Migration agents love Albo’s visa rorts


The Albanese government has talked a big game on reforming Australia’s ‘skilled’ visa system, but ultimately achieved worse outcomes.

Since Labor was elected in May 2022, Australia’s net overseas migration (NOM) has surged to an estimated 500,000, blowing the May federal budget’s already lofty projections out of the water:

Historical NOM

The Albanese government has also lifted temporary migration (excluding visitors) to an all-time high 2.3 million, which is around 400,000 higher than the pre-pandemic peak:

Temporary visas on issue

This boom in temporary visas has been led by students, whose numbers have swelled to a record high 664,000, up around 110,000 from the pre-pandemic peak:

Temporary student visas

Poor nations like India and Nepal, whose student visa holders are more interested in working and living in Australia than gaining an education, have driven this boom.

The median full-time wage in Australia is currently around $85,000. Yet the Albanese Government has set the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) at just $70,000 and has not even bothered to index it to salary increases or inflation.

Labor’s $70,000 TSMIT is, therefore, $15,000 less than Australia’s median full-time wage, which itself is weighed down by unskilled workers.


Accordingly, Labor’s $70,000 TSMIT will continue to promote low-wage ‘skilled’ visa holders to enter Australia.

To make matters worse, Labor has established a new ‘skilled’ visa rort through its aged care visas.

As a first step towards permanent residency, these visas will allow migrants to complete a six-week course in aged care with minimal English language proficiency.


Workers who have been in a position for only two years can then be nominated for residency by their employer under the aged care industry labour agreement.

After completing their qualification, they will be eligible for expedited visa nomination and priority visa application processing, and they will not be required to have any job experience.

Candidates will only require a certificate III vocational course or above to be eligible for a visa.


English language requirements for the aged care visa have also been dropped to 5.0. A score of 5.5 is considered the absolute minimum for enrollment in a vocational institution, with universities demanding a score of 6.5 or higher.

Migrants working in aged care facilities where relevant community languages are spoken will be accepted with even less English language proficiency.

Worse, in order to be eligible for employer nomination for residency, visa applicants must earn only $51,222 per year, which is around $24,000 less than the median full-time pay.


Migration agents are now chomping at the bit to import low-paid workers into Australia with the added bonus of easy permanent residency.

Check out the below video from a celebrity TikTok immigration lawyer, who cannot contain her excitement at the lax visa rules:


The next time someone mentions “skilled migration”, show them this video and ask them to point out the “skilled” part.

Labor has regularly stated that it wants to give temporary migrants a pathway to permanency.

The Albanese government has also signed generous migration pacts with India and China to facilitate further immigration flows to Australia.


Labor has literally opened the immigration floodgates, and in the process has locked in permanent housing, infrastructure, and water shortages, alongside a degraded environment and living standards.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.