To qualify for the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) in Australia, concessions to the new minimum annual salary of A$70,000 must be 10 percent or lower.
For an annual salary of A$70,000, the concessions allowed through a labor agreement will remain at a maximum of A$7,000, maintaining the same percentage.
The TSMIT sets the minimum annual salary that an Australian employer must pay a worker to be eligible for a Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) or a Temporary Skill Shortage visa.
These highly coveted visas provide migrants with the opportunity to live and work in Australia and can serve as a pathway to permanent residency.
During the Migration Industry Alliance Regional Migration Conference held last month, it was also confirmed that the changes to the TSMIT would apply to applications submitted on or after July 1, 2023.
The discussion did not address visa programs aimed at addressing skills shortages in regional and remote areas, such as the Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA).
The previously announced Aged Care Labour Agreement provides workers with a direct pathway to permanent residency over a two-year period, negotiated between unions and employers.
While the average hourly wage for aged care workers in Australia is A$33, some estimates suggest that the average annual salary exceeds A$65,000.
According to a Labour Market Update report from Jobs and Skills Australia, there are nearly 9,000 unfilled positions for registered nurses and over 6,000 vacancies for software programmers in the country.
Currently, the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) is set at A$53,500 per year. However, the proposed increase in this threshold will create challenges for businesses sponsoring employees, as the concession rate won’t sufficiently cover the required salary increase.
Although regional areas continue to face the highest job vacancy rates, employers in capital cities find it relatively easier to fill positions compared to other areas. This trend can be attributed to people returning to major cities after the relaxation of lockdowns and border restrictions.
In capital cities, the recruitment difficulty reached its peak at 75 percent in August 2022 but has since decreased to 63 percent as of December 2022. Regional areas encountered similar challenges in filling vacancies throughout 2022.