Priority Visa Processing for Aged Care Workers: Addressing Workforce Gaps in the Sector

The Albanese government in Australia is taking steps to address the growing workforce gaps in the aged care sector by implementing a new model for skilled workers. One of the key measures announced is the introduction of priority visa processing for aged care providers. This blog post highlights the significance of this policy change and its implications for the sector.

First Aged Care Labour Agreement:

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles recently announced the first aged care labour agreement with private provider Curtin Heritage in Perth. This agreement, reached after a memorandum of understanding with the United Workers Union, aims to deliver 570 staff over a five-year period. The introduction of this agreement is a response to the severe shortages of staff in the low-paid care sector, particularly in aged care facilities.

Addressing Workforce Shortages:

The priority visa processing for aged care workers acknowledges the critical shortage of skilled workers in the industry. With some aged care facilities struggling to meet the Labor party’s pledge of having a registered nurse available 24/7 in each home, the need for additional staff has become evident. The agreement with Curtin Heritage is expected to offer relief to aged care service providers and help bridge the workforce gaps in the sector.

Recommendations and Industry Perspectives:

The recent immigration system review by former public service chief Martin Parkinson highlighted the need for pathways to bring in low-paid care sector workers while ensuring proper monitoring to prevent exploitation. The review also emphasized Australia’s lack of an explicit migration policy for lower-paid workers, leading to a fragmented approach that fails to protect vulnerable migrant workers. The industry has welcomed the aged care labour agreement as a positive step towards addressing the shortage of skilled workers.

Productivity Commission’s Recommendations:

The Productivity Commission, in a previous report, recommended the implementation of a pilot visa program for workers in industries like disability and aged care. The commission highlighted the endemic labor shortages in these sectors, which adversely affect the quality of care for vulnerable individuals. The difficulties in attracting workers to the aged care sector, coupled with the pressures of an aging population, make it crucial to take immediate action to address workforce shortages.

Government Response and Immigration Law Firm Perspective:

In response to the immigration system review, the government plans to overhaul the outdated points test used for selecting permanent skilled migrants and eliminate the requirement for employers to advertise jobs locally before hiring overseas migrants. These changes are aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the immigration system. Immigration law firms like Augustine & Co. Immigration Lawyers play a crucial role in providing guidance and support to both employers and employees in navigating the complexities of immigration law.


The introduction of priority visa processing for aged care workers marks a significant step towards addressing the workforce shortages in the sector. By partnering with aged care providers and streamlining the visa application process, the government aims to alleviate the critical shortage of skilled workers. This policy change, along with recommendations from the Productivity Commission and the ongoing immigration system review, underscores the importance of a comprehensive approach to addressing labor shortages in the aged care industry and ensuring the delivery of quality care for vulnerable individuals.

Augustine & Co. Immigration Lawyers is a leading Australian immigration law firm. We have a team of experienced lawyers & consultants who can help you with all aspects of your migration journey. Please reach out to our Team to discuss your options.


+ posts

Calvin Augustine is the founding solicitor of Augustine & Co. Immigration Lawyers. He graduated with Honors from the University of London law school, before being admitted to practice in Malaysia and Australia (admitted in SA, appears in all Victorian Courts and Tribunals, at trial and appellate levels).

Aged care blog image