Australia Seeks to Fix ‘Broken’ Immigration Program After Review

Some aspects also broken in Canada but government loathe to admit:

Australia will change its immigration system after a review found the current model is not fit for purpose, Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil said.

The system was overly-complicated and open to exploitation, the review found, failing to target and retain skilled workers and international students vital to boosting the country’s economic productivity.

Australia’s immigration system was “broken,” O’Neil said in Canberra Thursday. “It is failing our businesses, it is failing migrants themselves and most importantly it is failing Australians,” she said.

Australia will increase the income threshold for temporary skilled migration in July 2023 from A$53,900 ($36,000) to A$70,000 ($46,000), to raise the bar on the types of jobs which justified importing labor. In addition, all temporary skilled migrants would be given a pathway to permanent residency from the end of 2023.

Despite the changes, O’Neil said Australia’s overall immigration levels would not increase as a result of the reforms.

The difficulty of attracting skilled migrants comes as Australia attempts to boost its economic growth and productivity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. With unemployment hovering at 3.5%, there are skilled labor gaps in a range of industries including aged care, health and defense.

More changes are expected in the coming months, O’Neil said, with a full plan to improve the migration system due by the end of 2023. The investor visa class is expected to be reviewed, the minister said, with concerns it has been used in the past to buy a ticket into Australian residency.

Source: Australia Seeks to Fix ‘Broken’ Immigration Program After Review

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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