Skilled migrants to make up ¾ of new permanent residents

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Nearly three quarters of permanent migration places will be set aside for skilled migrants during 2023-2024.

Temporary skilled workers transitioning to a permanent skilled visa will make up a sizeable portion of them.

Last year the number of places allocated for permanent migration was lifted to 195,000 places. This was to  help with the aftermath of COVID lockdowns and border closures.

For 2023-2024 that number will return to pre-pandemic levels of 190,000. However ,137,100 of those permanent residency places will be for skilled migrants.

Many of those skilled migrants will already be working in Australia as Temporary skilled visa holders. Australia’s skilled migration systems has pathways for some skilled visa holders to become permanent residents.  One common method is through the Temporary Residence Transition stream, or TRT, of the  Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186). Many applicants using the TRT stream hold a visa called the Temporary Skills Shortage Subclass 482 visa.

The 482 visa allows employers to sponsor skilled workers via one of two streams: the Short Term or the Medium Term stream. The Short Term stream is valid for 2 years. The Medium Term stream is valid for 4 years. An applicant’s occupation determines if they are sponsored on the Short Term or the Medium Term stream.

Despite there being two streams of the 482 visa, currently only visa holders on the Medium Term stream 482 visa can transition to permanent residency using the TRT pathway.

Last month, however,  the Government announced an overhauling of the rules that prevent people on a Short Term 482 visa from ever having a pathway to permanent residency.

By 2024, the TRT stream of the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme will be open to skilled workers who have been working for the same employer in the same nominated occupation for two years, down from the previous 3 years. This change to the number of years a sponsored worker must be working for the same employer in the same occupation opens the TRT stream up to people on a Short Term 482 visa as well.

“The hope is that this change will create more certainty for both employers and employees which will help businesses,” said Greg Nicolson, Managing Director of Australian Business Migration Group (ABMG), a migration consultancy firm which advises businesses on how to resolve skills shortages with skilled workers.