A parliamentary committee dominated by Liberals has recommended that the Morrison government take advantage of the pandemic to overhaul the skilled migration programme, giving temporary workers and some international students clearer pathways to permanent residency in Australia.
The joint standing committee on migration recommends that the government change the conditions for the temporary skills shortage visa's short-term stream "to provide a pathway to permanent residency for temporary migrants."
It states that all employer-nominated visas should include the option of a path to permanent residency if the applicant has competent English language skills and is under the age of 45.
The committee's final report, which was tabled in federal parliament on Monday, also suggested that some international students be given a smoother path to permanent residency if they graduate from a university course that leads to a job in an occupational area with persistent skill shortages. Criteria would include graduating in the top 10% of all graduates in their field or receiving first-class honours.
The report suggests consolidating current skill lists, replacing the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations system, granting more concessions for regional visas, improving the Department of Home Affairs' customer service function, and relaxing some labour market testing requirements.
The proposed changes to skilled migration come as the Morrison government considers changes to the humanitarian programme.
In what can only be described as an exciting time for Australian immigration, it is critical to begin your process as soon as possible so that if any drastic changes such as these take effect, you will be primed and ready to make the leap over to Down Under for a better future.