Inflexible migration legislation and regulations have left many thousands of migrants stranded throughout Covid19, many of whom have lived and worked in Australia for over ten years. Today, Migration Solutions launch the results of a survey of affected migrants. This report provides that evidence, from 298 respondents who have been affected by Section 48, Regulation 2.12.
Section 48 was not designed to disadvantage people assessed by the Federal Government as genuine skilled migration applicants and issued an invitation to apply for an Australian skilled migration visa. Covid19 and travel restrictions, however, make the usual process of applying for points tested or employer nominated skilled migration visas offshore prohibitive and dangerous to the health of the many applicants affected by Section 48 of the Migration Act. The result is that many people have been unable to lodge a permanent Australian visa.
To highlight the challenges Section 48 and Regulation 2.12 has posed to migrants, Migration Solutions release the survey results today.
The survey provides insight into the economic and skills contribution these people have made to Australia. Interestingly, many of these affected applicants fulfill roles in our front line Covid-defence, as well as in key industry sectors where we are struggling to find skilled workers, plus those that will assist with Australia’s economic recovery post COVID-19.
A simple amendment to Regulation 2.12 to include points tested skilled migration visa applications (these applications cannot be lodged unless the applicant has received an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs) and employer nominated applicants (whose employer has been approved by the government) will rectify the system’s fairness during Covid19 and border closures. With the evidence from this survey and overwhelming community support from Migration Solutions’ Change.org petition, with over 12,200 supporters, Migration Solutions submitted the report findings to the Minister for Immigration on 14 September 2021. The application sought an amendment to Regulation 2.12 to enable affected applicants to lodge onshore applications. The amendment will enable eligible skilled migrants to continue to contribute to the economic and social fabric of Australia.
To read the full report, click here.