The Impact of Temporary Migration to Australia: Fragomen Provides Evidence to the Senate Select Committee on Temporary Migration
| Teresa Liu

The Impact of Temporary Migration to Australia: Fragomen Provides Evidence to the Senate Select Committee on Temporary Migration

On 5 December 2019, the Australian Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on Temporary Migration to inquire into—and report on—the impact temporary migration has on the Australian economy, wages and jobs, social cohesion, and workplace rights and conditions. It focused particularly on government policy settings, policy responses to challenges posed by temporary migration, the benefits of temporary to permanent migration and exploitation of foreign workers.

Fragomen Australia made a submission to the Select Committee at the start of the pandemic in March, and Justin Gibbs and I appeared by invitation of the Select Committee to give evidence through a public hearing on 17 September.

While the interest of the Select Committee related to issues predominantly regarding the risks of worker exploitation in certain sectors, as well as issues of social cohesion involving temporary foreign visa holders, we were able to put forward the following opinions which, based on the recent Client Survey and Report, remain valid during the pandemic and the recovery phase.

  • Demand continues for skilled, internationally experienced individuals to fill roles critical to the operations of business and industries that cannot be met by the Australian labour market. 


  • It is critical that the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) system is revisited and updated to represent more relevant occupations for today’s industry. Alternately, another mechanism to ensure that the Department is considering roles/occupations and future roles/occupations in real-time could be implemented. The agenda of the National Skills Commission is a good start toward this goal.


  • We strongly emphasised the importance of a skilled temporary program to fill short-term skills gaps, including gaps that arise because of the fast-changing pace of digitalisation and other temporary niche skill sets, but also to support an internationally competitive Australia.


  • We stressed the importance of a distinct and separate visa for intra-company transfers, as opposed to the current system that incorporates these transfers under the TSS (Subclass 482) visa, albeit with some concessions.


  • We expressed support for simpler and more direct pathways to permanent migration. Our opinion is that the decoupling of the temporary and permanent programs could be a barrier to successful migration outcomes.

Fragomen continues to hear and represent the interests of our clients. Please take a moment to read the findings from our recent Government Relations Report, Immigration and Australia’s Road to Recovery Post-Pandemic.

Additionally, if you have questions regarding any of the issues discussed above, please reach out to me, Teresa Liu, Managing Partner of Australia and New Zealand, at [email protected], or Justin Gibbs, our Director of Government Relations, APAC, at [email protected].

This blog was released on 11 September, and due to the circumstances, there are frequent changes. To keep current with all the latest updates on global immigration, please visit our COVID-19 microsite and subscribe to our alerts. You may also follow our LinkedIn account.