12 May 2010

Australian immigration still uncertain after Federal Budget announcement, calls for immediate announcement of new Skilled Occupation List

The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) has welcomed the Government migration program in the 2010-2011 Federal Budget, but warns that it does little to change the uncertainly many migrants are facing.

“An effective skilled migration program can only be achieved with an immediate announcement of the Skilled Occupation List (SOL), now weeks overdue, and a revised Points Test, which underpins the overall program,” said Maurene Horder, MIA CEO.

The MIA have complimented the Australian Immigration Minister for his recognition that “foreign skilled labour is an important driver of economic growth”, but say the patchwork changes made to the Australian skilled migration program over the past year have left many thousands without surety.

“The MIA urges the government to move quickly for the sake of certainty and stability and in recognition of the significant role that skilled migration plays within Australia’s economy,” Horder said.

The 2010-2011 Australia Migration Program has reduced the family migration stream levels by 5750 program places, a move the MIA calls “disappointing” to what it calls a “historically significant element in the development of a cohesive Australian society”.

The humanitarian program numbers were also considered disappointing by the institute.

The MIA also argues that the tiny 200 place increase in the Australian Business Visa category is unsatisfactory as it believes, if properly handled, this stream could make a significant contribution to Australian economic development.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa applications with the Australian High Commission London.   

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