Australia is Relaxing Visa Rules to Ease Unprecedented Labour Shortage.

Australia has the second most severe labour and skills shortage in the world, second only to Canada, according to the OECD.

Data released in July by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that there were as many job vacancies as unemployed people in the country.

In a bid to correct this, and help ease the labour shortage, Australia has increased the quotas for several skilled visa categories.

In its 2022-23 Migration Program planning levels, announced in August, the Australian government increased quotas for a number of skilled visa types – announcing that it plans to issue 109,900 skilled Australian visas this financial year. State Nominated visas, in particular, are proving to be a high priority.

Visa category 2021-22 quota 2022-23 quota
Employer Nominated (subclass 186) 22, 000 30, 000 (+36%)
Skilled Independent (subclass 189) 6, 500 16, 652 (+156%)
Skilled Nominated Visa State/Territory
(subclass 190)
11,200 20, 000 (+79%)
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa
(subclass 491)
11,200 25, 000 (+123%)

The most coveted among these, the points-based Skilled Independent visa lets the holder live and work in any part of Australia.

The State Nominated (subclass 190) visa means you get Australian permanent residency from the moment you land in the country. You will need to live and work in the state that nominated you for at least two years. Thereafter, you can move to wherever you like.

The Regional State Nominated (subclass 491) is a temporary visa with a clear pathway to permanent residency and with some benefits that other temporary Australian visas don’t offer, like full access to Medicare.

You will need to live and work in the particular region that nominated you for three years and earn a taxable income over AUD 53,000 for each of those years to be eligible for permanent residency.

To be eligible for a skilled visa, you must

  • be under the age of 45
  • nominate an occupation on the appropriate skills list
  • do a skills assessment
  • meet the English language criteria
  • be of good health and good character
  • meet the legislated points score (which are awarded for factors such as age, experience and education).

Document checklist

  • English language test results
  • Skills assessment documents
  • Education qualifications
  • Employment experiences and references
  • Sponsorship documents (if needed for your visa type)
  • Tax documents, payslips, etc.
  • Identity documents and passport photos of you, your partner and your dependants
  • Personal documents of you, your partner and your dependants, such as unabridged birth certificatesopies of , marriage certificates, divorce certificates or death certificates
  • Character documents such as police clearance certificates from every country, including your home country, where you spent a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since you turned 16.