THE DEPARTMENT of Immigration and Border Protection has released a proposal paper outlining options to simplify Australia’s skilled migration visa programs, including several key recommendations put to it by AMMA on behalf of resource industry employers.

The Simplification of the skilled migration and temporary activity visa programmes – December 2014 paper is part of the federal government’s wide ranging review of Australia’s skilled migration framework, distinct from its separate and more specialist review of the 457 Visa scheme.

Generally, the proposals seek to address inconsistencies in processing times, assessments and documentary requirements – most of which AMMA has raised as a concern and provided direct feedback from the perspective of members using the system.

Arguably the most significant proposal for resource employers is for changes to the Subclass 400 (Temporary Work – Short Stay) Visa that would create a 12 month pathway for short intra-company transfers, re-occurring and intermittent workers to enter Australia on multiple occasions. AMMA has advocated for such a change for some time.

“The proposal for new pathways for short intra-company transfers is a positive development that resource sector employers and employees would particularly benefit from,” says Scott Barklamb, AMMA Executive Director, Policy & Public Affairs.

“The resource industry is highly globalised, and the importance of sharing skills, experience and career development opportunities extends well beyond our shores. Australians working in the resource sector often have opportunities to work and live temporarily all over the world, and the Australian industry must similarly benefit from global engagement.

“The proposed 12 month multiple entry visa would enable such opportunities to be reciprocated by the Australian operations of our multinational resource organisations. With appropriate safeguards, it would better equip Australia to engage with the growing global community of highly mobile, highly skilled professionals who temporarily live and work where their specialised skills are most in need.”

Overall, Mr Barklamb is pleased the government is engaging positively with many of AMMA’s recommendations, and says he looks forward to further cooperation on implementation measures during coming months.

To provide your feedback on this Department of Immigration proposals paper, or to ensure your views on any other migration policy developments are represented in AMMA submissions, contact [email protected] or 1800 627 771.

AMMA’s specialist resource industry migration agents are also on hand to assist our members with navigating Australia’s skilled migration system, and to explain any current or future legal requirements. Contact AMMA Migration Manager [email protected] for more information.