Objective 3.2

Ready access to international talent

Action 3.2C

In progress

The Government will implement carefully calibrated skilled migration initiatives to attract and retain people with critical skills that support Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

Department of Home Affairs

Government response
Related Action/s

Continue to streamline the visa system to reduce complexity and costs for services firms when accessing international talent.


Continue the promotion of visas and programs to attract skilled migration to ensure the effectiveness of the initiative.


Global business and talent attraction taskforce

As part of the Australian Government’s multi-pronged strategy to boost the economy and prosperity across the nation, on 4 September 2020, the Hon Alan Tudge MP, Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, and Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, jointly announced the new Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce (‘the Taskforce’).

Read more

Progress to date

On 2 September 2020, the Government introduced a Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List which prioritises migration for people with critical skills through employer sponsored visa programs to fill skills needs, help create jobs and rebuild Australia’s economy from COVID-19. The list of occupations is based on advice from the National Skills Commission and other Australian Government agencies and prioritises occupations critical to Australia’s recovery from the pandemic and provides priority processing of eligible nomination and visa applications. 

While border restrictions remain in place, temporary visa holders working in one of the priority occupations will also have their application for a travel exemption prioritised. The Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List will be temporary, and prioritisation of these occupations will be updated as Australia recovers from the pandemic.

On 4 April 2020, a special COVID-19 pandemic event visa was introduced that allows temporary workers employed in critical sectors to extend their stay by 12 months to assist in mitigating risks of critical skills shortages in these sectors in Australia due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The critical sectors include agriculture, food processing, health, aged and disability care, child care and tourism and hospitality.  The visa eligibility also allows temporary visa holders in Australia to remain lawfully in Australia if their departure arrangements are delayed by COVID-19 associated border and travel industry disruptions.

On 17 December 2020, the Government announced measures to ensure the Business Innovation and Investment Program is well-placed to support Australia’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery by maximising the economic impact of high value investors, business owners and entrepreneurs.