Australia bumps up tech jobs migration with 6,800 more places

- September 5, 2022 2 MIN READ
Andrew Giles
The Australia government will offer 6,800 extra permanent migration places for tech sector workers as part of a major boost to migration this financial year.

Immigration, citizenship and multicultural affairs minister Andrew Giles announced the increase during the Jobs and Skills Summit last Friday.

An extra 35,000 people will be accepted in 2022-23 taking the new migration total to 195,000. The decision kicks in immediately.

Giles said the government is looking to shift migration system away from a guest worker economy to permanent position to attract everyone from software analysts to chefs.

With the time it currently takes to process current migration visa applications already a major headache for business, the minister has also tipped $36.1 million into boosting visa processing staff  500 for the rest of the financial year to speed up approvals.

“Since day one, we’ve gotten on with the job of getting our visa system back on track, halving the median time taken to approve new businesses for sponsorship, for example,” Giles said.

“This new investment in visa processing demonstrates this Government’s commitment to an immigration system that works for both businesses and individuals. The Albanese Government is committed to re-establishing immigration as a nation-building function of Government, in order to realise our full potential as a reconciled nation that harnesses its diversity.

Home Affairs minister Clare O’Neil also announced a review of Australia’s migration system to report by the end of February 2023.

This review will a focus on Australian productivity, the need for a streamlined and internationally competitive visa process, and sponsorship opportunities for emerging jobs and industries.

“This is about making the big switch to an immigration program that demonstrates who we are and what we are about,” she said.

“This is a turning point in our history as momentous as the post war ‘populate or perish’ program that was the foundation of our post-war reconstruction, nation building and national security. Our immigration system can be a powerful promoter of Australia’s open, free, prosperous, democratic society around the world, so let’s start giving that system the love and care that it needs.”

A breakdown of the 35,000 increase sees 9,000 for regional areas, with state- and territory-sponsored visa numbers lifted from 11,200 last year to 31,000 places in FY23.

In the total 195,000, 142,400 places are for the skill stream; 52,500 for the Family stream; and 100 for Special Eligibility.’

Tech sector reacts

Among those responding to the summit and government announcements, Pin Payments co-CEO Chris Dahl, co-CEO, said the two-day gather “was a success for SMBs, with the government announcing 36 concrete outcomes”.

He backed the lift in the permanent migration cap to 195,000 saying it “will help startups and businesses significantly with the current skills gaps”, and provide opportunities for newly arrived migrants.

Among those at the summit were Tech Council of Australia chair Robyn Denholm and board members Mina Radhakrishnan and Scott Farquhar

Radhakrishnan, cofounder of :Different, said: “Technology is a growing but nascent sector in Australia, we need the skills to enable the industry to keep growing and build the next level of our industry. That’s why this has been such an important summit for our industry.”