Pilots added to Australian visa list

Foreign pilots will be allowed to enter Australia on two-year working visas in a bid to alleviate a pilot shortage in the country.

The occupation had been removed from the immigration eligibility lists following a government shake-up in April, but will be added again from this month.

The Regional Aviation Association of Australia states that the office of the country’s Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, has confirmed the change to the organisation, which is now lobbying for a four-year visa period rather than two.

“In order to attract suitably-senior pilots, who more than likely have a family growing up and so forth, we need to make it attractive enough for them to come across and uproot their family,” CEO Mike Higgins told the Australian Associated Press. “A four-year period seems to be a sweet spot.”

The foreign pilots would serve in a training and mentoring role to their Australian counterparts, Higgins added.

While some have criticised the move to reinstate pilots to the occupations in-demand list, Higgins argues that if the current situation continued then services would need to be cut due to shortages.

Article published 2nd January 2018