Australia’s Migration Program – Time for a Review!

Since coming into office, the Labor government has been adamant that Australia’s migration program is inadequate. On 2nd September, Clare O’Neill, the Minister for Home Affairs announced a comprehensive review of Australia’s migration system. The aim of the review is to ensure the migration system is able to meet the existing challenges and set a clear direction for migration well into the future.

Issues With the Existing Migration Program

Australia’s migration program hasn’t been reformed since 1994 and the current Labor Government has admitted it isn’t working for migrants, business or the country.

While in general Australia’s migration program has been touted as expensive, complicated and bureaucratic, other major issues with the current system include:

–       Long visa processing times

–       Backlogs in visa processing

–       Skilled occupation list inaccuracies

–       Vulnerability to criminal exploitation

A Migration System for Australia’s Future

The strategy, A Migration System for Australia’s Future will ensure Australia’s migration system serves Australia’s national interests and complements the skills and capabilities of Australian workers. It will establish the core principles on which Australia’s migration system will rest and guide future reform. The strategy will focus on enhancing Australia’s productivity.

This review will encompass temporary and permanent visa programs as well as the processes and systems that support the administration of that framework. It will be informed by research, analysis and extensive consultations with:

–       Government

–       Unions

–       Industry

–       Business

–       Migrant communities

–       Academia and civil society

–       State and territory governments

–       Like-minded partners internationally

Who Will Conduct the Review?

The Minister has appointed former secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Macquarie University chancellor, Dr Martin Parkinson AC PSM, Associate Professor in Law at the University of Adelaide, Dr Joanna Howe and former Skilled Migration Ministerial Advisory Council member John Azarias to carry out the review.

These three eminent people have been selected based on their expertise and their reputation for making a positive contribution to Australia’s economic and public policy achievements. With experience in business, technology and major public reviews, they also reflect Australian society in terms of gender balance and migration backgrounds. They will be supported by a taskforce within the Department of Home Affairs.

While this review is in progress and is a positive step towards a better migration program, it’s most likely that changes to the migration system may not come into effect for at least another nine to 12 months.

If you would like to learn more about any aspect of migration, contact the team of experienced registered migration agents at Visa Solutions on 1800 828 008.

Looking to migrate to Australia? Get in touch today to see how we can help with the application process.

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