ENS and RSMS review by DIAC
The Department of Immigration & Citizenship is undertaking a review of employer-sponsored permanent residency visa programs to ensure that they are appropriate and responsive to the needs of Australian employers as a result of the current strong economic growth being experienced in Australia and a consequent skilled labour shortage in many industries and many geographic regions in Australia.
The review covers three visa schemes being the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 121 & 856), the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclasses 119 & 857) and Labour Agreements (subclasses 120 & 855).
The review commenced with a public consultation stage which included stakeholder consultation and invited submissions from members of the public as to how the programs could be improved. DIAC was seeking feedback on key areas including:
- How to balance access to skilled and semi-skilled workers in areas of need with maintaining employment and training opportunities for Australian workers?
- How to prevent exploitation of overseas workers?
- What concessions should be available to employers in regionalAustralia?
- The role that local certifying bodies should play in the visa process?
- Should these programs provide greater access to semi-skilled workers?
- Whether current English language requirements are appropriate?
- Whether the current age threshold of 45 should be increased in line with changes to general skilled migration visa eligibility?
- Whether discretionary waiver provisions (eg in relation to skills, age, English language) should be retained?
- Whether electronic visa application lodgement should be introduced?
The public consultation stage has now concluded.
Presently, the submissions are being considered and recommendations for change are being formulated. Recommendations will then be considered by government.
Implementation of any changes is expected to occur on 1 July 2012 to coincide with the introduction of the new skilled migration model – SkillSelect.
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