The Labour Market Branch of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has the job of developing the policies that support skilled migration to Australia. The branch works on policy for many different forms of skilled migration – temporary, permanent, sponsored and independent.
The Migration Blog is a platform for sharing information about skilled migration. Our policies for the blog can be found at the bottom of this page. The main goal of the blog is to spread factual information and provide a context for the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of skilled migration.
Key skilled migration programs include:
The 457 program
This program allows skilled overseas workers to be sponsored by Australian businesses and organisations for a period of up to four years.
It’s called 457 after the visa subclass number. At last count, there were about 18 500 sponsors and approximately 70 000 primary visa holders (many of whom have also brought family members to Australia).
ENS is a bit like the 457 program except skilled workers become permanent residents. Employers still need to sponsor overseas workers. ENS is a growing program as the migration program becomes more focused on meeting the labour market demand for skilled workers.
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
RSMS also allows employers to sponsor permanent skilled migrants specifically for regional and low growth areas of Australia.
In the 2011-12 Budget, RSMS places were increased by 60 per cent to 16 000.
A range of visas (Independent, State Sponsored, Regional Sponsored) are available under this program. GSM is for skilled migrants who want to live and work in Australia and do not have an employer sponsoring them. It is a program designed to attract the best and brightest to Australia in an effort to build and meet our medium to long-term skills needs.
Labour Agreements (LAs)
Labour Agreements are a contract that allows employers to bring a specified number of skilled workers to Australia who are not on approved occupation lists for the other skilled migration programs. This can occur where genuine skills shortages exist.
We encourage readers to engage through comments on each blog posts. This is the main method of contacting staff who use and write blog posts. The Blog is not the appropriate contact point for individual visa enquiries or specific case questions.
If you are enquiring about an individual visa case, or any other departmental matter, you can see the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s contact us page at http://www.immi.gov.au/contacts/
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