Australia plans to restrict some new migrants from living in its largest cities - Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane - for “at least a few years” in an effort to ease urban congestion, a government minister said on October 9.
With immigration expected to be an issue in the next election, the plan aims to help ease infrastructure problems in cities struggling with population pressures. Critics worry the proposed new visa rules could lead to labor shortages.
Nearly 70 percent of the 186,000 migrants who settled in Australia last year arrived on skilled migrant visas, and nearly all moved to Sydney or Melbourne, according to government data.
There are currently no limits on where individuals can settle after they receive a skilled migrant visa.
The new plan would affect the roughly 40 percent of migrants who have the desired skills and are looking for work on arrival. It would class five cities - Darwin, Perth, Hobart, Adelaide and Canberra - as regional centers for migrants to settle in.