But a bulk of these immigrants who applied for Australian Immigration were not skilled or were low skilled and the Australian Government felt that they were not contributing to the Australian economy in a major way.
A need was felt for a change in the Skilled occupation list so that highly skilled immigrants can be allowed for Australian Immigration while keeping the low skilled immigrants away.
Australia as a nation was discovered very late in the 19th century and a majority of the inhabitants have been migrants mostly from the west notably Great Britain. The original inhabitants of the continents were pushed by the settlers into the interiors. Australia has always depended on the skilled migrants to do the jobs and had a very lenient immigration policy.
Australia was also a destination for many international students who came to the nation for higher studies. The Australian Government allowed these immigrants to settle in Australia after completion of their studies.
This lacunae in the law was used to the hilt by immigrants from the third world who enrolled themselves in different institutions and after completion of the studies applied for Australian Immigration.
The situation culminated into the introduction of the Migration Amendment (Visa Capping) Bill 2010 (the ‘Bill’) on 26th May 2010 and is to come into effect from July 1st. The bill for the first time gives the Government the powers to regulate the quality of the immigrants. The present policy of immigration was based on the The Migration Act 1958 which gave the Immigration authorities the power to cap a certain class or sub section of people who seek Australian Immigration. The New law seeks to give the power to the immigration ministry to cap visa application on the basis of certain characteristics rather than debarring a whole class or sub section of the population.
The minister can cap the number of skilled migration in a financial year for a particular skill. This is done so that a broad range of vocational skills are covered. These skills are outlined in the SOL or skilled occupation list which has been prepared by an independent agency keeping in view the requirements of the Australian economy in the years to come. Though the bill is still not operative and only talks of giving the minister powers to cap the migration. Under the bill student visa holders who desire a General Skilled Migration visa application and if it is rejected their student visa will not be affected and it will continue to serve the purpose it is intended to.
As per the new law applications for certain offshore skilled migration visas which were made on or before 1 September 2007 would be capped and ceased. There has been a cap on the maximum number of visa which can be granted in a year. Applicants whose applications for Australian Immigration has been rejected will be returned the application forms and reimbursed the paid fees.
The following visa subclasses have been affected by this arrangement.
• Skill Matching (Subclass 134)
• Skilled – Independent (Subclass 136)
• Skilled – State/Territory-Nominated Independent (Subclass 137)
• Skilled – Australian Sponsored (Subclass 138)
• Skilled – Designated Area Sponsored (Subclass 139).