If you are planning to migrate to Australia, you must know about the new Australian migration strategy 2024. On December 11, 2023, the Australian Government unveiled its much-awaited Migration Strategy, which presents a revised vision for the country’s immigration system. The Government has announced its new policy roadmap that includes eight significant key actions, more than 25 new policy commitments, and potential areas for future reforms and other developments.
By the upcoming fiscal year, it is anticipated that the Australian Migration Strategy 2024 will restore pre-pandemic migration levels to make the program “fit for purpose” in the present economic conditions. The new migration strategy covers a number of topics, including current commitments, areas that will undergo changes, and key sectors that will be the subject of future reform consultations in 2024.
Let’s find out what the Australian Migration Strategy 2024 says and what key actions are set to be implemented this year.
Why does Australia Need a New Migration Strategy?
On September 2, 2022, Hon. Clare O’Neil MP announced that Martin Parkinson, former minister to the Australian Treasury, would lead a comprehensive review of Australia’s migration system. The main purpose was to find the key challenges and gaps in the migration system to ensure a smooth migration process for the coming decades. On March 21, 2023, Martin Parkinson presented a 200-page Review of the Migration System Report to the Government. The report outlines that the “key areas of the system are broken” and proposes significant reforms to the skilled migration program student and employer-sponsored visas. The review highlights that the
- Australia’s migration system has failed to retain “the best and brightest” skilled workers and international students.
- “The student visa program should be an important source of high-performing skilled migrants but has not delivered on its potential.”
- “Australia lacks an explicit migration policy focusing on lower paid workers and has taken a piecemeal approach that is not meeting our needs or protecting vulnerable migrant workers.”
The Government has planned to incorporate the key findings of the review to make a draft outline of a new migration strategy for Australia. Let’s discover what are the main objectives of the new migration strategy.
Objectives of the Australian Migration Strategy 2024
On December 11, 2023, the Australian Government released its migration strategy and announced “the biggest reforms to migration in a generation after receiving the first comprehensive migration strategy review. The new migration strategy outline the following five objectives:
- The first and foremost objective of the migration strategy is to enhance productivity by addressing skill gaps to raise living standards in Australia.
- To promote fairness in the workplace by providing assistance to domestic workers and avoiding the mistreatment of migrant labor.
- To build stronger communities in Australia through sustainable migration planning and offering permanent residency and citizenship to the residents.
- To strengthen global connections by creating stronger economic bonds with international partners.
- To make the migration system faster and more efficient for the migrants.
Key Actions of New Australian Migration Strategy 2024
In order to accomplish the objectives of the migration system, the government has created a policy roadmap comprising eight key actions. Here is the list of these eight key actions:
1. Targeting temporary skilled migration to address skills needs and promote worker mobility.
The development of a new Skills in Demand visa, which will replace the Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482), with three focused pathways to promote the labor market mobility of migrant workers. These three visa stream pathways will be;
- Specialist Skills pathway for highly skilled migrant workers.
- Core Skills pathway for candidates whose occupation is on a new Core Skills Occupation list.
- Essential Skills pathway for workers with essential skills.
Key Highlights of Skills in Demand Visa
Following are the main points of skills in demand visa;
- Skills in Demand visa provides a clear pathway to permanent residency.
- This visa also offers an alternative method of mobility that permits employees to switch employers while their visa is still valid.
- The duration of stay for all visa streams will be four years, and the Government has announced an average processing time of 21 days for visa applications.
- All holders of visas for skills in demand will have access to pathways for obtaining permanent residency.
2. Reshaping permanent skilled migration to drive long-term prosperity
The administration intends to develop a reformed Points Test for permanent skilled immigration to identify migrants who can make contributions to the Australian economy. Moreover, the introduction of a new Talent and Innovation visa for immigrants who possess the ability to propel growth in important sectors of the country will improve the country’s economy and labor industry. Under this key section, the Business Innovation and Invest Program will not receive any additional funding until the Government examines the new Talent and Innovation visa.
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3. Strengthening the integrity and quality of international education
This section outlines various integrity measures to strengthen the quality of international students and educational institutions. The purpose of this step is to meet the skills shortage in the country by applying strict eligibility criteria and requirements. Here are the salient features of student visa 485 new rules 2024;
- The requirements for passing English language exams will increase.
- There will be stringent measures on the number of student visa applications that are processed.
- There will be restrictions on course shifting, and the number of approved courses will be reduced.
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4. Tackling worker exploitation and the misuse of the visa system
The Government plans to introduce new laws that will protect migrant workers from work exploitation and misuse of the visa system by employers. By the end of 2024, the Government will also create a public registry of approved sponsors so that applicants can easily check the sponsor’s status online. The registry will include details such as the names of approved sponsors, the number of temporary skilled workers they are hiring, and the nominated occupations.
5. Planning migration to get the right skills in the right places
The Government is aiming for a more long-term, evidence-based Strategy in order to plan net migration and cooperation with states and territories. The Department will introduce a formal position for Jobs and Skills Australia to define the vacancies that the country needs based on data from the tripartite mechanisms (Government and business).
This step will assist the Government in having a better understanding of population planning based on net migration data and forecasts. Moreover, it will enhance the method of skill evaluation and identification to help immigrants reach their full potential.
6. Tailoring regional visas and the Working Holiday Maker Program to support regional Australia
In order to support regional Australia and its employees, the Government will modify the Working Holiday Maker program and regional visa policies. Specifically, it will ensure that regional visas are processed with the utmost priority and that migration goals are supported in regional states.
7. Deepening Australia’s people-to-people ties in the Indo-Pacific
Australian Migration Strategy 2024 highlights a new approach to developing relations within the Indo-Pacific region. It includes improved access to Pacific Island and Southeast Asian nations and a direct route to citizenship for citizens of New Zealand. The Government has also revamped the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) program and is currently introducing a new Pacific Engagement Visa to promote greater regional mobility.
8. Simplifying the migration system to improve the experience for migrants and employers
The Government has prioritized investments to reduce the backlog of visas and enhance the overall experience of migrants with the immigration system. The plan is to abolish duplicate and pointless visas to streamline the immigration process.
Impact of the Australian Migration Strategy 2024 on Economy
The new Skills in Demand Visa will allow businesses to sponsor international workers without being restricted by occupation lists, allowing for faster processing of visa applications. This will encourage innovation and employment development in Australia. By implementing the Migration Strategy, net migration levels will be restored to sustainable levels.
This will guarantee that Australia provides a clear, straightforward, and practical approach to granting visas in order to improve the economy and reduce labor shortages. Targeted adjustments to temporary visas, such as those for students and temporary graduates, will significantly expand Australia’s talent pool and support the country’s larger skilled, talent, and innovation visa programs.
So, there you have it, an overview of the new Australian Migration Strategy 2024. The Government intends to implement these commitments gradually, beginning in early 2024, with discussion papers on regional migration and permanent skilled migration. The main goal of this strategy is to improve Australia’s immigration system completely by making it more straightforward.
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What are the English language proficiency requirements for international students under the new Migration Strategy?
The Government has raised the demand for English language proficiency. Beginning in early 2024, the criteria will be;
- For a Temporary Graduate visa, the required test score will be 6.5.
- For the ELICOS courses, the test score must be 5.0.
- For student visas to enroll in foundation programs, IELTS 5.5 or above will be required.
What is the Skills in Demand Visa?
The Skills in Demand Visa was recently introduced in a new migration strategy Australia. It has replaced the Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) visa and aims to address labor market demands effectively.
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