Think Higher Consultants

New Migration Strategy for Australian Immigration: What You Need to Know

Exciting news from Australia as they just revealed their long-awaited Migration Strategy. This game-changing plan aims to revamp the skilled migration system, concentrating on skills crucial for boosting productivity. By using permanent migration, the goal is to build a cutting-edge and efficient workforce, paving the way for a prosperous future in Australia.

The strategy covers major updates to different visa categories with a primary focus on the following points:

  • New Visas Being Introduced
  • Labor Market Testing Advertisement Update
  • Quicker Pathway for Subclass 189 Applicants
  • Focus on Global Talent Program
  • Fast Tracking of Regional Migration Visa Applications
  • Updates in Student Visa and Temporary Graduate Visas

In this blog, we’ll take you through the major changes that are being made. In case you have any concerns, feel free to book an appointment with our Licensed Migration Agent.


Migration Program Planning

Australia’s government plans to extend migration planning beyond 12 months to address critical skills shortages and enhance collaboration with states.

  • The number of people moving to Australia from other countries is expected to decrease from 510,000 this year to 375,000 next year and 250,000 in 2024-25, stabilizing thereafter.
  • International student numbers rose from 170,000 in 2018-19 to 270,000 in 2022-23 after COVID-related disruptions, as students returned to in-person classes after studying online and overseas during the pandemic.
  • Temporary visa holders, including Skilled, Working Holiday, and COVID visa holders, increased to 180,000 in 2022-23 from 100,000 in 2018-19.


Skilled Temporary Visas

Australia is introducing a revamped visa system to replace the TSS SC 482 with three tiers. The details of the new 3 visas based on tiers are following:

  1. Essential Skills Visa:
    • For those earning under $70,000.
    • Union oversight, sector-specific, capped, and involving the aged care and disability sectors.
    • Specific details yet to be finalized.
  2. Core Skills Visa:
    • For the $70,000 – $135,000 income range.
    • Trades workers based on a revised ‘Skills in Demand List’ by Jobs and Skills Australia.
    • Expected to be the primary visa pathway.
  3. Specialist Skills Visa:
    • For those earning over $135,000 per year.
    • No occupational list, 7-day processing turnaround.
    • Excludes trades, machinery operators, drivers, and laborers.
    • Limited to 3,000 places annually.


All visas will be granted for up to 4 years, allowing easier employer changes and clear paths to permanent residency. The ‘TSMIT’ will be indexed annually, and a public register of employer sponsors will facilitate smoother transitions between employers.


Labour Market Testing

The Labor Market Testing (LMT) process is undergoing streamlining efforts, with the initial change being the elimination of the obligation to advertise on the Workforce Australia site. Additionally, the advertising period will extend from 4 to 6 months.


As Jobs and Skills Australia refines its data on skills shortages, the gradual phase-out of LMT is planned. An alternative, the Core Skilled Occupation List, will be introduced as a replacement.


Points Tests – Quicker Pathway for SC 189 Applicants

A comprehensive review of the points test is underway. It is being considered to develop a new analysis-based points test to identify more effectively the independent migrants who will make the greatest contribution to the country. This pathway will have a faster pathway to permanent residence for graduates working in skilled jobs.


Temporary Graduate Visas & Student Visas

Visa changes in Australia will now focus on international graduates with skills needed by local employers. Updates include shorter stays, restrictions on transitioning to student visas, and limiting stays for graduates without in-demand skills. Age eligibility drops from 50 to 35, and higher English language proficiency is required for temporary graduate visas.


The student visa program in Australia will undergo significant changes, with no cap on the number of places. Instead, migration levers will control numbers through higher English language requirements, limiting eligible course types to prioritize tertiary university programs, preventing course swapping, and increased funding for visa integrity and the ‘genuine student test.’


Regional Migration – Fast Tracking of Visa Applications

The government recognizes the limited success of current regional migration strategies and plans to collaborate with states and territories for more targeted efforts. Regional visa applications will be expedited, and a review of regional migration settings and the Working Holiday Maker program will ensure alignment with development goals and prevent the exploitation of migrant workers.


Global Talent and Business Skills

The Global Talent program will prioritize a select few migrants with significant contributions, and a potential ‘talent and innovation’ visa is under consideration. The Business Innovation and Investment Program, where over 80% of directors invest in small retail or hospitality, may undergo adjustments, while the Significant Investor Visa program is likely to continue with some modifications.


In summary, Australia’s recently revealed Migration Strategy ushers in a transformative phase for its workforce, marked by strategic changes in visa categories, labor market testing, and regional migration initiatives. The revamped skilled temporary visa system, coupled with a heightened focus on international graduates and adjustments to student visas, underscores a commitment to addressing evolving skill needs. As Australia positions itself for a prosperous future, individuals navigating these changes are encouraged to reach out with any concerns or inquiries.

Our team, including our Licensed Migration Agent, stands ready to guide and assist in making this transition a seamless and promising experience for you. Feel free to contact us if you have any concerns.