Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
Australia's ongoing success in the face of a world in
financial crisis, is due in part to its effective skilled migration
policy which has been used to bolster Australia's economic
growth and development.
The Australian government continues to refine its policies and
programs to better determine how many migrants and which migrants
should be admitted to meet Australia's skills needs.
As noted in the "Competing for Skills: Migration
Policies and Trends in New Zealand and Australia"
"Between 2004/05 and 2008/09, Australia selected 358,151
permanent General Skilled Migration (GSM) migrants, including
Since 1999, the majority of GSM applicants have been former
international students in Australia, who qualified for permanent
resident status on the basis of their formal qualifications, age,
English language skills and in some cases relevant work
The top five professions for skilled migrants to Australia have
been accounting, computing, architecture/building, engineering and
Since the mid 2000s, there has also been strong growth in
temporary skilled migration. From 2004/05 to 2008/09 "418,940
arrivals were admitted through the 457 long-stay business visa at
Over this period, Australia has moved to a demand driven
employer-sponsored skilled migration scheme with 70% of
Australia's skilled migrants transitioning from the
temporary 457 visa to the employer sponsored permanent skilled
As noted in "Competing for Skills: Migration Policies
and Trends in New Zealand and Australia" from 2004/05 to
2008/09 58% of 457 visa holders were professionals, 17% were
trades, 13% were associate professionals, and 10% were managers and
Unlike the GSM stream, 457 temporary workers came predominantly
from five major English speaking countries in addition to
As part of the ongoing review of Australia's migration
program to ensure that it continues to meet Australia's
economic and skill needs, the government has continued to innovate.
On 1 July 2012 it will introduce SkillSelect, a new skilled
migration selection register.
This will allow prospective migrants to express interest in
applying for skilled migration to Australia, before they are
invited to lodge a skilled migration application.
SkillSelect will be a major change to how Australia manages its
skilled migration program. It will enable the government "to
manage who is able to apply for skilled migration, when they are
able to apply and in what numbers"5, and on the
basis that the applicants have skills which Australia needs.
"SkillSelect will also help address regional skill
shortages"6. It will allow "intending migrants
to indicate they are willing to live and work in regional
"SkillSelect is an online system that will enable skilled
workers interested in migrating to Australia to record their
details to be considered for a skilled visa through an Expression
of Interest (EOI)"8. "All
intending migrants interested in independent skilled, family
sponsored skilled, state or territory sponsored skilled, or
business skills programs will be required to submit an EOI and
receive an invitation in order to lodge a visa
SkillSelect will better enable the government to manage the
overwhelming demand for migration to Australia. The level of demand
is reflected by the significant revenue that the Department of
Immigration and Citizenship continues to raise on an annual basis
in visa and related fees. For 2010/2011 it raised $1.137 billion.
At the same time, the government has strengthened measures to
address concerns in regard to increasing fraud in visa applications
through the recent introduction of the public interest criterion
If a person is invited to apply for a visa, and the information
submitted is false or misleading it may be considered fraud, and
the application could be refused on that basis. Criterion 4020 if
applied means that not only is the visa application rejected but
the person is subject to a three year bar preventing them from
lodging and having granted to them a further visa.
Despite strong competition from the rest of the English speaking
world, Australia's continuing buoyant economy lifestyle and
good governance continues to make it a sought after destination for
many skilled migrants throughout the world.
Australia's targeted migration policies and programs
continue to offer new paradigms in Australia's management
of its skilled migration outcomes and in assisting it to meet its
human capital needs.
1 International Migration, Settlement &
Employment Dynamics 2011 by Professor Lesleyanne Hawthorne, page
The Federal Court handed down the largest court imposed fine for breaching subclass 457 visa sponsorship obligations.
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