The Federal Government has simplified the for work visa requirements which includes English language, income and skills requirements in regional areas where employers fails to find the local workers with pertinent skills to fill up the vacancies. This new agreement leads the migrant workers towards the permanent residency pathway of Australia.
In efforts of filling the skill gaps in regional areas, the Australian Federal Government has opened doors for semi-skilled immigrants which will also let them become the Australian permanent residents after specified period of time with all the requirements satisfied.
A special visa agreement of five years has been made between Commonwealth Government and Great South Coast Region of Victoria and Northern Territory. This agreement will give access to a wide range of professions to the businesses in these regions that were not available through standard immigration program of Australia.
The modification in the law serves as a relaxation for individuals affected by the amendments in the Australian migration program that stiffened the requirements and conditions for sponsored category visas and SOL’s (Skilled Occupation List) pruning that made the way to permanent residency more difficult for migrant workers.
The Migration Agreements that will reduce language, income and skills requirements and let the low skilled workers to access the pathway to indefinite migration has come into existence due to the overgrowing demand for agriculture visa to address the rarity of farm workers.
The agreements will aid the skills requirements of Australia’s regional areas where local workers are unavailable to fill those positions said immigration minister Mr. Coleman. Further he added that the government is in continuous efforts to improvise our migration program to better match the requirements of the specific areas.
“Particularly, we are looking for better ways to bridge the employment gaps in regional locations. The need of workers in Victoria’s Great South Coast region is been calling for some time.”
A Designated five-year Area Migration Agreement was already in existence with the Northern Territory though that did not solve the purpose of permanent residency for workers. Hence NT has signed a new agreement now after the expiry of existing agreement.
The new agreement will boost NT’s economy said Territory’s workforce training minister Selena Uibo.
She said higher number of people means higher number of jobs and a powerful economy which will eventually lead to better hospitals, better schools and higher number of police.
Employers working hard to fill out any of the low-skilled and 117 skilled positions listed as being in deficit will need to prove that they couldn’t find a suitable match to the position from Australian labor market before applying for sponsorship for a worker from foreign land.
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Migration agents in Northern Territory are excited at the declaration of the new agreement. As per an agent this agreement is a good tool for the organizations to get employees from overseas and retain them or else the backpackers used to work for them who used to work and then leave. She further added that Northern Territory had already given liberty in skills, language and income requirements under the last DAMA. However it is expected that pathway to indefinite residency will be a biggest advantage for foreign workers that the agreement provides.
Previously the federal government had made it mandatory for the foreign workers to stay for minimum five years in regional areas to secure permanent resident status.
But the DHA (Department of Home Affairs) indicated that these terms including minimum stay period will be tailored and negotiated according to the particular needs of specif regions.
Earlier the eligible applicants of permanent residence under DAMA working in a region required to stay for a period of five years before applying for permanent residence which could now be reduced to a period of 4 years as per the agreement.
The permanent residence status will not be granted automatically, each candidate will be required to present a valid visa application satisfying all the needed criteria.
According to the government of Northern Territory the visa holders will need to work for minimum 3 out of 4 years in the NT to become eligible for sponsorship.
Dan Tehan, the Victoria’s education minister said the migrant workers will have to stay for minimum 3 to 4 years before they can proceed on the pathway to permanent residency of Australia.
The pathway for an applicant would be to first come in, then satisfy the requirements which includes working in a particular area and get on the way of permanent residency (not in all cases but in some of them) said Mr Tehan. Skills and English language requirements are eased for them though they have to fulfill certain requirements and abide by the laws to get on the pathway of permanent residency.
The current sponsored work visa holders are entitled to a minimum income of $53900 annually. However the employers may apply for concessions under the DAMA. Likewise, the overseas workers are also been given concessions for English language based on the country they originate from, whilst individuals from non-English speaking nations are required to undertake an English test.
The Commonwealth government also discussing such agreements with other regions, including the Pilbara and the Kalgoorlie-Boulder regions in WA, Cairns in far North Queensland, and the Orana region in central NSW.
Such agreements have also been discussed by the Commonwealth government with other regions including the Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Pilbara regions in Western Australia, Orana region and Cairns.
These regions will have to present the evidence of efforts to fill these positions from locals market and prove the inability to do so due lack of availability. They will also have to show the local support available for overseas workers.