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What will migration look like in Australia post COVID-19?

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Nearly a million people have been left out of work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.

The Government is facing increasing pressure to reduce Australia’s migration intake to allow Australian citizens and permanent residents regain their place in the workforce.

The Labor party has called for a rethink of Australia’s migration system.

In January prior to the outbreak of the pandemic Australia had the second largest number of temporary workers in the OECD sitting at around two and half million.

So what really is a temporary migrant? 

Put simply it is someone who has the right to work on their visa but does not have the right to stay indefinitely in Australia. They can enter Australia on a range of different visas. For example, a tourist who can stay for 3 to 12 months right, through to a skilled worker who can stay for up to four years.

The majority of the nearly of the two and a half million are New Zealand citizens, tourists and international students.

As the economy starts to open up again, senior figures in the Labor party are calling for a rethink of Australia’s migration system.

Who comes to Australia has long been a political hot potato. In fact we saw it before last years federal election when Prime Minister Scott Morrison capped the number of permanent migrants at 160,000 per year, but left temporary migration uncapped. The argument being that temporary migrants help to fill skill shortages in the economy and trying to plug gaps in major projects.

An interesting example can be found in the area of cyber security. Current figures indicate Australia will need 18,000 more cyber security workers by 2026, but the current number of cyber security graduates in Australia is just 500 per year. The only way to fill this void will be through migration.

It is not only in highly specialised areas. Areas such as aged care, farm work etc can often only fill their positions through migrant workers.

Migration is so important to Australia’s economy that if you took migrants out of the picture, Australia would’ve been in recession last year.

After coal, iron ore and natural gas, education is our fourth biggest export. International students play a huge part in our economy. The taxes they pay help offset such things as healthcare, education and welfare.

Temporary migrants have a net benefit to Australia. Whilst we might think there is no room for Migrants in Australia we need to acknowledge that for every retiree there are only about 5 working Australians and by the middle of the century it is predicted there will only be about 2.5 for each retiree.

Will COVID-19 put the brakes on Australia one of the fasting growing countries in the OECD. Whilst predictions indicate migration will fall by around 80 per cent next year, we still dot know when borders will open and what Australia’s migration programme will look like.

Do you have questions regarding migration and COVID-19?

At FC Lawyers we are happy to answer your questions and discuss your Migration needs during COVID-19.

Contact our team today to discuss your migration options. 

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