Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten has promised to introduce a skilled migration visa specifically for the technology and science sector if his party is elected into government.
Shorten's SMART - science, medicine, academia, research, and technology - visa would be reserved for "world leaders" in those sectors coming to work in Australia.
It is in response to the federal government's recently announced changes to the 457 skilled migrant visa, which universities say will make it harder to attract international academics.
The Labor Party says its SMART visa would bring the "best and brightest" from overseas into Australia's universities, research institutes, medical, science and technology industries, and private companies.
The SMART visa would apply for four years and contain salary safeguards, Labor said.
Employers would be required to make genuine attempts to find local workers first, and a new labour market testing agency would be introduced to determine where skills gaps exist and restrist visas to those areas.
The cost of a visa would rise from $330 to $575 under the Labor plan, in an effort to encourage employers to try their best to source local talent first.
Labor would also create a 'SkillUP Training Fund' intended to close skills gaps.