Migration - Pathway to Nation Building
The Law Council is grateful to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration (Committee) for the opportunity to make a submission to its inquiry into the role of permanent migration in nation building (Inquiry).
In this submission, the Law Council has focussed on measures to better attract and retain migrant workers and enhance their pathways to permanent residency within the Skilled Migration Program—particularly the employer sponsored visa program.1
The Law Council considers that all employer sponsored visas should provide a certain pathway to permanent residence to attract and retain migrants with appropriate skills, experience and training, and to avoid the increased risk of exploitation that arises for a migrant worker who is ‘permanently temporary’.
The Law Council recommends pathways to permanent residence for employer sponsored visas be enhanced by:
- abolishing types of temporary skilled visas which explicitly deprive a migrant worker of a pathway to permanent residence;
- increasing the flexibility of migrant workers on temporary skilled visas to change employers and remain on a permanent residency pathway (which also mitigates exploitation risks); and
- easing some formal visa requirements, which impede temporary skilled visa holders progressing on a pathway to permanent residence, such as employment history, age and English-language requirements.
1 As discussed at , in this submission the term ‘employer sponsored visa programme’ should be read as reference to the Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa, Temporary – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494 visa) and Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa.