Australia’s New Skilled Migration System: A Guide to the Skills in Demand Visa

Understanding the Skills in Demand Visa

The Skills in Demand visa replaces the former Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) visa, heralding a new era in Australia’s immigration framework. This visa is structured into three distinct streams tailored to varying skill levels and industry demands:

  1. Specialist Skills: Geared towards highly skilled individuals earning over AUD 135,000 annually, this stream prioritizes expedited processing and offers a four-year residency. It’s an attractive option for top-tier professionals seeking swift entry into the Australian workforce.
  2. Core Skills: Occupations listed under the Core Skills Occupation list, deemed crucial to the nation’s development, are eligible for this stream. Applicants must meet the TSMIT threshold and can anticipate a four-year visa tenure. It’s a pathway designed to address specific skill shortages and bolster key sectors.
  3. Essential Skills: While still in development, this stream aims to attract workers in vital roles with salaries below AUD 70,000. Typically filled through labour agreements, it underscores Australia’s commitment to nurturing talent across diverse economic sectors.

Key Changes and Developments

The overhaul of Australia’s skilled migration process entails several noteworthy adjustments:

  • Advertisement Requirement Removal: Employers sponsoring visa applications (subclasses 482 and 494) are no longer mandated to advertise on the Workforce Australia website. This flexibility grants employers greater autonomy in conducting labor market testing (LMT), streamlining the recruitment process.
  • Closure of New Zealand Stream: The closure of the New Zealand stream of the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) in July 2023 signifies a shift in migration dynamics. However, New Zealand citizens now have a direct pathway to Australian citizenship, fostering closer ties between the two nations.

Government’s Vision and Implications

Australia’s immigration reforms underscore the government’s commitment to aligning the migration program with evolving labor market needs. By introducing the Skills in Demand visa, policymakers aim to attract and retain skilled professionals in critical sectors, driving economic growth and innovation.

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