Australia Launches New Innovation Visa Program; How Will This Benefit Indians?

The innovation visa replaces a controversial investor migrant program that was thought to be economically ineffective.
Australia Launches New Innovation Visa Program
Australia Launches New Innovation Visa Program

The government of Australia has unveiled an innovation visa to attract exceptionally talented workers. The new visa presents a significant opportunity for skilled professionals from India to explore work overseas. The innovation visa replaces a controversial investor migrant program that was thought to be economically ineffective. Treasurer Jim Chalmers revealed these changes in Australia’s annual Budget, which aims to overhaul the country’s migration system. The changes are expected to reduce overall immigration while drawing in skilled workers and top talent worldwide.

What is Australia’s Innovation Visa?

The National Innovation Visa is set to replace the Global Talent Visa program which is set to end later this year. As per Chalmers, the government plans to target exceptionally talented migrants who will boost growth in sectors that are of national significance.

What are the opportunities for Indian workers?

India is a pool of talent comprising young workers and skilled individuals who are constantly in search of better opportunities. Many Indians who wish to work abroad can benefit from this new innovation visa.

The technology sector has been a major driver behind the influx of Indian immigrants across various developed nations. This visa would capitalise on the expertise of talented Indians and skilled workers across industrial development.

The visa opens doors for Indian talent to explore new avenues in Australia.

Why is Australia winding down on immigration?

Recently, Australia has witnessed an increasing demand to limit migration. A post-pandemic surge in students and other arrivals has further strained its rental market, contributing to higher inflation rates, the government projects.

In response, the government has put intense scrutiny on student visas and is also expected to roll out a ballot system for the popular work and holiday visas for applicants from China, Vietnam, and India, starting in the fiscal year ending June 2025.

With these measures, the Australian government expects to cut net overseas immigration to 260,000 arrivals in 2024-25, down from 528,000 as recorded in 2022-23.

End of the business innovation and investor visa

"The Business Innovation and Investment visa program (BIIP) will cease," the Australian government said. Terminating BIIP marks a significant shift in Australia’s migration setup as it previously offered a path to permanent residency via investment.

“We’re addressing the pressures caused by population growth, with net overseas migration next year now expected to be half what it was last year,” Chalmers said in his budget night speech as quoted by media reports.

In January this year, Australia removed its so-called ‘golden visa program’, which allowed wealthy overseas investors to live in the country and get permanent residency over time. The government found that significant investor visas (SIV) were impacting its economy and giving poor economic outcomes. Under BIIP, candidates had to invest 5 million Australian dollars to be eligible for the visa.

The list of such candidates was highly dominated by Chinese investors, with 85 per cent of SIVs granted to applicants from China.

Consequently, Australia is focusing on attracting migrants from the technology sector rather than investors.

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