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Take Me Home, Country Road

And the place where you belong, contrary to what the song would indicate, is not West Virginia, but Geelong, Adelaide, Hobart or any other part of Australia that is “regional”. Recent changes to Australia’s skilled migration program is going to have the effect of placing more of you on country ...

Myer

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Take Me Home, Country Road

And the place where you belong, contrary to what the song would indicate, is not West Virginia, but Geelong, Adelaide, Hobart or any other part of Australia that is “regional”. Recent changes to Australia’s skilled migration program is going to have the effect of placing more of you on country ...

Myer

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Take Me Home, Country Road

Posted by Myer on July 20, 2018, 8:16 p.m. in Australia

And the place where you belong, contrary to what the song would indicate, is not West Virginia, but Geelong, Adelaide, Hobart or any other part of Australia that is “regional”.

Recent changes to Australia’s skilled migration program is going to have the effect of placing more of you on country roads than ever before.

Figures just released evidence that Australia accepted approximately 162,000 permanent migrants in 2017/18, down from about 183,000 the year before, and well below the 190,000-a-year quota. Net migration was 240,000 but this includes those who are not only arriving as permanent residents but those on visas allowing a stay of 12 months or more, which is a fair number of people to accommodate in terms of accommodation, transportation, healthcare facilities and education facilities.

We also learned this week that Australia’s population is set to reach 25 million in August 2018 some 24 years earlier than predicted in 2002.

Australia’s larger cities such as Sydney and Melbourne are suffering from congestion, infrastructure that cannot support a growing population, rising property prices (although having said that, at time of writing property prices in Melbourne and Sydney are forecast to decrease by 1 – 2%) and in the context of these issues migration to the larger cities is said to be adding to the burden.

Yet on the other hand, Australia has a shortage of skilled people in regional areas. Regional areas would constitute some of the smaller cities in Australia such as Adelaide and Hobart as well as anywhere outside of the metropolitan areas of Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Perth to name a few.

Since late 2016, job vacancy growth in regional areas has outstripped vacancy growth in our largest cities. According to the latest Internet Vacancy Index released by the Australian Government, vacancies in regions have grown by 20 per cent since February 2016 compared to only a 10 per cent increase in our largest cities.

These growing vacancies are occurring across a range of job opportunities. 

This is the context in which some of Australia’s recent policy changes have taken place aimed at reducing the number of migrants destined for Australia’s major cities and encouraging migration to smaller cities and towns. These changes include:

  1. A more restricted list of occupations that is available for nomination by an employer for permanent residence for those with jobs in non-regional areas (metropolitan areas)
  2. An increase in the pass mark for general skilled migration visas (points tested visas that do not require offers of employment) from 60 to 65 points on 1 July of this year. This may not sound like a significant increase however as state sponsorship for the regionally sponsored 489 visa is worth 10 points and state sponsorship for the non-regionally sponsored 190 visa is worth 5 points there is an added incentive for many more people to seek regional state sponsorship.
  3. A greater number of state governments listing more occupations available for subclass 489 visas only
  4. The addition of the regional occupation list which stipulates that certain occupations can only be sponsored by state governments for 489 visa applications.
  5. A number of positions normally available for independent 189 applications has been made available to those New Zealand citizens living in Australia for a period of five years more, earning a threshold income and paying tax although this type of change really just means swapping profiles of applicants from skilled migrants overseas without job offers to Kiwi’s who are onshore with job offers and paying tax.

As most of these changes have occurred in the months April– July 2018 they are to soon to have caused the reduction in permanent migrants in 2017/18, from 183,000 to 162,000 and their effects both in terms of the annual quota of permanent migrants as well as the effects on diverging migrant flows from metropolitan to regional areas is yet to be felt. 

In fact it may take some time before the true effects of these changes are felt because of transitional provisions available to those on work visas in Australia at the time these changes came into effect. Those on temporary 457 visas still have a greater number of occupations to transition to permanent residence and it could be as much as 4 years before the full effect of the changes take place.

It’s therefore ironic that we are having a debate about migration numbers in the context of some of the harshest changes to immigration policy that I have seen in the last nine years.

