Social Issues

Australia to expand permanent residency pathways for skilled workers

Sydney, Australia, April 27 (EFE).- Australia Thursday announced a plan to reform its immigration system in order to expand pathways to permanent residency for temporary skilled workers in the country.

By the end of the year, qualified professionals who have obtained a short-term visa will have a pathway to apply for permanent residency, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said in a statement,

“Our migration success story is rooted in permanency and citizenship. Giving people the chance to get established in their community, educate their kids, and become Australian,” she said.

Under this measure, Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) short stream visa holders will be able to apply for permanent residency in the Oceania country, which currently has a capped permanent program.

Australia also raised the minimum wage for skilled migrant workers.

Starting July 1, the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) will increase from AU$ 53,000 ($35,000) to AU$ 70,000 ($46,000).

These measures are a response of the Labor government of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to a review of the migration system, announced in September.

O’Neil also proposed, without giving details, other future changes in immigration policies, such as the reunification of immigrant families, the recognition of immigrants’ qualifications and ways to make it easier for foreign students to stay in the country.

The minister also criticized the complexity of the bureaucratic system to process visas and the thousands of labor agreements that Australia has with other countries.

“Australia’s migration system has become dominated by a very large, poorly designed, temporary program, which is not delivering the skills we need to tackle urgent national challenges,” O’Neil said in an address at the National Press Club in Canberra.

“And, that program created the essential ingredients for exploitation of migrant workers,” she added.

Australia, where more than half of all 25.5 million inhabitants are first- or second-generation immigrants, raised the annual permanent migration quota to 195,000 amid a shortage of workers in certain critical sectors and in the rural areas. EFE


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