27th April 2018
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Skilled migrants continue to be top priority


The Australian government has announced that in 2014–15 it will continue to give priority to skilled migrants who have a firm job offer.

Almost 70 per cent of the visas allocated under Australia’s immigration program are for skilled migrants. This allocation of places will continue in 2014–15. The aim is to meet skills shortages in Australia’s labour market, particularly in regional areas.

Of the total 190,000 immigration places provided in the 2014–15 year, 128,500 will be allocated to the skilled stream. The remainder will go to family migration (60,885 places) and special eligibility (565 places).

This reflects the government’s policy priority on employer-sponsored visas over other types of visas. The aim is to help employers fill key positions when they have been unable to find local workers. It also claims that the measure protects Australian workers, as they will face less competition in the marketplace from independent migrants who have no guaranteed job.

This follows the government’s vision for immigration as set out last year. At that time, the government said it would focus on attracting migrants who:

  • Have the skills and work experience to help build Australia
  • Wish to improve their skills and education through study at Australian institutions of higher learning
  • Are looking to make a significant, long-term investment in Australia.

Skilled workers may apply for an Australian visa in different ways, including as an independent migrant, sponsorship by a relative, nomination by a state or territory government, or sponsorship for a particular role by an employer. 

Minister Scott Morrison said recently: ‘The Abbott Government is ensuring our migration programme matches the nation’s economic and skills needs while also contributing to a cohesive and strong community’.

Partners and children also given priority

Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection has announced that, within the family migration stream, there will be 335 more places for partners and children. This is ‘in recognition of the strong social and economic benefits of close family reunion’.

The contributory parent category has also been increased by 500 places.

This re-focusing on close family reunions is the result of demand and will be made available by ceasing new applications for the other family and non-contributory parent places. It is also expected to save some $35 million.

Student visas streamlined

Acquiring tertiary educational qualifications in Australia is also a pathway to immigration favoured under government policy. Streamlined visa-processing arrangements currently available to many bachelor, masters and doctoral students will now also be made available to eligible advanced-diploma vocational education and training (VET) students at TAFEs and other providers.

Want to know more?

Employers and prospective migrants can contact Haag Walker Lawyers for more information. 


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