Skilled migrants can now apply for fast-tracked visas to Australia, on condition that they are willing to move to and work in specified regions in the country. According to David Coleman, Australia Immigration Minister, skilled migrants are in great demand in regions outside Sydney, Melbourne, and Southeast Queensland.
The federal government of Australia has introduced Regional Fast-Track Visa initiatives as part of its new population plan. The aim is to help local businesses and communities in these regions to attract skilled workers. This is a great opportunity for skilled migrants looking for a way to speed up their immigration to Australia. The funds earmarked for this purpose are $19.4 million, which will be spent over a period of four years.
Extension of (DAMA)
This latest agreement between the federal government of Australia and the regions is essentially an extension of Designated Area Migration Agreements or DAMA, which is an existing agreement. According to the terms of the new extension, visa applications for individuals who have received sponsorships from employers in the region will be processed on a priority basis.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, at this time, processing visa applications take anywhere from 74 days for Temporary Skills Shortage visas (subclass 482) to 2 years for visas in other categories. The revised agreement will shorten this processing time considerably.
Skilled migrants who obtain their visas through this fast-track initiative are restricted to working within the designated area only. Anyone who wants to work in a different region will have to apply for another visa. While this is an option that applicants can consider, the immigration minister has stated that their application for a different type of visa or permanent residency is unlikely to be approved.
Resolving the Population Problem
Australia’s population last year was estimated at 25 million. This rapid population growth was unexpected. Initial estimates suggested that the population would reach 25 million only in 2040. This has posed certain unprecedented problems to the government of Australia. To resolve the challenges posed by overpopulation, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s goal is to trim permanent migration numbers by 30,000. He revealed this in a statement released late last year.
Officials of the Department of Home Affairs have scheduled visits to the regions to discuss regional migration opportunities with regional employers to ensure that their need for skilled migrants is met.
If you are looking to apply for immigration to Australia, whether under the Fast-Track Visa or any other scheme, get in touch with us so we can assess your circumstances and advise you accordingly.