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Permanent migration to Australia? Yes, but read on…

January 8th, 2019 | | 88 days

The Federal Government has opened a gateway for foreigners with basic farm or hospitality skills to move permanently to Australia on a work visa.

Key points:

  • New local migration deals offer promise of permanent residency
  • Foreigners even with low skills or less-than-fluent English could qualify
  • Migrants will have to spend three to four years in the same region

New regional migration agreements for the Northern Territory and south-west Victoria will lower the criteria for skills, language and income for migrant workers.

And they will provide a pathway to permanent residency to these workers that previously did not exist.

However the Government is demanding migrants commit to living in these regions for at least three years before a permanent residency pathway is available.

Minister for Immigration David Coleman said the Government was improving the immigration program to better match the needs of specific locations.

“In particular, we are looking closely at ways of filling employment gaps in regional areas,” he said.

The Government has shut options for permanent residency for hundreds of jobs in the migration program in the past two years, mainly through changes to occupation lists in the temporary skills shortage visa.

It has a meant a pathway to permanent residency through a work visa is only available to the workers the Government has deemed most desirable, mainly skilled occupations needed by Australian businesses.

But the new arrangements — known as Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) — lower the requirements, opening the door for migrants with less English fluency and lower skills and pay to move to Australia permanently.

A Northern Territory DAMA was already in place, but it did not include the offer of permanent residency.

Manuela Seiberth, a migration agent based in Darwin, said the new offer of permanent residency was “huge”.

“I think this is a very good thing, in particular in light of the recent immigration law reforms which increased the requirements for most employer-sponsored visas and general skilled migration, such as higher qualifications, more work experience and higher English language skills,” she said.

“The DAMA offers options for semi-skilled workers and provides flexibility with its concessions.

Typically, employment visas must be for workers with competent English and pay of at least $53,900 per year.

However, under the previous Northern Territory DAMA, a visa may be approved for a baker, barista or hairdresser with language or income less than these thresholds.

Under the new DAMA these workers will likely be given a chance to move to Australia permanently.

Northern Territory upgrade

Ms Seiberth has provided advice to businesses under the previous DAMA in the Northern Territory.

She said it had mostly been used by tourism and hospitality providers for occupations such as bar supervisors and waitstaff.

“Northern Territory employers struggle to attract and retain skilled workers — I’m speaking from my own experience as a business owner and employer,” she said.

“The main problems are the extreme tropical climate in the Top End and the remoteness.”

The Northern Territory Government confirmed that new agreement includes a wider range of occupations — 117 in total, compared to 111 currently listed — together with tweaks to English and salary concessions and the offer of permanent residency.

NT Minister for Workplace Training Selena Uibo said all residents benefited when more people moved to the Territory.

“More people means more jobs, a stronger economy and more GST revenue, which means better schools, better hospitals, and more police.”

Is this a good policy? Have your say and leave a comment.

How much will they get paid (or how little?).

How will this visa affect the current 417 Working Visa for those looking to do 88 days farm work to receive their second year visa?

Source: ABC

Sourced by Mike Barrow