Australia Implements Stricter Visa Rules for Migrants

Australia Implements Stricter Visa Rules for Migrants

Australia Implements Stricter Visa Rules for Migrants.

Australia Implements Stricter Visa Rules for Migrants

A significant move aimed at reforming Australia’s immigration system has been announced tightening visa rules, particularly targeting international students and low-skilled workers.

The decision, revealed on Monday, is expected to reduce the country’s migrant intake by half over the next two years as part of an effort to address what the government has termed a “broken” migration system.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil, in a statement ahead of the formal release of the government’s new migration strategy, emphasized the need to strike the right balance in Australia’s migration system.

O’Neil stated, “The government’s targeted reforms are already putting downward pressure on net overseas migration, and will further contribute to this expected decline.”

This move follows a peak in net immigration at a record 510,000 in 2022-23. Official forecasts indicate a subsequent decline to about a quarter of a million in 2024-25 and 2025-26, aligning with pre-COVID levels.

The surge in net overseas migration in 2022-23 was primarily driven by an influx of international students, prompting the government to reconsider its migration policies.

Australia had temporarily increased its annual migration numbers last year to address staffing shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, expressing concern over the current state of migration, stated over the weekend that Australia’s migration numbers needed to be brought back to a “sustainable level,” emphasizing that “the system is broken.”

To achieve this, the new policies include requiring higher English proficiency ratings for international students and ending settings that allow students to prolong their stay in Australia.

The government also plans to introduce a specialist visa for highly skilled workers, streamlining the processing time to just one week. This move aims to assist businesses in recruiting top-tier migrants in the face of stiff competition with other developed economies.

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