Immigration and the Federal Election

Major Parties

In the lead up to the Australian Federal Election on 18 May, a number of policy announcements have been made by the political parties and their candidates. Here is a brief overview of the promises made so far.

Skilled Migration

LIBERAL NATIONAL PARTY AUSTRALIAN LABOR THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS
Introduce two new Regional work visas for skilled migrants to live and work in regional areas for five years:
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

With potential permanent residency at the end of three years, priority processing plus access to a larger pool of jobs on the eligible occupation list compared to those in the cities

Increase TSMIT to $65,000 with annual indexing

Close loopholes that allow employers to inflate salaries to meet TSMIT

Extend Fair Work Ombudsman regulatory powers to the investigation of work visa breaches

Provide protection for migrant workers to come forward without fear of immediate deportation

Establish independent Australian Skills Authority to restrict temporary work visas to jobs where there is a genuine skills shortage

Stronger enforcement of skills assessments and occupational licence requirements

Increase costs of temporary visas to ensure employers look locally first

Review of the family, skilled and business migration streams to prioritise family reunion and meeting skilled shortages

Skilled migration programs that do not substitute for training or undermine wages and conditions in Australia

Humanitarian

LIBERAL NATIONAL PARTY AUSTRALIAN LABOR THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS
Close Christmas Island

Cap humanitarian intake to 18,750 per year

Provide $500 million to the UNHCR to assist with stronger asylum seeker assessment and resettlement processes across the region

Reform the community support program to develop a Community Sponsored Refugee Program and allow up to 5000 community sponsored refugee to resettle in Australia annually

Increase humanitarian intake to 27,000 per year by 2025

Abolish Temporary Protection visas

Close offshore detention centres

Limit onshore detention for asylum seekers to 7 days

Double humanitarian intake to 50,000 refugees per year

Royal Commission into immigration detention

Student Visas

LIBERAL NATIONAL PARTY AUSTRALIAN LABOR THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS
100 scholarships, worth $15,000 available to locals and overseas students undertaking study at regional universities

Overseas students studying at regional universities will be able to access an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa

Priority processing for regional applicants

No announcements No announcements

New Zealand Special Category Visas

LIBERAL NATIONAL PARTY AUSTRALIAN LABOR THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS
No announcements No announcements Replacement of Special Category Visa with a permanent residence visa available to all New Zealand citizens on arrival, with the same entitlements of other permanent resident visas

Parent Migration

LIBERAL NATIONAL PARTY AUSTRALIAN LABOR THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS
No announcements Cut fees for Temporary Sponsored Parent Visas.

Remove cap on overseas parent visas.

Cap wait times for permanent parent visa applications at 12 months and clear the application backlog - which is currently at around 97,000 - within three years.

The above tables will be updated as more announcements are made.

Sources

Liberal National Party LNP News The Guardian

Australian Labor ALP Policies ALP Long-Stay Parent Visa Policy ALP Humanitarian Policy SBS The Conversation

SBS

The Australian Greens Greens Policies SBS SBS

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