With a new government sworn in, immigration professionals, businesses and migrants are looking to see how the new government will shape the immigration policy as it relates to skilled workers, family migration and asylum seekers. In the lead up to the May elections the Labor government provided a glimpse on its immigration policy. Here are some changes we can expect from the new government.
Before the elections, Labor indicated that the migration system required an overhaul and it would reduce Australia’s reliance on temporary workers to fill the skills shortages. Former Labor Immigration Spokeswoman, Kristina Keneally stated that Labor would move Australia from being a guest worker nation. We expect to see permanent residence pathway streamlined by the introduction of new rules for those with priority skills and those working in critical sectors. This will help Australian employers to retain and ensure long-term work permits for their workforce.
The government is expected to introduce new rules to encourage skilled workers to take up jobs in regional and rural areas in Australia which are experiencing skill shortages. This will see priority processing of employer sponsored visa where the business location is in a designated regional area.
It is expected that permanent residence opportunities for skilled workers particular employer sponsored workers will be expanded. Mr Albanese, pre-election signalled that the government would give more certainty by allowing allowing people who have been in Australia and making a contribution to stay. He said offering permanent residency would make an “enormous difference” to Australia’s ability to attract overseas workers.
Student working hours
The previous government relaxed the student visa working conditions which required students to work for only 40 hours per fortnight in order to address the workforce shortages caused by the pandemic. This concessions were set to be reviewed in April, however, it appears that the concessions have been extended until further notice. It is likely that the new government will maintain the current concessions until the end of the year, with a possibility of extending this concession for critical sectors.
Working Holiday Makers
The temporary relaxation of the six month work limitation for working holiday makers (WHM) remains in place until at least 31 December 2022. WHM are not required to seek permission from the Department to work for the same employer for more than 6 months until 31 December. It is likely that new government will extend these concessions for critical sectors experiencing skill shortages
Should you have any questions about how the above updates, please don’t hesitate to contact our migration lawyers.
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