The Federal Government held a Jobs and Skills Summit on 2 September 2022 and announced some changes and outcomes for the Australian migration program. Here is a summary.
Australian migration program review
Professor Brian Schmidt, Vice Chancellor of the ANU, has been appointed to lead a review of the Australian migration program. The terms are reference are yet to be published.
Migration program numbers for 2022 – 23
The permanent migration program numbers for this financial year have been increased. They are as follows:
- 195,000 places in total (up 35,000)
- 34,000 regional places (up 9,000)
- 31,000 state and territory places (up 20,000)
The Federal Government has committed to increase staff capacity in support of visa processing. They will invest $36.1m in visa processing to increase staff numbers by 500 during the next nine months.
The Ministers announced the following areas of high priority, effective immediately:
- Increasing the migration program numbers
- Improving the visa processing timeframes
- A proposal for international graduates of Australian universities to be able work longer in Australia, post graduation
- Extending the COVID concessions on student visa holder work rights until 2023, when they will cease.
The Ministers announced the following areas for urgent action:
- Moving away from temporary migration to permanency and citizenship, by developing these pathways
- Reassessing the occupation lists to ensure they are fit for purpose
- Raising Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)
- Addressing worker exploitation (2023 priority)
- Examining industry sponsorship
- Addressing regional labour shortages.
The proceedings of the Summit are recorded and available to be viewed on the Australian Parliament House website.