Australia is planning to overhaul its immigration system in order to attract more highly skilled workers to the country. The federal Labor government announced that the current points test used to select skilled migrants will be modified to identify people with the necessary skill sets for the Australian economy. The visa process for high-skilled professionals will also be made quicker and easier, and steps will be taken to retain international students. Additionally, temporary skilled visa holders will be able to apply for permanent residency by the end of this year.
Australia has been competing with other countries, such as Canada and Germany, to attract more skilled migrants due to an ageing population and a surge in demand. The government has raised its intake of permanent migrants to 195,000 this financial year, up by 35,000, to help businesses battling widespread staff shortages. However, the new changes to the immigration system will not add to Australia’s annual intake of permanent migrants.
The government will also raise the migrant wage threshold of temporary skilled workers to A$70,000 ($46,250) from A$53,900 from July 1. This is because around 90% of all full-time jobs in Australia are now paid more than the current threshold, leading to the exploitation of migrant workers.
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil stated that the current migration system is broken and is failing businesses, migrants, and Australians. She made this announcement at the National Press Club.