The Australian government is seriously considering cutting current immigration intake levels by as much as 30,000 people year, according to reports in the Australian media.
However, the proportion of skilled immigrants accepted as part of the intake each year will increase.
Under the altered program, only the “best and the brightest” – those who would actively contribute to the economy – would be accepted.
While confirmation regarding these changes is expected as soon as early December, any amendments would not take place until the start of the next migration year in July 2019.
The cap currently sits at 190,000 a year, and was last reduced in 2010.
The news comes just days after it was announced that states and territories will be given more control in determining their own immigration levels.
“They [state governments] are in the best position to actually make a judgment about what the carrying capacity is in their state and territory,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “We’ll [federal government] set what the cap is, we’ll let it be demand-driven, but it has to be based on what the carrying capacity is at state and territory level.”
The government is also expected to announce plans that will force some immigrants to spend five years in Australia’s economically struggling regional areas, in exchange for permanent residency.
Mr Morrison suggested implementing new conditions on non-permanent visas could ensure the success of such a scheme.
Article published 19th November 2018