Northern Territory and Victoria will lower the requirements for language, skills, and work experience for foreign workers. This is as per the new regional migration agreements. These workers would also be able to apply for Australian PR further down the line.
However, migrant workers who come to Australia under the regional migration agreement would need to stay in the regional areas for at least 3 years. Only then would they become eligible to apply for an Australian PR.
David Coleman, Immigration Minister, said that the govt. was improving the program. This is being done to meet the specific needs of the regions. The govt. is looking at ways to close the employment gap in the regional areas, as per ABC News.
At present, the Australian PR pathway through a work visa is only available to foreign workers in skilled occupations.
The new system called DAMAs (Designated Area Migration Arrangements) lowers the criteria. This opens up a pathway for migrants with lower skills to apply for Australian PR.
Typically, work visas were issued to foreign workers who demonstrated competent English. Their offer of employment also had an annual salary of $53,900. But now, the DAMA would offer job options to semi-skilled foreign workers. They would also be able to, later on, apply for an Australian PR.
Employers in Northern Territory struggle to attract and hold on to skilled workers. This is mainly due to its remote location and extreme climate.
The new DAMA of Northern Territory would include almost 117 occupations. This would be combined with the lesser requirement of English skills and lower salary. It would also contain the offer of PR.
Selena Uibo, Minister of Workplace Training NT, says that residents would benefit when more people would move to NT. More people meant more jobs, a better economy, and more revenue. This would result in better roads, schools, and hospitals.
A separate DAMA would also be signed for the Warrnambool region. This would provide foreign workers for the dairy, meat processing, and agricultural sectors.
The Australian Govt. is discussing the possibility of a five-year residency requirement for a regional visa. However, until the new DAMAs are signed, it is unclear what conditions the migrant workers would need to fulfill. It is not clear how long or under what conditions the migrant workers would need to stay in the regional areas.
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