Australia announces creation of Skills in Demand Visa

New program meant to provide protection, flexibility and address labour market needs

Australia announces creation of Skills in Demand Visa

The Australian government has announced a new type of visa that will help in addressing the major flaws in the country’s migration system, as reported in an article by Kansas Overseas Careers.

The Skills in Demand Visa will be replacing the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) as the country’s main temporary skilled work visa which is part of the changes in the Australian migration system, according to Clarie O’Neil, the home affairs minister.

Andrew Giles, the minister for immigration, citizenship, and multicultural affairs, said that Australia’s Migration Strategy will deliver the country’s commitment to discontinue the exploitation of migrant workers.

“After a decade of neglect, all workers will be better off as visa rules that prevent people speaking up about mistreatment are reformed,” said Giles in the article.

Australia recently announced extensions to the Working Holiday Visa and tightened visa rules for workers and students.

‘Mobility visa’ better alternative

Associate Professors Stephen Clibborn and Chris Wright have proposed that a ‘mobility visa’ was a better alternative to the Temporary Skill Shortage visa in their joint submission to the Parkinson Review of the Migration System, according to an article from the University of Sydney.

This proposal was acknowledged by the Migration Strategy through the establishment of the new Skills in Demand visa.

“Migrant workers should have mobility to switch employers, a pathway to permanent residency, and better protection of their workplace rights, and skill shortages should be verified independently so that migration addresses genuine labour market needs,” said Wright.

The new changes will allow migrant workers to have mobility to switch employers, get a pathway to permanent residency, get better protection of their workplace rights, and have their skills shortages independently verified. It will also make sure that migration will address genuine labour market requirements, according to the government.

Temporary skilled workers will also be given an extension of the period to find an alternative sponsor which will help them easily leave bad employers and reduce the risk of exploitation and underpayments.

Temporary skilled worker visa

The new visa will be a 4-year temporary skilled worker visa that has different modes in order to target the diverse immigration requirements. It will have three targeted pathways:

  • Specialist Skills Pathway – provides Australian employers to recruit highly-skilled specialists quickly and easily. An applicant will be eligible for this pathway if they met the general employer sponsored eligibility criteria. They need to be nominated by an approved employer and will also need to meet the health and character requirements.
  • Core Skills Pathway – serves as a continuation of the TSS visa and is designed to bring the skilled workers the country needs today and in the future.
  • Essential Skills Pathway – a highly-regulated pathway for lower paid workers that have essential skills.

“These changes will mean less exploitation and more productive employer practices, which is good for Australia,” said Wright in the Sydney University article.

The implementation of the Skills in Demand visa is slated for late 2024.

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