Australia’s skilled visa system temporarily suspended

COVID-19 continues to put a knife through Australia’s immigration system, with the the skilled visa system to remain temporarily suspended until further notice:

Department of Home Affairs has advised the states and territories to put their programs on hold until further notice…

“The government is closely monitoring migration and visa settings to ensure they are consistent with public health measures, are flexible and do not displace job opportunities for Australians so that Australia can deal with the immediate and post-recovery impacts of COVID-19,” said the spokesperson.

The Department further stated that the ongoing impacts of the pandemic worldwide, both medically, socially and economically, will have a “significant influence on the shape of Australia’s Migration Program going forward.”

“The Australian Government is considering how best to shape the Migration Program into the future to drive economic growth and support job creation”…

“Skilled migration has not stopped, it has been temporarily suspended”

Explaining the reason behind the delay, Adelaide-based migration agent Mark Glazbrook said skilled migration will remain suspended until the federal government decides on the size and composition of the Migration Program which is set each year through the Budget process.

“But as the budget will now be delivered in October instead of May due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been no formal announcement about the 2020-2021 Migration Program year and as a result of that states and territories haven’t been advised about what their individual quotas are,” he said.

This is obviously a sensible move on a number of fronts.

First, not having foreign nationals arrive will lessen the potential spread of COVID-19 across Australia, given the quarantine failures experienced to date.

Second, with the Australian economy facing its biggest decline since the Great depression, and labour underutilisation surging, allowing foreign workers to compete against locals for scarce jobs would only worsen the unemployment queues and further depress wages, smashing Australia’s working class.

Given the widespread rorting of Australia’s ‘skilled’ visa system, as evidenced by skilled migrants earning less than the general population and suffering higher unemployment:

Integrity should be restored to Australia’s visa system by requiring all skilled migrants (both temporary and permanent) to be employer-sponsored given their far better employment outcomes – see below charts:

Skilled migrants should also be required to be paid at least at the 75th percentile of earnings (preferably higher), as shown below:

Reforms along these lines would ensure that Australia’s skilled visa system is used sparingly to import only the ‘best of the best’, not as a general labour market tool to undercut local workers.

Leith van Onselen


  1. Charles MartinMEMBER

    The gov’t can use this as an opportunity to rename the visa system. Remove the word skilled and replace with ponzi.
    Is this a ruse like the international student article?

  2. Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

    Millions of negatively geared landlords cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced

    • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

      Suggest that this can be opened sooner if overseas students only be landed when they have signed a lease on a negative geared property. And 14 days quarantine conducted at their landlords home residence, with 14 days extra quarantine for the landlord after. If the property is positive geared, then they can just move straight in. This should help reduce the budget deficit from the surprise massive negative gearing losses about to be claimed in July.

    • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

      Do the Vice Chancellors bonus get reduced this year then? e.g. UQ VC whose bonus iincludes 200k for importing chinese students. (and expelling any student who make any jokes about the Chinese Govt policy)

  3. Excellent news. How any sane person could argue for importing people in a time of plague and unemployment is beyond me, so I’m really looking forward to the spin that will eventually be applied to bringing immigrants in again. It’s gonna have to be world class bull1t without at doubt.

  4. BubbleyMEMBER

    Australia – where skilled labour is night shift in a 7 Eleven and driving an Uber.

  5. Have they halted long term visitor visas? The kind all the Indian elderly come in under to ‘visit the grandkids’ but seem to stay in the long term – defrauding Medicare and clogging up our hospitals and footpaths?

  6. SchillersMEMBER

    This: ” The government is closely monitoring migration and visa settings to ensure they … do not displace job opportunities for Australians” is completely inconsistent and contradictory with…


    Both are from the same Department of Home Affairs latest ‘update’, released today…

    The minister for smoke and mirrors, yet again has his hands all over another “announce-able”.