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The government is looking at increasing migration with new visas, international student countries

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The federal government has decided to increase the number of migrant visas for students and internationally qualified students, paving the way for a migration boost as the international border continues to reopen.

The emigration rate dropped sharply as the border was closed to all but Australian citizens and permanent residents in March last year in response to the emerging pandemic.

Now, almost two years later, many industries are reporting labor shortages, with projects involving major public infrastructure jobs at risk.

Admission is expected to expand to around 200,000 countries a year, including more refugee visas, but it is not yet clear how many new countries will be made available in each area.

Home Secretary Karen Andrews said the announcement was “imminent.”

“We will look to get those people back to Australia as soon as possible,” she said.

“We know there is a desperate need for skilled workers in this country.”

Karen Andrews says high vaccination levels mean now is the right time to expand migration reception.(ABC News: Steve Keen)

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said international students should plan to return to the university classroom early next year.

“We would encourage them to make their plans and come back here to give this impetus to universities and many other parts of our economy that have benefited so much from international students over the years.”

The government will not confirm how soon visa holders will be allowed to return to Australia, but an announcement is expected later today.

Senator Birmingham said enlargement would be undertaken in line with state and territory plans.

“As with the return of Australian citizens and permanent residents, you have Victoria and New South Wales who have played a leading role in reopening their international borders,” he said.

“Other countries have set different criteria for when they will offer that kind of movement, and it will be an issue for those countries to continue to work on those issues and we will respect that.

“Obviously we want them to get the very high vaccination rates of New South Wales and Victoria, which they hope can follow suit and bring back international students to start at their universities next year.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Sky News that more migration would accelerate the economic recovery from the pandemic.

“Both skilled workers and international students play a crucial role in our economy,” he said.

“International students are worth about $ 40 billion to our economy.

“We know there are labor shortages there and skilled workers can play a key role in filling some of these shortages.”

Sources

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2/ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-22/migration-boost-visa-international-student-places/100638704

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