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Australia unveils 10-year immigration strategy

The Australian government says it will split the migration intake within two years to revise the nation's "broken" immigration system.

The Australian government says it will split the migration intake within two years to revise the nation’s “broken” immigration system.

Australia has introduced a comprehensive 10-year immigration strategy aiming to manage migration levels and address existing challenges. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil presented this ambitious plan at a media briefing, highlighting the need for significant reforms in the country’s immigration system.

Pivotal Changes in Immigration Targets

The strategy sets a clear objective: reduce the annual migration intake by approximately 50% by June 2025, aligning it more closely with pre-pandemic levels. 

This strategic adjustment intends to alleviate pressure on housing and infrastructure while managing the influx of skilled workers more effectively.

Challenges in Migration Management

Record levels of migration have strained Australia’s infrastructure and housing. Despite this, there’s a persistent shortage of skilled workers, making it challenging for the country to attract and retain talent.

Acknowledging Systemic Issues

A recent review labeled Australia’s immigration system as “badly broken,” highlighting unnecessary complexity, sluggish processes, and inefficiency. Minister O’Neil emphasized the urgent need for major reform, describing the previous state of the system as “in tatters.”

Specific Measures in the Strategy

The new strategy introduces stringent measures to achieve its objectives. 

This includes imposing tougher minimum English-language requirements for international students and implementing closer scrutiny for second visa applications. The focus is on ensuring that further education aligns with academic or career progression.

Addressing the Student Visa Scenario

Official data shows approximately 650,000 foreign students in Australia, with a significant number applying for their second visa. The new measures aim to ensure that those seeking an extension can justify how their additional studies will advance their academic or career aspirations.

Balancing Act for Future Immigration

Australia faces the complex task of balancing its need for skilled labor against the strain on infrastructure and housing caused by a record-high influx of migrants. 

The 10-year strategy seeks to strike a balance, aiming to manage migration while meeting the country’s employment and infrastructure needs.

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