How rules are changing for migrants in 2024 

 In Migration News

Towards the end of 2023, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil presented a strategy that addresses key aspects of the migration system. The emphasis is on temporary skilled migration and international education, bringing forth a series of commitments that signal a shift in Australia’s approach. The Government will deliver its Migration Strategy in 3 stages of reform as per the Policy Roadmap. Some commitments have already been implemented, while others will either be implemented by the end of 2024 or consulted on in 2024. 

Goals: 

1. Raise Living Standards: Boost productivity, meet skills needs, and support exports.

2. Ensure Fair Work: Improve jobs, wages, and conditions for all workers and prevent worker exploitation.

3. Build Stronger Communities: Plan migration better and offer opportunities for permanent residence and citizenship.

4. Strengthen International Ties: Connect economically and socially with the region and international partners.

5. Make the System Efficient: Ensure the system is quick, efficient, and fair for migrants and employers. 

Roadmap to Achieve Goals: The plan includes eight key actions developed through extensive consultation. These actions aim to manage migration better and return to pre-pandemic levels by next year. 

Key Actions: 

1. Target Temporary Skilled Migration: 

A new Skills in Demand visa with three targeted pathways, and visa settings that encourage migrant worker mobility in the labour market.New commitments include:
• A new Specialist Skills Pathway to make it easier for Australia to attract highly skilled workers, for example in the technology or green energy industries
• A Core Skills Pathway to meet targeted workforce needs, with a simpler, regularly updated occupation list for the skills Australia needs
• New visa settings that give migrant workers more mobility in the labour market to help tackle worker exploitation and drive productivity
• Streamlined labour market testing and visa processing.

2. Reshape Permanent Skilled Migration:
A commitment to explore a reformed points test for permanent skilled migration, and a new Talent and Innovation visa for migrants who can drive growth in sectors of national importance.

3. Strengthen Integrity in Education: 
A package of integrity measures to lift the standards for international students and education providers, while ensuring graduates help meet skills shortages and do not become ‘permanently temporary’.

New commitments include:

  • Higher English language requirements for international students and graduates
  • More scrutiny of high-risk student visa applications and a $19m investment into the Home Affairs student visa integrity unit
  • Restrictions on onshore visa hopping that undermines system integrity and drives ‘permanent temporariness’
  • Strengthened and simplified Temporary Graduate visa settings
  • Measures to support international students and graduates to realise their potential.

4. Combat Worker Exploitation:
A comprehensive suite of legislation, powers, penalties and policies to combat worker exploitation and restore integrity to the migration system.

New commitments include: A new public register of employer sponsors to improve integrity and support migrant worker mobility.
This commitment complements other strong measures outlined in the Migration Strategy to design migrant worker exploitation out of the migration system.

5. Plan Migration for Skills: 
A longer-term, evidence-based approach to planning migration that closely collaborates with states and territories and ensures population planning is based on the best available population data and forecasts.

New commitments include a new approach to planning permanent migration over the long-term and greater state and territory collaboration on
net overseas migration forecasts.

6. Tailor Regional Visas: 
A new direction to ensure visas for regional Australia are prioritised first, and a commitment to evaluating regional migration settings and the Working Holiday Maker program to ensure migration supports development objectives in regional Australia and does not contribute to worker exploitation.

New commitments include a new direction to ensure regional visas receive the highest priority visa processing.

7. Deepen People-to-People Ties: 
A new approach to developing people-to-people links with our region, including through a direct pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders
and increased mobility with Pacific Island and Southeast Asian countries.

8. Simplify the System: 
A system-wide simplification agenda that will streamline visa settings, reduce visa classes and make the system easier to use.
New commitments include the removal of 20+ unnecessary and duplicative visas to simplify the visa system.

For a deep dive into Australia’s Migration Strategy, check out the complete document here.

As always, if you require professional visa, sponsorship or migration advice, we encourage you to call Green Wings Migration, your migration agent in Perth on +61 8 9221 3388 or get in touch here.
You can also connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram to stay updated on Australian immigration news and developments.

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