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The Australian Government has announced a new Skills in Demand visa category as part of its Migration Strategy. This visa will replace the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) Visa and introduce a three-tiered system based on earnings and occupation. The aim is to address labor market needs and provide better opportunities for temporary skilled migrant workers.

Key points about the Skills in Demand visa:

1. Three Tiers (based on annual earnings and occupation):

  • Tier 1: Specialist Skills Pathway with no occupation list, requiring guaranteed annual earnings of at least $135,000.
  • Tier 2: Core Skills Pathway with a simplified Core Skills Occupation list (CSOL) managed by Jobs and Skills Australia, requiring guaranteed annual earnings of at least $70,000.
  • Tier 3: Essential Skills Pathway for occupations earning under $70,000, with further assessment being undertaken by the government.

2. Permanent Residency: Time spent with any approved employer will count towards permanent residence requirements. Visa holders will have access to self-nominated independent permanent pathways, in addition to employer-sponsored pathways.

3. Stay Duration: The visa will allow a 4-year stay for all streams.

4. Flexibility: Skills in Demand Visa holders will have the ability to move between sponsors within a 180-day time period to find a new sponsor.

5. Streamlined Process: The visa application process aims for a median processing time of 21 days. Streamlined labor market testing (LMT) requirements will also be introduced.

These changes aim to strengthen the regulatory framework, validate skill shortages, and provide more opportunities for skilled migrant workers in Australia.

Please note that the Skills in Demand Visa is expected to be open for applications by the end of 2024.