It is, however, overdue that we should have an informed debate about population size and whether the vision for Australia is a “big” Australia, or “sustainable” one as some of the terms that politicians have been bandying about and to then design in immigration policy designed to meet that target. Instead of what we have been doing the past is to come up with an arbitrary annual quota because in the absence of a formal population policy, Australia’s immigration policy is its de facto population policy.

For the foreseeable future I expect that there will be more Van der Merwes, Singhs and Lees found enjoying the country lifestyle of Australia.

- Myer Lipschitz, Managing Partner (Melbourne Office)

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7 comments on this post
July 20, 2018, 8:47 p.m. by Bernard Shoko

The post is so helpful such that we stay informed about the changes that are taking place from time to time as l also wish to migrate to Australia in search for better job opportunities.

Replies to this comment

July 20, 2018, 9:15 p.m. by Frans Daniël Brits
Fantastic news as myself and my family, wife and two children would also like to relocate from South Africa to Australia. I was a police officer in the South African Police and currently an Real estate agent. My daughter is a Teacher who specialise in cognitive teaching and my son is a Mechanical engineer. My wife and I are also professional singers and I am a musician as well. We are a performing duo. I would e.g.love to become part of the Australian Police ( dance ) band.
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July 20, 2018, 9:19 p.m. by Frans Brits


Fantastic news as myself and my family, wife and two children would also like to relocate from South Africa to Australia. I was a police officer in the South African Police and currently an Real estate agent. My daughter is a Teacher who specialise in cognitive teaching and my son is a Mechanical engineer. My wife and I are also professional singers and I am a musician as well. We are a performing duo. I would e.g.love to become part of the Australian Police ( dance ) band.

Replies to this comment

July 23, 2018, 2:55 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Hi Frans Thanks for your comment on the blog, I'm pleased that you enjoyed it. Your type of query can best be responded to if you email me directly on myer@justimmagine.com. Details such as your ages, qualifications would be useful when you do respond.
Reply to this comment
July 21, 2018, 5:24 a.m. by Daniel Essiaw

Thank you so much for this email, this is great news. i am a family man and wanted to relocate with my family to Australia. May i please know it goes. Thanks.

Reply to this comment
July 21, 2018, 5:24 a.m. by Daniel Essiaw

Thank you so much for this email, this is great news. i am a family man and wanted to relocate with my family to Australia. May i please know it goes. Thanks.

Reply to this comment
July 21, 2018, 5:24 a.m. by Daniel Essiaw

Thank you so much for this email, this is great news. i am a family man and wanted to relocate with my family to Australia. May i please know it goes. Thanks.

Replies to this comment

July 23, 2018, 2:57 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Hi Daniel There are different pathways under which one can migrate to Australia, much depends upon your age, qualifications, occupation and similar information for your spouse or partner if you have one. It's probably best if you email me directly on myer@justimmagine.com
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July 22, 2018, 10:12 a.m. by Nagarajan

Awesome information that read through, how about the visa 489 it helps that convert to PR in the region for me and family. If there is any update from the latest.
Pls share it. Thanks

Replies to this comment

July 23, 2018, 3 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Hi Many thanks for the positive comments, I'm pleased you enjoyed the blog. The 489 visa is a stepping stone to permanent residence. Once you satisfy the conditions of the 489 visa by living in regional Australia for a period of two years and working for one of those two years you can then apply for permanent residence under the subclass 887 visa. The main benefit of the 489 visa is that it does give you a defined pathway to permanent residence and does provide both you and your spouse or partner with full work rights which is what most employers and recruiters in Australia seem to want before they will consider you for employment. The conditions that have to be satisfied on the 489 visa in order to apply for permanent residence under the 887 visa are relatively easy to satisfy and bear in mind that you don't have to work in the nominated occupation in order to satisfy the conditions of the 489 visa.
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July 25, 2018, 8:20 p.m. by B J THEKISO

I NEED ASSISTANCE WITH VISAS ISSUES TO RELOCATE TO AUSTRALIA
PLEASE HELP

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