With a federal election looming, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader, Anthony Albanese have hit the campaign trail. As is always the case, immigration is a hot election topic and will be of interest to many business owners who may be considering employing overseas workers. So, what do each of the parties have in mind when it comes to immigration?
As the current serving government, the Liberal Party’s immigration policies are not likely to change dramatically. The recent budget reveal likely paved the way for immigration should Liberal be re-elected.
The following policies were outlined in the federal budget:
- The Morrison government’s migration program will focus on skilled migration. There will be an increase in the number of places available across the skilled stream.
- Under the family visa stream, partner visa processing will move to a demand driven model to provide flexibility to meet demand in any given program year.
- There will be a one-off cap increase in the number of places available to working holiday makers from countries which have a work and holiday visa (subclass 462) arrangement with Australia.
- The current ceiling of 13,750 places in the Humanitarian program will be maintained to continue to support global humanitarian needs.
As part of his federal election campaign, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made a pledge to create 1.3 million jobs. While the past has shown the Liberal party can achieve this target, many believe once these jobs are created, migrants will be relied upon to fill these positions. The international border closure of the last two years saw net overseas migration fall into negative figures so experts believe that in order to for the government to be able to fill these 1.3 million jobs, the skilled migration cap will need to be lifted. Mr Morrison is adamant that the skilled migration cap will remain at 160,000.
Labor is yet to reveal all their plans but opposition leader, Anthony Albanese has vowed to make immigration a key component of his election policy agenda. Labor sees the re-opening of Australia’s international borders as a golden opportunity to overhaul Australia’s migration system.
Labor has declared that foreign workers will be offered permanent residency in Australia should they win the election. Opposition leader, Anthony Albanese believes offering permanent residency will attract more foreign workers to Australia. Favouring permanent migration over temporary migration, Labor wants to overhaul the system but are yet to provide details on how they will do that. However, experts predict it won’t be cheap, quick, or easy.
Labor also announced their commitment to ensure there are nurses in all aged care facilities at all times from July 2024. While this sounds great, they have been questioned as to how they plan to increase nursing staff in this sector given there is already a workforce shortage when it comes to nursing. Mr Albanese confirmed they would prioritise employing Australian workers but would bring in foreign workers if necessary. Yet, other members of his party including the shadow health minister have denied that overseas workers will be called upon to fill shortages in this sector. So, will they employ from overseas, or won’t they?
Reports also suggest that Labor hasn’t backed the current agriculture visa, prompting fears that a Labor Government if elected could ruin Australia’s agriculture industry.
With another month of campaigning ahead, it will be interesting to see if policies change in the case of the Liberal Party or if the Labor Party provides clarity on their immigration policies.
No matter the outcome of the 2022 Federal Election, Visa Solutions Australia is ready to help you and your business with your immigration needs. Contact the Visa Solutions team on 1800 828 008 or send us an email.