In an effort to improve the "broken" immigration system in Australia, the government has announced that it will cut the number of people entering the nation by half within the next two years.
By June 2025, it intends to reduce the yearly intake to 250,000, which is about equivalent to the levels that existed prior to the epidemic. Additionally, the new plan will tighten visa regulations for low-skilled workers and international students who are studying in the United States.
In Australia, migration has reached record levels, adding to the pressure that is already being exerted on housing and infrastructure problems. However, there is still a shortage of skilled workers, and the country is having a hard time becoming more attractive to them.
Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil stated that the migration system had been left "in shreds" by the previous administration while she was presenting a new immigration plan that would be implemented over the next ten years during a media conference on Monday.
According to an assessment that was conducted earlier this year, the system was determined to be "badly broken" (meaning that it was unduly complex, cumbersome, and inefficient) and required "substantial overhaul."
The minister stated that her government would "get numbers back under control" and cut the yearly migration intake by around fifty percent when compared to the record number of 510,000 individuals that arrived in Australia in the year leading up to June 2023.
A number of new measures have been implemented, including stricter minimum English-language standards for overseas students and more examination of individuals who are asking for a second visa.
These individuals are required to demonstrate that any additional study would facilitate the advancement of their academic goals or their jobs. According to official figures, there are approximately 650,000 international students studying in Australia, with a significant number of them being on their second visa.
Improvements have also been made to the visa pathways for migrants who possess "specialised" or "essential" talents, such as highly trained professionals in the technology industry or care workers.
These improvements aim to increase the prospects of permanent residency for these migrants.
Ms. O'Neil stated that the new laws will help lower the risk of exploitation for individuals who live, work, and study in the country. Additionally, the new policies will attract a greater number of workers that Australia requires.
Dan Tehan, a spokesman for the opposition's migration policy, has recently stated that the government has been too sluggish to alter migration rules that were intended to assist Australia in recovering from the pandemic.
Since its election in the previous year, the Labour administration has seen a decline in popularity, and in recent weeks, it has been under pressure from some sectors to temporarily curtail migration in order to assist in alleviating the housing crisis that Australia is experiencing currently.
Others, such as the Business Council of Australia, have asserted that migrants are being used as a scapegoat for the lack of investment in affordable housing and the decades of poor housing policies that have been implemented by the government.