As we enter 2017, Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton is continuing a review of Australia’s migration policies with a continued focus on tightening skilled migration and permanent migration intakes. The outcome will no doubt result in further legislative changes to immigration programs throughout the year.
In 2016, we already saw preliminary changes to the 457 visa scheme to reduce the number of days a 457 visa holder can stay in Australia in between jobs. There has also been plenty of discussion by the Immigration Department on changes to the citizenship test, greater scrutiny of 457 visa applications, and changes to exclude Perth from being able to engage skilled migrants under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
Concern for Australia’s unemployment rate has placed immigration in the spotlight in the media, and continues to place pressure on the Government to vow for changes to immigration regulations, particularly as we head into the 2017 election.
In 2017, it is likely that Mr Dutton’s review of Australian migration policies may result in:
- Changes to the way in which occupations qualify for skilled migration
- Changes to eligibility requirements and pathways to permanent residency
- Continued government scrutiny of 457 visa applications causing delays in obtaining a visa due to a greater number of requests for further information to validate the application
- Greater emphasis on the ‘character’ of a visa applicant
As it becomes more difficult to obtain a visa, it also becomes more important to get professional advice on a strategy that will present a strong case for migration.
This is particularly the case for businesses in the hospitality and tech industries as well as other businesses with a genuine need for work visas to counter skill shortages in the Australian market.
Read our post for further information on proposed changes to the 457 visa scheme, or for further information on how migration trends may impact your business or work visa, feel free to contact us.