Telephone:
+64 9 359 9319

Fax:
+64 9 359 9189

Physical Address:
Unit 2M, Level 2
55-57 High Street
Auckland City
Auckland, New Zealand

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 99606
Newmarket
Auckland, New Zealand

Immigration Blog

REGULAR POSTS FROM NEW ZEALAND & AUSTRALIA

Australian Immigration Changes: Much Ado About Nothing

Earlier this week our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, made the announcement of a 15% reduction in the annual migration quota from 190,000 to 160,000 ostensibly to reduce infrastructure pressure in the major cities of Melbourne and Sydney with the introduction of two new visa subclasses that encourage regional migration. When ...

Myer

Share this post

Australian Immigration Changes: Much Ado About Nothing

Earlier this week our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, made the announcement of a 15% reduction in the annual migration quota from 190,000 to 160,000 ostensibly to reduce infrastructure pressure in the major cities of Melbourne and Sydney with the introduction of two new visa subclasses that encourage regional migration. When ...

Myer

Share this post

Australian Immigration Changes: Much Ado About Nothing

Posted by Myer on March 29, 2019, 8:43 p.m. in Australia

Earlier this week our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, made the announcement of a 15% reduction in the annual migration quota from 190,000 to 160,000 ostensibly to reduce infrastructure pressure in the major cities of Melbourne and Sydney with the introduction of two new visa subclasses that encourage regional migration. When you examine the detail the announcement it should be seen for what it is, electioneering for the upcoming general election in May.

The coalition government is behind in the polls and needs to appease voters, particularly in Sydney (where 63% of those polled feel levels of migration are too high) and Melbourne as the growth in infrastructure cannot keep pace with the net migration levels. It was in the context of this background that the Prime Minister made his recent announcement.

“The roads are clogged, the buses and trains are full, the schools are taking no more enrolments. I hear what you are saying, I hear you loud and clear. That’s why we need to improve how we manage population growth in this country.”

The cut to migration levels wasn’t really a cut at all. Last year Australia approved 162,000 permanent residence visas (notwithstanding the fact that the annual quota was 190,000 for last year) so in practical terms there hasn’t been a reduction or cut at all. 

One also has to bear in mind that if you add students, work visa holders, those on working holidays and long-term visitors net migration is actually approximately 236,000. If we just look at international students last year, there were nearly 700,000 international students in the country. This was an increase of 11 per cent from the previous year, or some 76,000 extra students living in Australia and I’m sure a fair few of them would be clogging up buses and trains in Sydney and Melbourne. 

The government is proposing granting students an extra year of post study work rights if they study in regional Australia as an added inducement not to study in the major cities and this is tantamount to obtaining a three-year post study work visa compared to the two-year post study work visa available to those completing degrees in major cities and this may result in a short term trend to divert students away from Sydney and Melbourne but ultimately students will gravitate to where the jobs are and if those jobs are in the major cities students will ultimately relocate to those areas.

Further to the reduction and to help with the ‘congestion busting’ policy, two new visas were announced earlier this week to come into effect in November 2019 namely:

  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia. 
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: for people who are nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member to live and work in regional Australia. 

Under these new visas, migrants will be required to live and work in a regional area of Australia for at least three years before they are eligible to apply for permanent residence and will have up to 5 years in which to meet these requirements. 

The definition of regional Australia seems to be expanded to include anywhere in Australia apart from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and the Gold Coast.

Simply put, the government has extended the required length of time needed to spend in regional Australia by one year, and have now allowed the ACT, Wollongong and Newcastle to be called regional areas. 

Apart from wanting to ease the congestion that migrants cause to the major metropolitan cities we are told that there are 40,000 jobs in regional Australia that employers cannot fill and the government is aiming to fill regional skill shortages through the development and implementation of these 2 visas as well as signing designated area migration agreements with state governments aimed at filling skill shortages in occupations that might not otherwise be available for other types of visas such as work visas because the skill level of these jobs might be lower.

I’m sure that there are many positions that Australians might not be willing to fill in regional Australia, perhaps because they are lower skilled or have lower wages but many of the occupations on general skilled migration visa lists will not be suitable for jobs in regional Australia. I’m referring to occupation such as marketing manager, organisation and methods analyst, many IT occupations to name a few and I’m not sure that the type of industry in regional Australia can accommodate these skills. While I’m sure that many trades are needed in regional Australia together with agriculture and horticultural occupations I’m not sure that the size and complexity of industry in regional Australia can accommodate many of the skills listed on the list of occupations suitable for general skilled migration visas.

