Australia’s Skilled Migration programs are designed to recruit overseas workers who have the skills required to succeed in the Australian labour market and to make a valuable contribution to society and the economy. There are high social and economic benefits that migrant workers bring to Australia. In addition, overseas workers facilitate mutual cultural exchange, helping to further uphold the multi-cultural values which are important to Australia.
The decision for many Australian businesses to nominate overseas skilled workers is because there is a genuine need of skilled workers for the overall growth of many businesses. In many specialist occupations, there are simply not enough skilled people available to do these jobs due to Australia’s small population relative to large geographic area and so the use of foreign workers in these situations is highly desirable.
The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has just announced that Australia’s humanitarian visa program will add another 5,000 places starting from 2018 -19. This will take the total number of visa granted in the humanitarian
program to 18,750 per year.
Short-term stay Visa program released July 2016-23 Jul 2016 Starting July 2016, a new visa program will be implemented, called the Short-Term Mobility Visa, which is set to make it easier for skilled migrants to come and work in Australia for short periods. This visa is valid for a 12 month period and allows the nominee multiple entries into Australia to undertake specialized work for short-term appointments.
The Short-Term Mobility Visa will replace the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400), which currently allows skilled or specialist workers to participate in short-term employment in Australia for a stay period of up to 3 months. Under the subclass 400 visa, a 6 month work stay is occasionally permitted but only when the business can present a strong case and provide evidence that it has entered into contracts for the project or the project has been extended. In addition, the business must demonstrate to great extent why the applicant’s expert skills are required for the specific project.
The Short-Term Mobility visa is part of the Federal Government’s plan to simplify the visa system and enable Australian businesses a lot more flexibility in terms of attracting skilled migrant workers for short-term periods of employment.
One of the benefits of this visa is that applicants do not need to meet minimum level of English language proficiency or undertake labour market testing (unlike the subclass 457 visa) and will only be required to fulfill basic health, character and safety requirements. However, while it may appear an easy option for skilled migrants, this visa is only really geared towards a small target audience of professionals with a specific skill set.
This visa can be applied for within Australia or overseas, however, family members of Short Term Mobility visa holders are not permitted to be included on the same visa application. In instances where the work is considered ongoing, visa holders will likely need to apply for another visa such as the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa, which allows nominees to stay in the country for up to 4 years while working for an approved sponsor.