Major Overhaul on the Horizon: What the Australian Government’s Proposed Changes to Skilled Migration Visa Mean for You

The Australian government is planning a major overhaul of the temporary skilled migration visa system, with significant changes on the horizon. One of the most notable changes is the increase of the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) from $53,900 to $70,000, effective from July 1st 2023. The TSMIT is the minimum salary that an employer must pay to sponsor a worker on a temporary skilled visa.

The review panel also recommends taking a risk-based approach to regulate temporary labour migration, to balance the interests of migrant workers and employers. Applicants for temporary labuor migration visas would be placed into one of three tiers based on their salary level, as per the panel’s recommendation.

  • The first tier includes high-salary cohort workers who present minimal risk of displacement to the labour force and are at relatively low risk of exploitation due to their unique or highly demanded skills and income levels. These workers will undergo a streamlined assessment process.


  • The second tier includes mid-level cohort workers who face greater risks of displacement, erosion of wages, and exploitation. They require an intermediate level of effort to ensure applications align with skills needs and are consistent with workforce plans developed through JSA, using improved occupation lists in the short term or skill lists in the medium-to-long term. In addition, an appropriate market-based salary would be paid to them.


  • The third tier includes lower-paid cohort workers who face an increased risk of displacement and exploitation. Applicants from this cohort should be highly scrutinized, with increased post-arrival monitoring, and should undergo tripartite engagement on areas of priority if a pathway for lower-paid workers is made available.


Cohort one would need a salary that equals or exceeds full-time average weekly ordinary time earnings (currently about $98k); cohort two would receive a salary below this, but above a “revised and increased” temporary skilled migration income threshold; and cohort three would have salaries based on sector or industry.

Find the review’s panel final report here:

Review of the Migration System (

The proposed overhaul of the migration system would ensure that the system targets the skills that the nation needs, removing unnecessary delays in recruitment in genuine areas of skills shortage that have already been identified by Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA).

In conjunction with the above reforms, the panel also recommends implementing a “more forward-looking, data-driven model for identifying skills needs that also takes account of domestic training and workforce planning efforts.” JSA should play an important role in any new approach, according to the panel.

In response to the review panel’s recommendations, the Federal Government has released a draft strategy to overhaul the migration system. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil has prepared a draft migration strategy, with a consultation to occur in May and June this year.

Read the complete draft of the Migration Strategy outline:

A Migration System for More Prosperous and Secure Australia (

The proposed changes to the migration system will streamline the process of obtaining employer-sponsored visas, remove unnecessary delays in recruitment, and ensure the system targets the skills that the nation needs.

Robert Walters, managing director of NSW Andrew Hansons, welcomes the panel’s report on skilled migration as a step forward in recognizing the potential of migration to drive economic growth. He emphasizes the need to streamline visa pathways, remove entry barriers, and focus on attracting and retaining skilled migrants who can make a positive and lasting contribution to Australia.

Looking to navigate the complex process of applying for temporary skilled migration visas? Look no further than NB Migration Law, our legal team is here to provide expert guidance and support every step of the way.

Book a free consultation today and let us help you find a way forward.