The federal government of Australia, as part of its new population plan, is offering skilled migrants who are willing to move to the country’s region fast-tracked visas. The government will spend a total of $19.4 million in attracting more skilled workers to help local businesses in regional areas over the next four years.
Australia Immigration Minister, David Coleman, said a number of regions outside Melbourne, Southeast Queensland and Sydney are in need of skilled migrants. Regional initiatives by the government will aid such communities as well as local businesses in attracting migrants.
Extension of Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA)
The latest agreement between the Australia federal government and the regions is an extension of DAMA, a preexisting agreement. The new agreement prioritizes the processing of visa applicants that are sponsored by employers in the marked regions.
Currently, the processing of Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) can take up to 74 days while other visas can run into two years, Department of Home Affairs revealed. Applicants who get the new visa are allowed to work in the designated area only and will have to apply for another visa in case they want to move to another region. The immigration minister, however, warned that such applicants are not likely to get another visa and will not be able to get permanent residency.
Last year, Australia achieved a feat that is not expected until 2040 by reaching a population of 25 million. Given this faster-than-expected population growth, the government of Australia is doing all it can to address the challenges associated with such growth. Late last year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed his plan to reduce permanent migration by 30,000 in order to solve the problems of overpopulation.
Immigration minister said officials of Department of Home Affairs would visit the regions to discuss regional migration opportunities with regional employers.
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