International students who complete a degree in a skill shortage area can now stay in Australia for at least four years. The extension will only apply to international students with skills that can address shortages in Australian industries, such as health and education.
From 1 July, two extra years will be added to the visas of eligible international graduates. Those with eligible Bachelor’s degrees will be entitled to four years of post-study work rights, five for Master’s degrees, and six for all Doctoral degrees. International graduates with degrees relating to industries facing skill shortages will be eligible for the program. The Government published an official list of all eligible occupations and qualifications on Tuesday, which includes skills related to medicine, teaching, agriculture, and engineering.
National job shortages:
The Skills Priority List, prepared by the National Skills Commission last year, found that 286 occupations were in national shortage – a steep rise from the 153 found to be without adequate supply in 2021. Last year’s list found that impacts from COVID-19 had contributed to challenges in sectors such as health and teaching, while higher level qualifications and experience were needed to meet shortages in professional occupations.
The Federal Government signalled their intention to increase the post-study work rights of international students in September last year and established a working group to investigate how this could be best rolled out. The working group submitted 20 recommendations to the Government the following month, which included an adaptable system with safeguards that prevent migrant worker exploitation. The Government supported all of the working group’s recommendations, which were used in the construction of the program.