The changes proposed by Productivity Commission could significantly change the way Australia chooses its migrant intake.

The Productivity Commission has recommended major changes to Australia’s Skilled Migration program, In a detailed report titled ‘Migrant Intake into Australia’, the Productivity Commission has recommended a series of measures to re-calibrate permanent skilled migrants coming to Australia.

According to the commission, almost half of visas issued under the skilled migration stream are for secondary applicants. The Productivity Commission says there’s significant scope to use those applicants to raise the overall caliber of the intake.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection told SBS the government was considering the Productivity Commission’s recommendations and would respond “in due course.”

Some of the major recommendations are:

Reduce the age limit
The commission has recommended that the Australian Government should consider reducing the age limit of 50 years for permanent migration.

Use Skilled Occupations List as a benchmark
The commission has suggested that the Australian Government use the Skilled Occupations List as the sole basis for determining skill requirements for the different streams of the permanent skilled immigration program, including for those using the Temporary Residence Transition visa.
 It also recommends undertaking a small pilot scheme that tests the merit of supplementing the Skilled Occupations List with:

  • a more granular treatment of some occupations that cannot be easily allocated between the different skill levels
  •  the inclusion of particular, well‑defined, skill sets that are not occupationally‑specific.

‘Single’ applicants should get maximum points
Primary applicants without dependents to be given the maximum level of extra points under the commission’s plan.

Primary applicant should get more points for secondary applicant’s skills/traits
Commission says the Australian Government should significantly increase, up to a given maximum, the contributing points to a primary applicant based on the skill and other traits of the adult secondary applicant.

Streamline ‘points-system’ for all permanent skilled migrant applications

Commission recommends that the Australian Government adopt a common points system for the entire permanent skill stream.

Assess partners and adult children for their English-competency
Under the commission’s plan, partners and adult children to be assessed on their English ability, work skills, age and education in addition to the assessments currently made of the primary visa applicants.

If you would like more information about this intended change, please do not hesitate to contact us. AIMS consists of a team of professional migration agents and solicitors who provide excellent assistance to people who intend to migrate to Australia or Australian residents or citizens who wish to bring their family Whether you are seeking to study or work or establish a business in Australia, we can advise you on your visa options and assist you in securing the right visa.  For more information or to set up a consultation with one of our agents, just give AIMS a call on 03-9078 6819 or email us at

Access the SBS article here.