If the Australian government was sincere about creating regional development schemes they would reward employers for creating jobs in regional Australia and would consider incentives such as tax holidays for employers relocating to regional Australia. Migrants will generally follow jobs and if there are sufficient jobs in decent occupations in regional Australia the scheme will work however no amount of menial jobs in regional Australia would attract and retain sufficient number of migrants beyond the grant of permanent residence.

So in essence what we are getting is the same number of resident visa approvals as last year (no cut it all) and 2 new visas which require applicants to live in regional Australia for three years as opposed to two. Sounds like much ado about nothing to me and I think that the cynical electorate will see this for what it is, more political posturing and smoke and mirrors aimed at restoring voter confidence in a disillusioned political environment.

- Myer Lipschitz, Director

Share this post


7 comments on this post
March 29, 2019, 9:41 p.m. by Marianne Olivier

Interesting. Thank you.

Reply to this comment
March 29, 2019, 10:08 p.m. by Natasha van der Walt

Is the age limit on the new VISA, to be effective from November 2019, still under the age of 45?

Replies to this comment

March 31, 2019, 7:58 p.m. by Iain
Hi No changes to the age criteria. Iain
Reply to this comment
March 30, 2019, 4:50 a.m. by A Nonymous

The cut however to the quota allocated to section 189 is substantial

Replies to this comment

March 31, 2019, 7:56 p.m. by Iain
Hi Not so. The so called 'cut' took actually place last year. All this announcement did was to confirm what took place between July 2017 and July 2018. In that 2 month period around 30,000 fewer skilled visas than the annual target quoted were issued and it wasn't because demand fell, pass marks were kept artificially high to restrict numbers. Smoke and mirrors and blatant electioneering. Don't be fooled. Iain
Reply to this comment
April 1, 2019, 3:44 a.m. by Lecon

Marianne please kindly let see how it goes this time lane thanks to you too.

Reply to this comment
April 2, 2019, 3:41 a.m. by Epheram tsegaye

I have 2 certificate from 2 different fields of study so if i get work in your country related with my fields of study i am very happy to apply it immediately

Reply to this comment
April 19, 2019, 2:01 a.m. by Mariska

I don't think any peron in SA cares where they have to live or what jobs they have to do as long as we can get our children and families safely out of here. I'm a single mother with 2 boys age 8 and 9 with my parents 56 and 60. Want to get my kids safely to Australia where my sister is but can't leave my parents behind. What visas do we apply for? Also applying for visas is extremely expensive here.

Reply to this comment
May 7, 2019, 1:01 a.m. by Immigration Help

Thanks for posting this informative piece of content. I still have some doubts and looking for a=one more content on this topics that should me more explained then this one.

Reply to this comment

Make a comment on this post










 

It's just a thought...

Attend a

FREE SEMINAR

Attend a seminar as a starting point to learn more about the lifestyle of each country, their general migration process and a broad overview of Visa categories.

Register here

Do I stand a chance?

Complete a

FREE PRELIMINARY EVALUATION

Have a preliminary evaluation to establish which Visa category may suit you and whether it’s worth your while ordering a comprehensive Full Assessment.

Free Preliminary Evaluation

I'm ready to talk strategy

Complete a

FULL ASSESSMENT

Let us develop your detailed strategy, timeline and pricing structure in-person or on Skype. Naturally, a small cost applies for this full and comprehensive assessment.

Full Assessment

Australian Immigration Changes: Much Ado About Nothing
STAY CONNECTED

Join over 35,000 people who subscribe to our weekly newsletters for up to date migration, lifestyle and light-hearted updates

CONTACT US
Auckland, New Zealand

Level 2, 55-57 High Street, Auckland, New Zealand

+64 9 359 9319 | Contact Form

Melbourne, Australia

Level 2, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia

+61 3 9628 2555 | Contact Form

LICENSING
New Zealand

All of our advisers are individually licensed by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA)

Click here for details

Australia

All of our advisers are individually licensed by the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA)

Click here for details