How to fix Australia’s broken skilled visa system

Data released by the Department of Home Affairs under freedom of information laws shows that 16,467 applications for regional skilled worker visas were awaiting processing in March 2022. The visa backlog coincides with a rise in the number of job vacancies in Australia to a record 423,000. Immigration Minister Andrew Giles says the federal government


Australia tanks entry requirements for international student visas

Last month, The AFR reported that Australia was being inundated with fraudulent student visa applications from India and Nepal. Former regulator for the vocational training sector, Claire Field, said the lifting of restrictions on work hours was acting as a lure for non-genuine students. In turn, “there are allegations of significant visa fraud in India”,


Economists mislead again on immigration’s unemployment impact

A group of economists have joined forces to argue against the notion that rebooting ‘Big Australia’ mass immigration would drive up Australia’s unemployment rate and temper wage growth: “Migration has certainly played a role in the low unemployment rate so we have a lot fewer workers coming into Australia,” [Professor Robert Breunig, director of the


Labor promises ‘Big Australia’ immigration

All the commentary coming from the new Albanese Government suggests that it is chomping at the bit to restore the ‘Big Australia’ mass immigration policy that Australians hate. The latest salvo comes from Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, who has vowed to make Australia an internationally competitive destination for skilled workers and to streamline visa application


Thank immigration collapse for 40-year low labour underutilisation

Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released labour market data for May, which revealed that Australia’s unemployment rate (3.9%) remained at its lowest level since August 1974, whereas the underemployment rate (5.7%) fell to a fresh 14-year low. Labour underutilisation (i.e. unemployment and underemployment combined), fell to its lowest level since 1982: While stimulus


Chamber of commerce demands unlimited ‘skilled’ visas

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO, Andrew McKellar, has called on the federal government to open up employer-sponsored ‘skilled’ visas to all occupations: “The current delays just aren’t good enough when so many businesses are left without staff and therefore can’t afford to stay open… To make the skilled migration system more accessible and


Australian immigration fails to launch

Recall that the Morrison Government in late November announced its intention to import at least 200,000 migrant workers into Australia by July 2022: “We are working on a figure of 200,000, it may well be more than that but we will be actively looking to bring as many people into Australia as soon as we


Why is the solution to everything more immigration?

Leigh Clifford is the latest “business heavyweight” demanding that Australia quickly ramp-up ‘skilled migration’ to solve the economy’s ills: Leigh Clifford says Australia must ramp up skilled immigration in response to the significant staff shortages crippling the economy… “Australia has always relied on significant immigration of skilled people, and we have got to open up


Labor flags immigration ramp-up

Anybody hoping for a more moderate and sustainable immigration policy under Labor will be disappointed by the latest comments by ministers. Following incessant whining from businesses about skills shortages and visa backlogs, Immigration Minister Andrew Giles told The AFR that the Coalition had devalued immigration, leading to “gridlock in our visa processing, which is holding


Give businesses skilled visas on one condition

Business groups are calling on the Albanese Government to prioritise the issuance of skilled visas, claiming a 140,000 backlog of skilled migrant workers is costing the economy 0.5% in lost GDP: Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott told The Daily Telegraph employers were struggling to source people for key skilled roles, which was


Lobby: Migration needed to build infrastructure for migrants

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) chief executive, Adrian Dwyer, has hypocritically called for a restoration of pre-COVID levels of immigration to build the infrastructure needed to sustain a bigger population (caused by immigration), alongside a stronger commitment to ‘net zero’ carbon emissions (made worse by population growth): “With a new term of parliament before it, now


AFR demands ‘Big Australia’ immigration, NOW!

During the election campaign, Fairfax questioned why both sides had been conspicuously silent about Australia’s immigration intake. Former senior Immigration Department official, Abul Rizvi, answered that if either side promised to ramp-up immigration, they would face electoral annihilation: Net migration was forecast in the budget to go from “a very large negative in 2021 to


For Indian students, work visas and residency are the prize

Late last year, Canada’s Globe & Mail reported on how hundreds of thousands of Indian students have flooded into Canada in search of permanent residency [my emphasis]: Grey Matters, which sees 7,000 to 8,000 students each month at its 56 locations in India, is one of many such centres in Chandigarh’s sprawling Sector-17 market, a


WA attaches permanent residency to student visas

Last week I reported that the Western Australian (WA) Government has implemented a $10 million incentive program that will pay kickbacks to education agents that funnel international students to the state. Upon announcing this policy, the WA Government stated that it had “consulted extensively with the international education sector over the past few months and


Will Albanese side with unions or business groups on skilled visas?

The ACTU and the Business Council of Australia have indicated they hope to use the federal government’s employment summit in September to implement a co-operative agenda that will see growth in productivity and higher wages. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says the key to achieving such a “grand bargain” is a government that is willing to


NSW and Victoria demand immigration ponzi, NOW!

The migrant scab grab is in full swing, with the premiers of our two biggest states lobbying the new Albanese federal government for a rapid increase in ‘skilled’ migration to alleviate skills shortages: NSW and Victoria will work with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to urgently address the skilled worker shortage plaguing the states… Premier Dominic


Western Australia throws millions at student visa fraudsters

Earlier this week, former regulator for the vocational training sector, Claire Field, warned of “significant visa fraud” across the international education sector. The warning came after it was revealed that Nepalese students were coming to Australia in large numbers in “response to the unlimited work rights now available to those on Australian student visas”, with


Labor better not reincarnate elderly parent visas

In 2019, the Shorten Labor Opposition launched one of the worst policies in Australia’s history, announcing an uncapped plan to allow migrants to bring two elderly parents into Australia for a continuous period of up to ten years. Tellingly, this announcement was greeted with fierce condemnation from two demographers typically at opposing ends of the


Western Sydney migrant enclaves baked under concrete

Recall that the incoming premier brief from top bureaucrats within the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet told Premier Dominic Perrottet that Australia needs an “explosive” surge of 2 million migrants to boost the economy. “Ponzi” Perrottet then proceeded to lobby the federal government for a big immigration increase. Yesterday, we also witnessed fake green


Fake green Teal demands mass immigration

Anybody hoping for sensible policies from our teal independents should be taken aback by Independent Teal for Wentworth, Allegra Spender, who penned a contradictory article in The AFR preaching environmental “sustainability” while simultaneously calling for a big increase in immigration: Government must provide a clear pathway to sustainability. My priority will be to work with


Brilliant unions push back against skilled visa influx

ACTU secretary Sally McManus says skills and immigration are among the issues that unions want to discuss at the new federal government’s employment summit. Michael Wright, the acting national secretary of the Electrical Trades Union, contends that the minimum income for temporary skilled visa holders, which has been frozen for a decade, is set far


Jim Chalmers backs up immigration dump truck

Incoming treasurer Jim Chalmers claims inflation is “almost out of control” and says the business community has “the big role” to play in the post-pandemic recovery, basically mimicking the statements of the Business Council of Australia. He says Labor will help businesses solve their skills shortages and that increasing immigration has to be “part of


Bill Shorten: Negative immigration behind Australia’s stunning jobs market

Yesterday evening, former Labor leader and shadow minister for the NDIS and government services, Bill Shorten, admitted that Australia’s stunning jobs market – the best in generations – has been driven by the collapse in immigration over the pandemic: Rafael Epstein: We do have a remarkable number today: the lowest unemployment rate since 1974… Do