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  • Jenny Murphy MARN 0852535

Government review of the migration system

The Government recently announced the public release of the Final Report of the Review of the Migration System. This review aims to reform the current system to target better the Migration program, which will drive Australia's economic prosperity and security. The Government intends to focus on skilled visa programs that will enhance productivity, promote innovation, expand Australia's skills base, and contribute to long-term economic growth.

During May and June 2023, the Government will consult with State and Territory governments, as well as key stakeholders, such as unions and business groups, regarding the Strategy's outline and critical policy shifts. The final Migration Strategy is planned for release later in 2023.

The Government has confirmed that the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) will increase from $53,900 to $70,000, effective July 1, 2023. Consultations concerning a tiered system based on occupation and implementation, including transitional arrangements, are ongoing.

Key findings from the Review include:

  • Streamlining the visa system and reducing the number of visa subclasses.

  • Providing a pathway to permanent residency for Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) short-stream visa holders, expected to take effect by the end of 2023.

  • Implementing a risk-based approach to the regulation of temporary labour migration, with varying levels of scrutiny depending on the risk presented. The model comprises three tiers:

    • A high-salary cohort

    • A mid-level cohort

    • A lower-paid cohort (the model suggests that the lower-paid cohort will receive the most scrutiny and post-arrival monitoring to address the potential exploitation of workers and maintain program integrity).

  • Requiring employers of temporary visa holders to register their employment through a streamlined process.

  • Reviewing post-arrival monitoring, compliance with visa requirements, and adherence to employer obligations.

Additional key proposed reforms include:

  • Simplifying the visa system and reducing the number of visa subclasses.

  • Offering a simplified, expedited pathway for student visa holders to obtain graduate visas and encouraging high-potential students educated in Australia to stay.

  • Adjusting the points test system to identify applicants with high human capital who will make the most significant long-term economic contributions to Australia.

  • Collaborating with state and territory governments to address skill needs, particularly in regional Australia.

  • Reconsidering and potentially eliminating Labour Market Testing requirements for specific visa programs.

  • Exploring more effective methods for identifying in-demand skills.

  • Ensuring the primary focus of the Working Holiday Maker program is cultural exchange.

The Government has acknowledged that the family program requires revision; however, this will be addressed separately. As more information becomes available, we will collaborate with our corporate clients to guide any changes.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case-specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.

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