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AUSTRALIA – Immigration System Overhaul
April 27, 2023
As per the announcement made by Home Affairs Minister Claire O’Neil, the Australian Immigration system is set to undergo a major overhaul in the coming months. This announcement is based on an extensive report highlighting increased labour shortages and the absence of policy for lower paid workers. It also acknowledges that Australia needs to do more to entice skilled migrants in an environment of ever more competitive policies being implemented by other countries to attract skilled labour from that same pool.
Key takeaways from the announcements are as follows:
Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) Increase
From 1 July 2023, the TSMIT is set to increase from AUD53,900 to AUD70,000. With 90% of full-time jobs in Australia now paying more than the limit that was set since 2013, this new threshold of AUD70,000 takes into consideration indexation over the last 10 years and addresses undermining of the Australian skilled migration system.
Pathway to Permanent Residency for Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa Holders
It was also announced that by end of 2023, TSS short term occupation stream visa holders will have access to pathways for permanent residency within the current permanent migration program. This brings a welcome relief to migrants as it gives them certainty for continued residence in Australia and address labour shortages for employers.
Changes to Skilled Migration Program
A new skilled pathway will be developed with streams to address cores skills shortages based on proper evidence-based assessment, including skilled migrants who are earning above the increased TSMIT level and those working in essential industries. This will involve revamping of the points-tested migration system.
Simplification of Visa System
In order to streamline the process of procuring the skills needed for the Australian migration system and complement the jobs and skills market, the Government has announced that it will simplify the visa system by reducing the number of visa categories. This will help in getting the right outcome for migrants and for Australia with a faster turnaround.