Permanent residency becoming more competitive

Migrants need a long-term well-considered strategy if they want to have a realistic chance of obtaining permanent migration to Australia. Rising costs, tougher rules, a stricter enforcement regime and a tight job market could easily derail poorly considered migration plans. With the government preferring temporary visas and forcing tough competition in the capped permanent visa program, engaging professional migration advisers must surely become an part of astute applicants plans.

Statistics indicate that government policy now prefers temporary immigration over permanent migration according to a recent academic article by Professor Jock Collins on He points out that Australia is steadily shifting away from being a country that wanted immigrants and their families and subsequent generations to stay and become part of nation building to a country that prefers temporary migrants.

The OECD’s latest report on global migration indicates that trends in Australian immigration in the past two decades strongly suggest that Australia can no longer be regarded as a settler immigration nation. 2012-13 immigration data shows that 190,000 arrived under the permanent immigration program (or 192,599 when Trans-Tasman migrants are included).

In the same year, 725,043 – or 766,273 including Trans-Tasman migrants – migrants arrived on temporary immigration visas. This included 258,248 on working holiday visas, 259,278 on international student visas and 126,350 on temporary work (skilled) visas.

“This shift of Australia from a settler immigration nation to a temporary migrant nation has been the biggest change in nearly seven decades of post-war immigration history,” notes Jock Collins, Professor of Social Economics, UTS Business School at University of Technology, Sydney. “Yet, remarkably, there has been virtually no debate about it other than understandable concerns about abuses of workers under the temporary 457 visa and of some working holiday makers by unscrupulous employers or agents” says Prof Collins.

With permanent migration quotas amounting to about a quarter of the temporary migrant visa grants (excluding tourists), the figures roughly translate to mean that for every 4 hopeful temporary entrants, only 1 will have a chance of getting permanent residency.

Courtesy of Migation Alliance