temporary visas.
- Increase the ability of employees to move between employers and to determine their own permanent residence pathways.
- Sanction employers who are found to be doing the wrong thing.
- Restrict the use of Working Holiday Visas, Student visas and Graduate Visas to become de facto work visas and so control the impact of temporary visa holders on the workforce.
- Strengthen the geo-political ties in the Indo-Pacific region.
The following table summarises the main announcements made today:
Temporary Work Visas
|Simplification of LMT
|Remove requirement for advertising with Workforce Australia (see our update earlier today)
|8 December 2023
|LMT to remain valid for 6 months
|Replace TSS with a new Skills In Demand Visa.
A 4-year temporary skilled worker visa will give workers more opportunity to move employers and will provide clear pathways to permanent residence for those who want to pursue them. Levies and costs to employers will be spread over the life of the visa. Periods of employment with any approved employer will count towards permanent residence requirements. Employees will have 180 days to find a new employers. Temporary skilled migrants will also be enabled to apply for permanent residence through self-nominated independent pathways, for example, through a reformed points test.
|Tier 1 – Specialist Skills Pathway
Salary at least $135,000 pa
Any occupation except trades, machinery operators, drivers or labourers
Processing time 7 days
|Tier 2 – Core Skills Pathway
Salary at least $70,000 pa indexed
New Core Skills Occupation List expanded to include many occupations currently under Labour Agreements
Processing time 21 days
|Tier 3 – Essential Skills
Focused on Care and Support Economy
|Strengthen protections for visa holding employees
|Increase new powers and larger penalties against employers
|Develop and use public registers to allow for increased monitoring and choice by employees
|Increase co-ordination with other agencies such as the ATO
|Deepening people to people ties in the Indo-Pacific
|Expand the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme and deliver a new Pacific Engagement Visa (PEV) to encourage more labour mobility from the region
|Now and 2024
|Special arrangements for Tuvalu Citizens
|Make it easier for business and eminent people to travel to Australia from Southeast Asia
|Strengthening the integrity and quality of international education
|Restrict work to areas relevant to study
Shorten Temporary Graduate visas (somewhat)
Stop ‘visa hopping’ by students
Increased opportunities to move to PR
|Mid to late 2024
|Reshaping permanent skilled migration to drive long-term prosperity
|Reform the current points test
Possibly introduce a new Talent and Innovation visa
|Consultation in 2024
We will provide more updates as the strategy outcomes are developed and released by government. The strategy is complex involving many layers and no doubt further information will be provided when the Federal Treasurer releases its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook on Wednesday. In the meantime join our webinar for a comprehensive analysis and Q & A session.