Australia is so keen for migrants to fill that they’re offering permanent residency

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Skilled workers are in such short supply the federal government is offering qualified migrants permanent residency. 

A total of 17 occupations have been identified on the federal government’s priority migration skilled occupation list to help Australia recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Immigration authorities will prioritise workers in the healthcare, construction and information technology industries.  

The list includes nurses, doctors, midwives, psychiatrists, software engineers,  computer programmers and mechanical engineers. 

Nurses are some of the most sought after jobs for skilled migration to Australia, with six different specialties of nurses identified as priority occupations for Skilled Migrant visas (file image)

Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said the changes would strike the right balance for Australia’s economic recovery.

‘Our priority is getting Australians back into work but we also need key health workers to help fight the virus and skilled migrants who are going to be job multipliers, to help the economy recover,’ Mr Tudge said. 

The occupations were selected out of more than 200 on the Department of Home Affairs Skills List granting residency under the Skilled Migration Scheme.

The skilled migration program is offering 79,600 places for 2020-2021. 

The scheme falls under the 189 Skilled Independent Visa and allows workers to apply for permanent residency after three years. 

Applicants must be under the age of 45 and pass a skill and language test to lodge an expression of interest for the visa.   

Migration agent Ranbir Singh said it is increasingly unlikely many immigrants will get into Australia under this visa due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of 17 occupations  have been identified on the federal government's priority migration skilled occupation list to help Australia's recovery from COVID-19 (pictured: information technology is a priority sector)

A total of 17 occupations  have been identified on the federal government’s priority migration skilled occupation list to help Australia’s recovery from COVID-19 (pictured: information technology is a priority sector)

Construction (pictured) is another key industry the federal government is prioritising for migrant visas

Construction (pictured) is another key industry the federal government is prioritising for migrant visas 

‘Only 6500 spots were allocated to this visa stream in 2020-21. But we hope things will get better after the situation with the coronavirus is controlled,’ he told SBS News. 

‘The visa authorities are currently focusing on applicants that are mainly working in the critical skills sector, notably in the health care sector.’

The skilled stream is considered the most desirable way to gain immigration to Australia.

But a spike in Australia’s national unemployment rate due to COVID-19 has prompted authorities to urge jobless Australians to upskill themselves to fill existing shortages.  

Alternative pathways to migration involve gaining sponsorship from an employer or government authorities. 

The nominated visa, or the subclass 190 visa, offers permanent residency for skilled workers who have been nominated by state government authorities to live in Australia. 

Alternative pathways to permanent residency involve gaining sponsorship from an employer or government authorities (pictured: stock image of an Australian passport and temporary visa)

Alternative pathways to permanent residency involve gaining sponsorship from an employer or government authorities (pictured: stock image of an Australian passport and temporary visa)

They must undergo the same skills test and lodge an expression of interest to be considered.  

The skilled work regional visa, known as the subclass 491 visa, offers a short term stay for migrants willing to work in regional Australia.

They must remain in the area for up to five years, but may apply for permanent residency after three years if they have met the income requirements.  

Migrants can also gain permanent residency through the 186, 482 and 494 visas which require sponsorship through an employer. 

The federal government also offers highly talented specialists a chance to gain permanent residency through the Global Talent Independent Program.

The program targets specialists across seven industries: ag-tech, med-tech, space, fin-tech, energy and mining technology, cybersecurity, and data science. 

The scheme is the fastest way to gain permanent residency in Australia.  

But migrants applying through this program must show they area capable of earning a salary above the income threshold of $153,600 each year.

They must also have their application supported by an Australian specialist working in their field. 

The 17 priority occupations for Migrants in Australia 2020-2021 

The Department of Home Affairs Skilled Migration scheme for 2020-2021 is offering 79,600 visas across 200 different jobs. 

But due to COVID-19 it’s likely many less visas will be granted to prioritise getting unemployed Australians into work.

The following 17 occupations were identified as priorities to help bolster the nation’s economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic:

Chief Executive or Managing Director 

Construction Project Manager  

Mechanical Engineer 

General Practitioner 

Resident Medical Officer

Psychiatrist 

Medical Practitioner nec 

Midwife 

Registered Nurse (Aged Care) 

Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) 

Registered Nurse (Medical) 

Registered Nurse (Mental Health) 

Registered Nurse (Perioperative) 

Registered Nurses nec 

Developer Programmer 

Software Engineer 

Maintenance Planner 

Source:  Department of Home Affairs 

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