Not too long ago we updated you about Australia potentially moving all visas to temporary and making them a “Pathway to Permanent Residency” rather than granting instant Permanent Residency itself.
This month, the Department of Home Affairs appears to be piloting a new scheme known as the Designation Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) which kick-started January 8th 2019 in Northern Territory and regional Victoria. This may be a telling sign that the Government are keen to explore visas that initially are temporary.
What Does This Mean?
Currently, Australia has three residence categories. The most common are “Temporary” visas and “Permanent” visas/work permits. The third one is a temporary visa that acts as a pathway to Permanent Residence.
Of course, the best outcome for anyone is getting an instant Permanent Resident visa that allows them to live and work in Australia indefinitely. But we feel Australia is taking steps to move a lot of their “Instant” Permanent Resident work permits over to a “Pathway to PR instead”, thus granting them on a temporary basis initially.
What is DAMA?
The Designation Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) aim to get 117 occupation shortages filled within Regional Australia. Popular occupations amongst this list are Trade occupations, Accountants, Customer Service Managers, IT and Engineering occupations.
Employers and potentially States in regional Australia will be able to sponsor applicants for a temporary visa if they are unable to fill these occupations with the current labour market. But that already exists under the Skilled Sponsored 190 visa which currently grants instant Permanent Residence.
Popular Permanent Visas That Could Be Under Review:
Instant Permanent Resident Visas such as the Skilled Independent Visa [Subclass 189] and the Skilled Sponsored Visa [Subclass 190] could be under review in the near future.
It’s not always feasible for a Government to grant instant permanent residence and many Governments appear to be moving away from this idea. It is more beneficial to grant a temporary work visa status and see how you contribute to their labour market and economy before granting a permanent work permit status.
Of course, we can see why this may be a benefit to the Government but is it a benefit to you as the applicant?
Permanent visas give you and your family a lot more stability and allow you to live and work in Australia indefinitely. They are also granted for 5 years and allow you to relocate any time within this timeframe. They give you access to free health care, education and after some time, benefits such as unemployment and housing.
Temporary visas do not come with such luxury.
Whilst its a luxury to obtain even a temporary visa status to live and work abroad, however, there is no reason for anyone who is currently eligible for a Permanent Visa, instantly to miss out on this opportunity.
To know more about the DAMA Scheme and to find out whether your chances of instant Permanent Residence status may be affected in the near future, please call us today. Failing that, you could wait for the impending change and see if you’re still lucky enough to qualify for the temporary work permit categories in future?