Government changes to 457 visas earlier this year, in particular, the removal of researcher occupations from the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List, created major concern in the scientific and research community for their potential to impact the recruitment of international research specialists.
In May of this year, Professionals Australia joined with other key peak scientific bodies to call for the restoration of these occupations to ensure we could continue to recruit international researchers to fill critical skills gaps, raise our research standing and help train the next generation of Australian researchers.
The skilled visa list has now been updated to restore university lecturers, vice chancellors, life scientists, biotechnologists, biochemists, statisticians and microbiologists to the list.
Professionals Australia CEO Chris Walton welcomed the move, saying “with the research workforce being a highly mobile one, the policy change to 457 visas had the unintended consequence of restricting the movement and recruitment of research specialists. We are pleased to see that the Government has restored the occupations that support growing Australia’s research capacity and ensure a thriving scientific and research sector.”