Australia May Soon Focus On Regional Areas For Overseas Skilled Immigration 

Australia May Soon Focus On Regional Areas For Overseas Skilled Immigration 

Regional Australia Institute (RAI), an independent think tank for regional economies made a review submission, urging the Australian government to increase the intake of overseas skilled immigrants to regional areas, outside Sydney or Melbourne.   

The review submission on Australian immigration made to the Home Affairs Department in December wants to see more overseas migrants settling in regional and rural communities to fill nearly 96,000 job vacancies recorded in late 2022. 

Further, the think tank also recommended the government set a regional population target of 11 million by 2032, boosting overseas skilled immigration. 

Learn more about Recent Australian Immigration Trends Promising More Skilled Worker Intakes In 2023 & Beyond

2021 Census Data on Immigrants in Australia

In order to achieve the targets, the government will have to increase the rate of resettlement in outlying areas outside state cities from 20 percent to 40 percent, remarked RAI’s review submission. 

Fortunately, the 2021 census data confirms that foreign-born immigrants are open to settling outside metropolitan areas in Australia. 70 percent of Australian and overseas-born resident populations between the 2016 and 2021 Census periods were in regional areas (254 local government areas) outside the capital cities.

To have more migrants living in regional Australia, we need to provide further awareness about job opportunities, including job support services, and ensure we have communities with enough housing and critical soft and hard infrastructure,” said Liz Ritchie. 

Read more on Which Is Better: Canada vs Australia Immigration Points System for Foreign Skilled Workers?

Business Groups Demand To Increase Immigration Levels

Additionally, the Business Council of Australia (BCA) is calling on the government to set immigration quotas based on population. It is urging the government to facilitate easier access to permanent residency for temporary visa holders.

BCA notes the number of immigrants introduced by Canada in the next three years is a little more than one percent of the population, while Australia’s current annual immigration quota of 195,000 only accounts for about 0.75 percent of the population.

The BCA also recommended that the government raise the immigration quota from 195,000 to 220,000 over the next two financial years and allocate 70 percent of places to foreign skilled migrants.

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