Australia will soon implement point-based immigration similar to that of Canada. This is how it works

Although Australia has a points-based migration system, there are restricted quotas for each occupation particular to its states and territories, according to Fiona Wong, Partner at Gilton Valeo Lawyers, Corporate Immigration Lawyer.

Australia recently recommended overhauling its migration system to recruit qualified workers quickly and offer them a path to permanent residency. The goal is to reverse the tendency of brilliant individuals to choose nations such as Canada over Australia. 

Recognizing the competitive nature of the global talent market, Australia intends to establish new migration policies that will encourage talented migrants to contribute to the local labor market. The administration has chosen to resurrect its point-based migration system as part of the program. 

Although Australia has a points-based migration system, quotas for each occupation are set by the states and territories. It is competitive, the processing time is long, the application is expensive, and it is comparatively weak in recruiting younger and more educated migrants compared to Canada, according to Fiona Wong, Partner at Gilton Valeo Lawyers, a business immigration law firm. 

“Canada’s points test is innovative, with a focus on simplified eligibility criteria, generous visa conditions (such as broad work rights), accelerated processing, a smooth application journey, and deliberate marketing.” It is not a state-based system because the federal and provincial governments must share responsibility for migration under its constitution.”

How will Australia alter its point-based immigration system?

The government has proposed, as part of the review of Australia’s migration system, to draw on state and territory expertise and be supported by enhanced data collecting and sharing across governments. This approach to place-based visas should allow for a shift away from the point-based programs’ present fragmented and complicated visa settings.

What further changes in Australian immigration policy are we likely to see?

Following the Minister of Home Affairs’ statement at the National Press Conference and the Federal Budget, Australia is anticipated to see big changes to the Australian migration system over the next 3 to 6 months.

  • Building a three-tiered processing mechanism (highly skilled – mainstream – essential employees) to streamline and simplify the skilled visa program.
  • Increasing the number of paths to permanent residency for student visa holders and employer-sponsored visa holders.
  • Raising the minimum wage for Employer-Sponsored visa applicants
  • Tightening the criteria governing student visas to guarantee that students are truly learning and contributing to Australia’s skill requirements.

The following changes are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2023:

  • The income threshold for temporary skilled migration will be raised from A$53,900 to A$70,000. International students on student visas will be allowed to work up to 48 hours per fortnight.
  • International students working in the elderly care industry will be exempt from the 48-hour weekly work limit until December 31, 2023.
  • Citizens of New Zealand will be able to apply for citizenship immediately.
  • A subclass of 485 Temporary Graduate visa holders can renew their visa for another two years.
  • In addition to the standard CPI increase, the department’s visa application costs will rise by 6%, with a 15% increase for certain tourist and temporary visa subclasses and a 40% increase for business innovation and investment visas.
  • Extra enforcement and compliance efforts will be performed to ensure the migration system’s integrity. 

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