Federal Budget Impact on Australian Immigration

The Albanese Administration released the Federal Budget for 2024-2025 on 14th May 2024, including the introduction of several measures which will have significant implications for Australia’s immigration policies. This article will focus on the impacts of these measures on skilled visa and work visa categories, as well as their potential effects on employers who sponsor visa holders.

The Federal Budget announcement comes after the release of the Migration Strategy in December 2023, which announced substantial changes to Australia’s migration programme, particularly concerning employer-sponsored visas. 

However, it is important to note, the 2024-2025 Budget does not include any major overhauls to the employer-sponsored visa program, suggesting that anticipated changes may be postponed until next year at the earliest.

For the 2024/25 fiscal year, the government has set the planning level for the permanent migration program at 185,000 places, with over 70% allocated to the Skill stream. This stream encompasses both employer-sponsored visas and independent skilled permanent visas.

The government has reinforced its desire and efforts to ensure employer compliance by allocating additional funding for migration reform. An additional £15M (AUD$24M) over three years has been earmarked for initiatives aimed at educating migrant workers on workplace safeguards and compliance measures.

Additionally, funding has been allocated to a data-matching pilot between the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Taxation Office to review income and employment data.

Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (TSS) Work Experience Requirements Updated

Currently, the Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa (also known as the TSS Visa) requires applicants to have two years of full-time relevant work experience before they are deemed eligible for employer sponsorship for a skilled role.

This requirement will be reduced to one year from 23rd November 2024.

Business Innovation, Investment Visa and Global Talent Visa out

The government has announced the removal of both the Business Innovation and Investment Visa, which includes various investor visa categories, and the Global Talent Visa.

These visa programmes will be replaced by a new National Innovation Visa, set to be introduced later in 2024. This visa will target exceptionally talented migrants who can contribute to growth in sectors of national importance.

Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indian Nationals to Take Note

Work and Holiday Visas from China, Vietnam, and India will undergo a pre-application ballot process to regulate programme demand.

The validity of Business Visitor (subclass 600) visas for Indian nationals will be prolonged to five years, previously set at three years.

Commencing from 1st November 2024, a new Mobility Arrangements for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) will be rolled out for 3,000 young professionals from India aged 18 to 30 years old, possessing expertise in targeted fields of study. Visas will be subjected to a ballot process and will permit a stay of up to 2 years.

The government has also announced plans to collaborate with international education providers to limit the number of international students enrolled at any given time.

New regulations will tie the number of international students a university can enroll to its available student housing, aiming to alleviate pressure on the housing market.

Questions Remain on Skilled Visa and Permanent Residency Pathway Reforms

Although the Migration Strategy released in December 2023 highlighted the introduction of a new Skills in Demand visa to replace the existing TSS visa, this year’s Budget does not provide details on its implementation timeline. Additionally, the Budget does not address any changes to existing permanent employer-sponsored and skilled migration pathways. The government has released a discussion paper on reforming the points test for permanent skilled migration, which is undergoing public consultation.

If you have questions about any of the information we have provided in this article, please contact NB Migration Law today for a complimentary, obligation-free consultation to discuss the future of your visa migration pathway to Australia.

Be proactive and be prepared.

Book a free consultation today and let us help you find a way forward.