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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Labor’s Win and Likely Changes to Australian Immigration – Australian Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers Melbourne

Temporary Workers Migration Program

ALP has recognized the labor shortages and subsequent demand for skilled workers. As a result, they are likely to rely on skilled migrant workers as a temporary solution to fulfill labor demands.

There are three ways the ALP has announced they will be fulfilling labor shortages through regional migration programs including:

  • Pacific Australia Labor Mobility – Seasonal Worker Program
  • Pacific Australia Labor Mobility – Pacific Labor Scheme
  • New Pacific Engagement Visa
PALM – Seasonal Worker Program

The PALM Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) allows international workers from the Pacific to travel to Australia to fulfill labor shortages in the agriculture sector for up to 9 months.

Labor has declared they will improve the PALM Labor Scheme to attract more Pacific workers and implement necessary precautions to avoid exploitation and mistreatment of temporary migrant workers.

The changes to be introduced that were announced prior to the election are:

  • Australian government to meet the workers’ international and domestic travel costs upfront taking into consideration the $ 300 that is covered by approved employers
  • Review of the administrative requirements and costs to reduce the burden on SWP employers
  • Increasing the program duration from 9 months to 11 months

ALP have also demonstrated their intention to improve workplace compliance activities through:

  • Increased information and education about the needs of vulnerable workers including temporary migrant workers
  • Amending the Fair Work Act to improve workplace protections for temporary migrant workers
  • Establish security measures between the Department of Home Affairs and Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure migrant workers are protected when lodging complaints
PALM – Pacific Labor Scheme

The PALM – Pacific Labor Scheme (PLS) allows Pacific workers to travel to Australia to fulfill labor shortages for 1 to 4 years. Currently, PALM PLS workers are unable to bring their family members to Australia when they migrate. This is a factor that discourages Pacific workers from applying to the PALM PLS due to the duration of the visa being quite long.

The ALP have promised to change this to allow pacific workers under this scheme to bring their partners and dependent children. The same rules will be applied that the TSS visa operates under for partners and dependents. These include:

  • Must be agreed to by the employer sponsor
  • Family members must meet all health and character requirements
  • Family members are permitted to live, work or study in Australia however do not qualify for study assistance
Encouraging Permanent Migration through a Pacific Lottery Process

Labor intends to further encourage permanent migration by allocating up to 3,000 visas annually for a new Pacific Engagement Visa. This visa is for Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste to encourage Pacific permanent migration. This visa program is said to commence in July 2023 and is based on the New Zealand Pacific Access Resident Category visa. The features of this visa are:

  • Applicant aged between 18 and 45 years
  • Partners and dependent children can be included
  • Applicant or partner must have a job offer in Australia
  • Language, health, and character requirements must be met
  • Applicants who are selected will have a period to obtain a full-time job offer

There is yet to be further information published on this new visa program. This page will be updated once more information is published.

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