Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold of Australia
From the announcement of Australia’s migration program to the increase in skilled migration numbers at the Jobs and Skills Summit, a lot is happening in the migration industry. Plus, occupation lists have also been a significant part of recent discussions.
Furthermore, another popular topic of discussion is the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold, also known as TSMIT, which currently stands at $53900 annually. What’s important to note here is that nearly 80% of Australia’s full-time workers now earn more than the current TSMIT, which has not been changed since 2013. Therefore, people believe that this needs to be increased. It seems that the Australian Chamber of Commerce wants the TSMIT to be raised to $60000, while the ACTU, also known as the Australian Council of Trade Unions, suggests that it should be increased to $90000.
What Is The Optimal Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold?
According to the Grattan Institute, the threshold needs to be increased to $70000 since that’s where it would have been if it had been adjusted over the last 10 years. Moreover, the Institute regards a threshold of $60000 as too low because it does not align with the main purpose of the Temporary Skilled Program, which is to attract skilled migrants. A lot of low-wage workers entered Australia during the freeze in the TSMIT. Plus, a low threshold can also result in the exploitation of migrant workers earning lower wages since research shows that individuals who started working for less than $70000 after coming to Australia do not necessarily get pay increments in the future.
Moreover, the Grattan Institute considers a threshold of $90000 as too high because temporary skilled visa holders are mostly young, inexperienced individuals still in the early stages of their careers. It should be noted that the median full-time wage for workers in Australia between the ages of 25 and 34 is $72774 annually. On the other hand, individuals who are 40 years old and sufficiently experienced in their field have an average annual earning of $90000 as full-time workers. Fixing the TSMIT at $90000 could initially exclude younger skilled migrant workers who start working at wages that are below average. However, this could help them earn higher wages in the future, considering that they play a significant role in Australia’s permanent migration program.
Effects Of A High Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold
Moreover, a high threshold can also have other consequences. For instance, it could exclude a massive number of skilled workers currently required by the Australian labor markets. High thresholds can adversely affect half of all healthcare workers holding Temporary Skill Shortage visas, one-third of education workers, and nearly 60% of those individuals who recently acquired TSS visas. Plus, it could affect almost 89% of nurses employed in Australia on temporary sponsorship. In contrast, if the threshold is fixed at $70000, it would only exclude 35% of all TSS visa holders along with 20% of sponsored workers in the healthcare sector.
In addition to this, the Grattan Institute considers a threshold of $70000 as optimal because of the following reasons;
For starters, it would optimize the temporary skill migration program and ensure that it is only
accessible for skilled workers.
It can reduce the risk of exploitation as businesses would not be able to hire vulnerable migrants who do not have much bargaining power.
Moreover, it could prove helpful in attracting younger skilled migrants to Australia on temporary sponsorship visas who have the potential to turn into permanent migrants earning high wages in the future.
Most importantly, Australian authorities can easily make sponsorship rules and regulations for employers and migrants more convenient by allowing only high-wage workers to acquire sponsorship.
Every opinion and argument concerning the TSMIT holds importance, but you also need to understand its relevance.
The TSMIT needs to be compared with the market salary of an Australian in the same job role, in the same locality, and with the same work experience. It is safe to say that the TSMIT could become irrelevant in some cases.
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