May 24, 2024

Following a record post-Covid surge, Australia’s net overseas migration rate is set to stabilise and then significantly decline. The Australian Government recently released its Federal Budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, outlining significant reforms and initiatives within the immigration sector.

The Government aims to reduce the overall migration intake while focusing on attracting highly skilled migrants. This comprehensive budget aims to reshape Australia’s migration policies, streamline visa processes, and address critical skill shortages while ensuring economic prosperity and integrity in the migration system.

Here’s a breakdown of the key changes and what they mean for migrants and businesses who sponsor foreign workers.

 

Migration System Reforms and Funding Allocation

The budget allocates $18.3 million over the next four years to enhance Australia’s migration system, emphasising economic growth and integrity restoration. Initiatives include educating migrant workers, facilitating data sharing between government agencies, and bolstering visa processing efficiency.

Allocation of additional funding in Southeast Asia Engagement

Australia’s Government has allocated an additional $505.9 million over five years starting from 2023–24, with an ongoing annual contribution of $118.3 million. This investment aims to strengthen Australia’s ties with Southeast Asia and advance the next phase of the Government’s ‘Invested: Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040’.

Included in this funding is $1.1 million over two years from 2023–24, designated for improving visa services, offering long-term business visas, and facilitating visas for frequent travelers from ASEAN nations and Timor-Leste.

Permanent Migration Program

On 14 May 2024, the Australian Government announced that the planning levels for the 2024–25 permanent Migration Program (Migration Program) is set to 185,000 places with an approximate 70:30 split between the Skill and Family streams. The 132,000 (70 percent) places allocated to the Skilled Stream to address Australia’s long-term skill needs.

Here are the detailed breakdowns of the allocation of migration places across different visa categories for the fiscal years 2023–24 and 2024–25.

Visa Stream Visa Category 2023–24 Planning levels 2024–25 Planning levels
Skill Employer Sponsored 36,825 44,000
Skilled Independent 30,375 16,900
Regional 32,300 33,000
State/Territory Nominated 30,400 33,000
Business Innovation & Investment 1,900 1,000
Global Talent (Independent) 5,000 4,000
Distinguished Talent 300 300
Skill Total 137,100 132,200
Family Partner1 40,500 40,500
Parent 8,500 8,500
Child1 3,000 3,000
Other Family 500 500
Family Total 52,500 52,500
Special ​​Eligibility 400 300
Total Migration Program 190,000 185,000

1 Delivery of the Partner and Child visa categories are demand driven, with indicative planning levels only.

 

From 2025–26, the Migration Program extends the planning horizon to 4 years instead of 1 year.

 

Visa Changes and Introductions


Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)

You only need 1 year of work experience instead of two for the 482 Visa which gives you full work rights. This will be in effect from 23 November 2024.

Work and Holiday Visa Changes (subclass 462)

From 2024–25, a new $25 pre-application ballot process will be implemented for China, Vietnam, and India in the Work and Holiday visa program (subclass 462).

Introduction of the new National Innovation Visa (NIV)

The new National Innovation Visa, set to be introduced later this year, will replace the Global Talent Visa to attract exceptionally talented migrants and boost growth in vital sectors.

Business Innovation and Investment Visa

The BIIP will permanently close in July 2024. Applicants who choose to withdraw their BIIP applications will be eligible for a visa application charge refund starting in September 2024.

It’s important to note that while the Business Innovation and Investment Visa Program (BIIP) will be discontinued, the Government plans to redesign it to focus on applicants who can make specific and significant contributions to Australia.

 

Introduction of the Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES)

Indian graduates and early-career professionals will be given two years to live and work in Australia.

To apply, candidates must be 30 years old or younger, have a high level of English proficiency, and have graduated within the last two years with a relevant bachelor’s degree or higher.

 

Internal Migration Forecasts

The budget forecasts significant internal migration trends, with Queensland expected to gain the most residents.

New South Wales: Forecast to lose 23,000 residents in the next financial year.
Queensland: Expected to gain 23,000 residents, benefiting from internal migration.
South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania, and ACT: Forecast to leave 2,900 in South Australia, 2,100 will leave the Northern Territory, 700 will leave Tasmania, and 300 will leave the ACT.
Victoria and WA: Anticipated to see increases of 3,100 and 3,000 residents, respectively.

NSW is projected to experience annual population declines, while other states witness varying migration trends.

 

 

The Australian Federal Budget 2024-25 marks a significant shift in the country’s immigration policy, aiming to attract highly skilled migrants while addressing housing and infrastructure pressures. With these reforms, the government aims to ensure sustainable growth and economic prosperity.

 

For detailed information on how these changes might affect you or your business, consider booking a consultation with our team of Immigration experts. We are here to help you navigate the complexities of the new immigration reforms and provide you with personalised visa solutions.

 

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