While thousands struggle to meet the requirements for Australian permanent residency, some in-demand trade occupations are seeing very low, or even no applications at all.
Australia is among the most sought-after immigration destinations across the world with tens of thousands of people trying their luck to migrate down under every year as skilled migrants. While many skills are experiencing long queues of visa applicants, there are some that have found absolutely no takers at all.
Of the 190,000 permanent visas that Australia plans to issue every year, nearly 70 per cent is reserved for skilled migrants.
Under the skilled stream migration, prospective migrants are required to nominate an occupation from the relevant occupation list depending upon the kind of visa they apply for. For the skilled independent visa (subclass 189) – a permanent visa allowing indefinite stay and giving the freedom to live and work anywhere in Australia – all applicants file an expression of interest; and based on their points test score, the Department of Home Affairs then issues them an invite to apply for a visa.
This permanent visa has nearly 44,000 places reserved in Australia’s annual immigration planning.
Some occupations such as accountants and IT professionals are so popular that due to a high volume of applications, the Department has introduced pro-rata arrangements, whereas, in some other occupations, no invites were issued during the last financial year.
Out of the total 73 occupations that are subject to a ceiling, at least six were such that did not have a single invite issued in 2017-18.
Wall and floor tilers, automotive electricians, electrical distribution trade workers, boat builders and shipwrights, precision metal trade workers and livestock farmers together account for 9,603 visa places.
Sheet metal trade workers, cabinet makers, glaziers, panel beaters and barristers and some health diagnostic and promotion professionals – together accounting for over 5,300 visa places – saw just one applicant receiving an invite for each of the six occupations.
Precision metal workers are in demand in Australia but no invites were issued for this occupation in 2017-18.
Chaman Preet a local migration consultant in Melbourne says most visa applicants with trades occupations prefer to take other routes to Australian permanent residency.
“In order for subclass 189 visa applicants to succeed, they require relatively higher levels of English proficiency, work experience and educational qualifications. In most cases, applicants with these occupations would prefer a sponsored visa that would get them additional points to meet the minimum requirements,” she told SBS Punjabi.
Most of Ms Preet’s clients are from India – a country that’s currently the biggest source of permanent migrants and Australian citizens.
While it can be an express route to permanent residency for applicants with the necessary skills, experience and English proficiency, Ms Preet says some occupations are more popular than others among Indian migrants.
“The choice of occupations depends on the ease of doing the course and then the ability of the students to find an employer because most of them would look to gain post-study work experience and then employer sponsorships to make up for any gap in the points requirement,” Ms Preet said.