Skilled workers are in such short supply the federal government is offering qualified migrants permanent residency.
A total of 17 occupations have been identified on the federal government’s priority migration skilled occupation list to help Australia recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Immigration authorities will prioritise workers in the healthcare, construction and information technology industries.
The list includes nurses, doctors, midwives, psychiatrists, software engineers, computer programmers and mechanical engineers.
The skilled migration program is offering 79,600 places for 2020-2021.
The scheme falls under the 189 Skilled Independent Visa and allows workers to apply for permanent residency after three years.
Applicants must be under the age of 45 and pass a skill and language test to lodge an expression of interest for the visa.
Migration agent Ranbir Singh said it is increasingly unlikely many immigrants will get into Australia under this visa due to the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Only 6500 spots were allocated to this visa stream in 2020-21. But we hope things will get better after the situation with the coronavirus is controlled,’ he told SBS News.
‘The visa authorities are currently focusing on applicants that are mainly working in the critical skills sector, notably in the health care sector.’
The skilled stream is considered the most desirable way to gain immigration to Australia.
But a spike in Australia’s national unemployment rate due to COVID-19 has prompted authorities to urge jobless Australians to upskill themselves to fill existing shortages.
Alternative pathways to migration involve gaining sponsorship from an employer or government authorities.
The nominated visa, or the subclass 190 visa, offers permanent residency for skilled workers who have been nominated by state government authorities to live in Australia.
They must undergo the same skills test and lodge an expression of interest to be considered.
The skilled work regional visa, known as the subclass 491 visa, offers a short term stay for migrants willing to work in regional Australia.
They must remain in the area for up to five years, but may apply for permanent residency after three years if they have met the income requirements.
Migrants can also gain permanent residency through the 186, 482 and 494 visas which require sponsorship through an employer.
The federal government also offers highly talented specialists a chance to gain permanent residency through the Global Talent Independent Program.
The program targets specialists across seven industries: ag-tech, med-tech, space, fin-tech, energy and mining technology, cybersecurity, and data science.
The scheme is the fastest way to gain permanent residency in Australia.
But migrants applying through this program must show the area capable of earning a salary above the income threshold of $153,600 each year.
They must also have their application supported by an Australian specialist working in their field.