Potential changes to the employer sponsored visas


Going forward – potential flagged changes to the employer sponsored visas. Andrew Woo Migration Agent at Taylor & Scott discusses.

A recent paper released by the Federal Government entitled “Simplification of the skilled migration and temporary activity visa programmes – December 2014” provides quite a useful insight into where the employer sponsored visa programme is heading. Migration law is a very sensitive area of law in the sense that it is policy driven and responsive to political agendas held by the Government at the time. Despite diverse views expressed by a range of different stakeholders, there was consensus on the importance of this program to remedy chronic shortages of manpower in regional areas of Australia.

Set out below are potential changes that may be introduced progressively:

  1. Amalgamation of Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme and Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme into one Permanent Skilled Scheme

  2. Removing or narrowing of the Direct Entry Stream

  3. Streamlining and focusing on the Temporary Residence Transition Stream

  4. In the Temporary Residence Transition Stream, providing streamlined progression for some of the applicants in regional areas who satisfy some conditions, such as suitable qualifications, studies and employment in those regional areas and prescribed industries

  5. Engaging State and Territory Governments in establishing a framework for the streamlined Temporary Residence Transition Stream

  6. Removing the requirement of sponsorship or nomination for the permanent pathway if certain conditions are met such as length of employment, declaration of further employment, previous salary

  7. Implementing recommendations made by the Independent Review of the Integrity of subclass 457 programme for the Temporary Residence Transition Stream presumably to prevent and reduce risks of exploitation by unscrupulous employers

It is too early to estimate when these flagged changes will be implemented by the Government, but it has been made clear that the Government’s emphasis is on developments and population growth in regional areas experiencing severe difficulties attracting medium skilled workforce let alone highly skilled workers. It was interesting to see that peak industry bodies and state and territory governments recommended an introduction of regional occupations lists and incentives to attract international students to regional areas and provide pathways for those students. In the writer’s view, this could address two major problems in Australia, namely stagnant education industry and low population growth (causing inevitable skill shortages) in regional areas. This would be a game changer in the migration and education industry if it can be truly implemented by the Government.

ANDREW WOO (Registered Migration Agent No. 1383628)

For more information, Contact Lachlan Riches (Registered Migration Agent No. 9473887) or Andrew Woo (Registered Migration Agent No. 1383628) on 1800 600 664 or complete the Contact Form on this page.

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