Flexible visa regulations 'could address skill shortages'

Date: Jun 30, 2011

Flexible visa regulations could be one way to help address chronic skill shortages in Australia, some recruitment agencies have suggested.

Simplifying the process of attracting and recruiting overseas workers - such as nurses - could be beneficial to the country's economy and solve the "severe skills shortage problem", which Drake Australia chairman Ron Urwin predicts could get worse.

"Our economy will not be able to reach its full capacity to grow if we continue to be restricted in getting overseas candidates to come here," he told The Australian.

He added that some employers find it difficult to keep up with the different visa categories, including 457 visas.

Mining workers and medical professionals were identified as two key areas where migrant workers could help to fill skills gaps.

Enterprise Migration Agreements are among the recommendations set to be implemented by the government to address skills shortages in the resources sector - these will see temporary overseas workers enter Australia on 457 visas to work on specific projects and ensure they are completed on time.

If you are an employer looking for skilled workers - or if you are a skilled worker looking for a temporary or permanent migration avenue to Australia - an immigration lawyer can be a useful port of call.

Migration lawyers can advise on a range of issues, including eligibility requirements for different kinds of visas, as well as the rules for adding a spouse, de facto partner or a dependent child to an Australian visa.

A number of specific conditions must be met when applying for a temporary or permanent skilled work visa in Australia. Some applicants for skilled migration visas are required to pass a points test, while others may need to have significant experience in a specific field on the Skilled Occupation List to qualify for an Australian visa.

A lawyer with an extensive background in migration issues can ensure you apply for the correct visa and help you through every stage of the process.

Practically speaking, it is important for sponsoring companies and visa applicants to have a realistic idea of the outcome of their application before they proceed with the process - which can be expensive and time-consuming. A skilled migration lawyer can advise you about the likely outcome of your specific case and work carefully to ensure your application is prepared as thoroughly as possible.

They can also ensure that companies looking to sponsor overseas workers comply with the regulations set out by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.