20 March 2009

Kiwis won't be affected by Australian skilled migration cutback

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After cutbacks to the Australian skilled migration program this week, former New Zealand Immigration Minister Aussie Malcolm reassured New Zealanders that they would still be able to continue emigrating to Australia.

The Australian Government this week announced the Australian skilled migration program would be reduced by nearly 18,000 to 115,000 places, in order to ease competition for Australian jobs during the economic slowdown.  The Government also tightened the skilled migration program, so that it is more targeted to the urgent needs of the Australian workforce. 

This means that employer-sponsored Australian visa applications, State-nominated Australian visa applications and applications from people with skills found on the Critical Skills List (CSL) have priority for processing.  The CSL has also been readjusted so that it can better reflect the needs of the Australian economy.

Australia and New Zealand have a visa-waiver agreement that allows nationals from both countries to travel, live and work in the others' country without a visa.  Mr Malcolm said that while the cuts will have a minimum impact on New Zealanders moving to Australia, it would help them with their chances of securing work.

"These cuts represent a minor adjustment that is logical in terms of job contraction in Australia," Mr Malcolm said in a press release.

"They do not directly influence New Zealanders’ ability to travel to Australia in terms of the Trans Tasman Travel Agreement.  In fact, as the New Zealand and Australian labour markets tend to be interrelated, the cuts could be said to be preserving New Zealanders’ access to increasingly scarce jobs in Australia."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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