Big Shake-Up of Australian Migration Policy Needed, says Government Inquiry

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A major government inquiry into the Australian Skilled Migration Program has made sweeping recommendations including lowering salary thresholds for employer-sponsored visas in regional areas.

The inquiry was conducted by the Joint Standing on Migration and made recommendations such as consolidating the Short-Term Skilled Occupation Lists and Medium to Long-Term Strategic Skills Lists into one Skilled Occupation List, as well as determining improved methods for identifying acute skills shortages in the country.

It suggested making drastic concessions for the work experience requirements for international students who have undertaken their courses in Australia at reputable institutions, longer graduate temporary visas of three years to provide more flexibility for international graduates to find jobs and work experience in Australia.

The inquiry recommended improvements must be made to the processing and customer service operations for skilled migrants by improving communication between applicants and the Department of Immigration.

It also suggested removing the need for LMT (Labour Market Testing) for subsequent visas when the 457/482 visa holder has held the position for 12 months or more with the sponsor.

It mentions the Skilling Australia Funds Levy which can be up to $4,800 per employee for small to medium sized businesses in Australia and says this levy should be refunded where the application is unsuccessful and there is no evidence of fraud.

Employers should also be excluded from paying this levy twice for the same employee, according to the inquiry.

The inquiry said there should be concessions or reductions to the  temporary skilled migration income threshold for regional areas, meaning more regional opportunities for migrants in Australia.

This Inquiry into Australia’s Skilled Migration Program indicates there will be easier access to skilled visas for those wishing to migrate to Australia over the next few years and improved pathways for those wishing to migrate to this great country permanently.

It also means better outcomes for businesses wishing to grow with the help of migrant workers.

Australia is getting ready for you to migrate here in the next few years as the economy continues in it’s recovery from the global pandemic, this is definitely the right time to start considering your future down under.