By Jeff Stone and Linnea Cederberg
The Department of Home Affairs has announced that the proposed implementation date for changes to the Employer-Sponsored migration program is to be the 25th November 2023.
The MIA has requested the Department of Home Affairs to confirm the changes that are expected to be implemented on that day, although, it is strongly expected to potentially include the end of the long-awaited pathway to permanent residencies for all Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa holders, including those working occupations on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation list (SOL), after working just 2 years with their sponsors.
TSS visa holders are currently only able to stay in Australia for up to 2-4 years if they are working full-time for a sponsoring employer. Migrants are only able to obtain a TSS visa if there are labour shortages, where an Australian employer is needing to seek elsewhere for a skilled worker. Although the TSS visa also entails a family visa section, it is not always guaranteed, considering many people are not open to the idea of moving their entire family for only 2-4 years of a new life. Now that the idea of permanent residency may be introduced into the Employer-Sponsored migration program, Australia may no longer be facing labour shortages, since skilled-migrant workers may have the possibility of working and living in Australia permanently.
The SOL is a list that compromises the Australian occupations in demand, which are available for foreign skilled workers who are looking for both short-term and long-term jobs in Australia. All those who are lodging applications for the TSS visa will need to refer to the SOL to know which occupations are in demand, and whether they fit the required skills. The TSS visa is a great opportunity for those who wish to seek a new life in Australia, as well as experience the working conditions, however it could be greatly improved if the visa holders are able to be allowed permanent residency, after two years of working, since that would entitle them to many benefits.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, permanent residents are entitled to several privileges, which include the ability to:
- Remain in Australia indefinitely
This would give migrants the peace of mind to know that they are able to stay, instead of knowing that they must leave at some point.
- Work and study in Australia
Giving them the right to an education would mean allowing them to progress in Australian society, both financially and mentally, as they would now have the knowledge on how the Australian system functions.
Allowing them to access the health-care systems without the financial burden of excessive medical costs.
- Apply for bank loans
This would make them eligible for home-loans and ability to purchase property, which would really make them feel at home.
- Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residency
Potentially able to have family with them, so that they can continue to build their lives without feeling alone.
These reforms are a crucial part of the Government’s long-term strategy to enhance and fortify the skilled migration program. While these timelines are always subject to change, this announcement nevertheless signifies that positive changes are on the horizon.
(Received from Migration Institute of Australia).
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