Australia Increases Skilled Workers Quota to Address Labour Shortage

Australia eases visa rules to address existing labor shortage

Australia announced a relaxation for several skilled visa categories and increased the quota for skilled workers in a bid to correct the labor shortage. In the 2022-23 Migration Program planning levels, the Australian government declared its plans to enhance the quota for the number of skilled visas and eventually issue 109,000 skilled workers’ visas during the financial year. A higher priority is given to state-nominated visas.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Australia is the second country to experience severe labor and skills shortage in the world, after Canada. The Australian Bureau of Statistics data also backs the scarcity of skilled labor. As per the data, there were as many unemployed people in the country as job vacancies. 

A report by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) stated that Australia had faced a cumulative loss of more than 600,000 people owing to the pandemic, and the net overseas migration would not recover until 2024. The report also suggested that the government should put forth guidelines to address the situation and work on clearing visa processing backlogs and augmenting the migration rate.

The government has introduced a 36% increase in the number of skilled workers under the Employer Nominated (subclass 186) visa category, 79% under Skilled Nominated Visa State/Territory (subclass 190), 129% for Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491), and 156% rise under the Skilled Independent (subclass 189). 

Visa category 2021-2022 quota 2022-2023 quota
Employer Nominated (subclass 186) 22,000 30, 000 (+36%)
Skilled Nominated Visa State/Territory (subclass 190) 11,200 20, 000 (+79%)
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) 11,200 25, 000 (+123%)
Skilled Independent (subclass 189) 6,500 16,652 (+156%)

The State Nominated (subclass 190) visa grants Australian permanent residency to expats on their arrival to the country. They have to live and work for at least two years in the state that nominated them, and then they can move to any other place.

The Skilled Independent visa is one of the most coveted ones among these as it allows the visa holder to live and work in any part of Australia. 

A skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) offers a temporary visa with benefits other visas fail to provide. It is a pathway to gaining permanent residency in Australia. Visa holders must live for at least three years in the region that nominated them and earn a taxable income of AUD 53,000 for each of these years to stand eligible for permanent residency.


Eligibility Criteria For a Skilled Visa Holder

  • The candidate should be below the age of 45
  • Meet the English language proficiency criteria
  • Should belong to a profession listed on the appropriate skills list
  • Undertake skills assessment
  • Meet the legislated points score (based on factors like education, age, and years of experience)

Documents Required

  • Education qualifications
  • English language test results
  • Skill assessment documents
  • Employment experiences and references
  • Tax documents, payslips, etc.
  • Sponsorship documents (if needed for the visa type of an applicant)
  • Personal documents of the candidate, their partner, or any other dependants, including unabridged birth certificate, marriage certificate, copies of adoption papers, divorce certificate, or death certificate 
  • Identity documents and passport photographs of the candidate, their partner, or any other dependant
  • Character document of the candidate such as police clearance certificate from the home country in which they have lived for 12 months or more in the last ten years since they turned 16

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