In a major blow to Indians seeking jobs outside the country, the Australian government has significantly changed the migration planning programme for 2020-21. COVID-19 pandemic has played centrally in this policy tweak by Australia that has forced the business to shut resulting in huge job loss in the country. The country now plans to prefer native Australians over foreigners for local jobs to boost demand in the local economy.

'Preference to professionals in IT and healthcare'

The program gives preference to particular professions, such as IT and healthcare. Just 79,600 placements under the skill stream have been allocated this year, a decrease from 1,08,682 placements allocated in 2019-20. Qualified independent visas have been reduced to 6,500, a dramatic fall of 65 percent from previous years, enabling outsiders to settle and work anywhere in the country. Employer-sponsored visas are expected to decline to 22,000 places by approximately 27 percent.

Australian FlagCredit:Twitter

As per a report in the Times of India, the Australian Migration Program's emphasis remains consistent with its preparation for 2019/2020. However, owing to the pandemic and Australia's post-COVID-19 recovery strategy, the new fiscal year will see a significant decrease in migration figures. Employer-sponsored visas, global talent visas, and business growth and investment visas will be given priority.

"The focus for the permanent migration programme 2020-21 is to support our economic recovery, growing Australian businesses and creating jobs for Australians," said the Australian department of home affairs. The 'global talent' bracket and the 'Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)' are the fields that are seeing an increase.

Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison Australian PMCredit: Reuters

The first enables only professionals in their field to fill holes that Australians cannot fill, while the second can be used for job creation. The professional visas will be targeted at innovators, investors, and job creators-those who will expand Australian companies, build Australian employment, and supercharge the economic recovery. Nearly seven lakh individuals make up the Indian community in Australia. One of the top sources of professional immigrants to Australia is India. Approximately, 90,000 overseas students study at universities in Australia.