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)

Program funding

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.

Priority areas

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.

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