It’s been a long while since I last wrote anything on the blog section of this website, and I’m not sure that this entry today will break that duck, being (mostly) written by my MARA registered migration agent Simon Earles. As you may know, I have been working with Simon since March 2014 and he has helped hundreds of my readers move to Australia through his Visa Assessment Service.
The world is a very different place than the one we lived in when the last articles appeared here at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, and not just because of Covid either, which, as it turns out, was simply one of the first of many problems faced globally today. But, as we attempt to navigate the ‘new normal’ as it seems to be called, Australia’s borders are open again, and with that, so is the Migration Program.
Australia has had a change in government as at 21 May of this year, Labor are now in control of the country for the first time since 2013.
Here is an update on the current state of the Migration Program from Simon…
Skilled migration update
It would have become apparent to individuals wishing to migrate with skills and employers looking to employ workers, that there are opportunities for both these cohorts emanating from the Covid driven skill shortages currently impacting most Australian states and territories and across all industries.
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is under increasing pressure to increase skilled migration – both allocation and processing efficiencies (which is not assisted by their own skill staff shortages) – to take the heat out of the increasing concern created by these shortages at a time when Australia is entering its rebuilding phase. The recent change of government, while it recognising these difficulties, simply compounds the problem.
In recognition of this situation the DHA has announced in their 2022-23 Migration Program of 160,000 as follows:
- Skill (109,900 places) – this stream including a significant increase in Independent Skilled visas and Regional skilled visa a smaller increase in Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) is designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia.
- Family (50,000 places) – this stream is predominantly made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas and provide them with pathways to citizenship.
On the ground, states and territories are slowly accepting overseas applicants now that borders are open, having in the short term prioritised onshore applicants meeting residential requirements and to avoid travel complications due to the Covid pandemic.
Occupations on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) including accounting, surveying, engineering, medical (including nursing) and some ITC specialities are being prioritised both in the temporary and permanent visa spaces. For such occupations points required for the SkillSelect process are not the prevailing measure. Other non-PMSOL occupations points levels however remain high (90) or may be nominated where states or territories have particular needs.
Processing of all sponsored business visas, including priority occupations at times is lagging, and creates timing difficulties both for independent visa grantees and company sponsors requiring some certainty as to time lines to enable them to plan manpower needs.
The Migration Program has prioritised skilled migration, so visa processing for family visas (including partner and parent visas) will probably take longer to recover- leading to longer processing times.
Where possible it may be advisable to consider temporary sponsored business visa options or on-shore family options first since processing is more timely and then once the visa holder is onshore – both for business and family purposes – permanent options can then be pursued, if available.
Hopefully by 2023, things will have settled down, and backlogs cleared, but as always the sooner you qualify for whatever visa you wish to pursue, the sooner you should apply to get into the system.
For business sponsored visas, the temporary to permanent option is an opportunity to skirt lengthy processing times while being employed. You will of course need to have a compliant sponsor who understands the peculiarities of the business sponsorship program!
My thanks to Simon for the update.
Migration Update Summary
So, to sum up from what Simon has said, Australia now has skill shortages due to Covid and the DHA needs to fix it. The 2022 – 2023 Migration Program will allow for 109,900 skills visas and for 50,000 family, mostly partnership visas, to be issued over the course of the year.
We have provided a link to the full list of PMSOL skills that are in shortage in the above article which will hopefully assist those of you looking to migrate to Australia with their skill in the coming year. As Simon has mentioned though, if your skill is on the list now, and you are keen to migrate at some point, NOW is the time to apply. Once your application is in, even if your skill is removed from the list after that, your application will still be looked at. Whereas if you wait, and your skill is removed, you won’t be able to put an application in.
As always though, applying for a visa to come to Australia can be a little daunting, and many applicants prefer to seek the assistance of a MARA registered migration agent. Simon is ready, willing and perfectly able to assist you with this and if you would like to get the ball rolling on that, please check out the full details of our Visa Assessment Service.