Australia launching a new Skills in Demand visa: Reasons and Details

In the last week, the Australian government announced their new migration strategy, aiming to revamp the country’s migration system. According to this plan, stricter rules will be imposed on international students and low-skilled workers, which will eventually reduce the net migration in the next two years.


Australia has announced a new “Skills in Demand” visa as an aid to tackle the skills gap and to aid workers’ mobility in the labour market. This new visa is going to replace the ‘Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) Visa and will offer three categorical pathways that are specifically curated to attract temporary skilled workers that are cogs to Australia’s productivity wheels.


These are the three pathways introduced under the “Skills in Demand” visa:


  • Core Skills Pathways

For those applicants whose occupations align with the new Core Skills Occupation Lists, their earnings should meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold. It will bring skilled workers that the country needs.


  • Specialist Skills Pathways

This pathway helps Australian employers quickly hire skilled specialists. To qualify, applicants must meet general employer sponsorship criteria, get a nod from an approved employer, and meet health and character rules. Customised for vital, highly skilled workers, this stream needs a minimum guaranteed annual income of AUD 135,000. This pathway is open to all jobs, except for trades workers, machinery operators, drivers, and labourers.


  • Essential Skills Pathways

This pathway, currently under development, is designed for lower-paid essential skills workers whose earnings fall under AUD 70,000.


Details to be taken into account:

  • Framing a new model for employers to cover the necessary fees for them to ease the process of hiring international workers.
  • A distinctive feature that will allow the skilled worker to change employers during the validity of their visa is that they are given a 180-day window to find another sponsor while continuing to work.
  • Valid for 4 years, this visa could be a path to permanent citizenship.
  • Chances to update the accredited sponsor pathway, making it easier for approved sponsors to access migrant workers smoothly.
  • Visa processing will be streamlined, aiming for an average service standard of 7 days for the Specialist Skills pathway and 21 days for other streams.



The introduction of the new changes will aid not only in on-boarding critical skills workers but also highlight adaptability. The government said in a statement that this initiative will help both workers and employers alike by providing them with flexibility on both sides.

The “Skills in Demand” Visa is expected to be introduced in late 2024.

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