Australia: Government to Streamline Immigration Process for American Workers in Construction and Natural Resource Industries
American workers will be able to have their skills assessed against Australian requirements before entering the country so that they can begin work soon after arrival.
In mid-April, Australia will streamline the immigration process for American workers seeking to work in the construction, mining, and oil and gas industries, according to an announcement from the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. The new process will make it easier for employers in these industries to fill labor shortages.
Under the program, American workers can have their skills assessed against Australian requirements and arrange for any necessary licenses before entering the country. After completing the assessment from abroad, these American workers will receive provisional licenses on arrival, if required for their occupation, and will be able to begin working right away. Currently, American workers cannot have their skills assessed until after arrival in Australia. This causes significant delay because the assessment process can take several months.
To raise awareness of the new process, the Australian government will host a series of skills expos in the United States, the first of which will be held on May 19 and 20 in Houston, Texas. Industry and business groups in Australia and the United States have already begun to praise the new process, including the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the American Chamber of Commerce and the US Chamber of Commerce.
It is expected that the streamlined process will only apply to U.S. citizens and not permanent residents, though the government has yet to address this point or provide other implementation details. Fragomen is monitoring this development and will provide updates as necessary.
This alert is for information purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen in Australia or send an email to email@example.com.