Australia has recently rolled out its innovative “Skills in Demand” visa, a strategic move to tackle vital skill gaps and foster greater mobility in the labor market. This groundbreaking visa is designed to replace the existing Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) visa, offering three distinct pathways to attract temporary skilled migrants crucial for Australia’s national productivity.
The Specialist Skills Pathway is geared towards highly skilled professionals earning a minimum annual salary of AUD 135,000, encompassing various fields except for trades, machinery operations, driving, and labor. The Core Skills Pathway targets occupations experiencing shortages, requiring applicants to possess relevant skills and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). Furthermore, the Essential Skills Pathway, still in development, is intended for workers with essential skills earning below AUD 70,000.
The Skills in Demand Visa comes with several notable advantages, including a clear route to permanent residency within the four-year visa period, increased worker mobility allowing job changes within the visa’s validity, and expedited processing times—seven days for the Specialist Skills pathway and 21 days for other streams. Employer support models, such as the Skilling Australia Fund, are being considered to assist in covering relocation costs.
As part of a comprehensive Migration Strategy, the Australian government is implementing rigorous visa rules, aiming to reduce migrant intake by half over the next two years. Notably, international students will face heightened English proficiency requirements to enhance language skills, enrich academic experiences, and promote better integration.
The Migration Strategy also introduces heightened scrutiny on second visa applications, emphasizing the necessity to streamline the migration system and assess the genuine intent and contributions of individuals seeking extended stays in the country. These changes underscore Australia’s commitment to addressing critical skills shortages while maintaining a stringent approach to immigration for the long-term benefit of the nation.