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The Impacts of the 2024-25 Budget on Immigration

migration

Following the Australian Government’s budget announcement, we are here to provide a comprehensive update on the anticipated impacts for both employers of foreign workers and individual visa holders, detailing both overall migration programme forecasts and specific changes that may affect your strategies. For more detailed information, visit the official 2024-25 Budget website

 

Key Highlights 

Permanent Migration Program 

The government will set the cap for next financial year’s Permanent Migration Programme at 185,000 places, with approximately 70 percent (132,200 places) designated for the Skill stream. 

Notably, this marks a reduction from the 190,000 places allocated in 2023-24, limiting more permanent places to people who fit Australia’s longer-term skills needs.  

Detailed Breakdown of Migration Planning Levels

The tables below provide a detailed view of the allocation of migration places across various visa categories for the 2023–24 and 2024–25 fiscal years:

 

Skill Visa Categories

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 Visa Categories

Visa Stream

Visa Category

2023–24 Planning Levels

2024–25 Planning Levels

Family

Partner

40,500

40,500

 

Parent

8,500

8,500

 

Child

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

Starting from the fiscal year 2025–26, the Government plans to prolong the timeframe for the permanent Migration Program’s planning from one year to four years. The ongoing initiatives under the Migration Strategy are contributing to the enhancement of a more efficiently managed migration system.  

Government interventions are projected to decrease net overseas migration by 110,000 individuals according to future estimations from 1 July 2024 onwards. Forecasts indicate that net overseas migration will nearly halve from 528,000 in 2022–23 to 260,000 in 2024–25. 

 

Migration System Reforms 

The Australian government will invest $18.3 million over four years starting from 2024–25 to reform the migration system. This includes $15.0 million for migrant worker education on workplace safeguards and $1.9 million for a pilot data-matching program between the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Taxation Office. 

 

Visa Changes and Introductions 

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Changes 

The work experience requirement for the Temporary Skill Shortage visa will be reduced from two years to one year starting 23 November 2024. 

 

Work and Holiday Visa Changes 

A new visa pre-application ballot process will be introduced for China, Vietnam, and India for the Work and Holiday visa program starting 2024–25 to manage demand and processing times, with a ballot charge of $25. 

 

Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) 

From 1 November 2024, the MATES program will offer a new pathway for 3,000 Indian graduates and early career professionals to live and work in Australia for up to two years. 

 

Extending Business Visitor Visa Validity 

The validity of the Business Visitor visa for Indian nationals will extend from up to three years to up to five years, expected to increase receipts by $435.0 million over five years. 

 

Introduction of the National Innovation Visa 

A new National Innovation visa will replace the Global Talent visa to attract exceptionally talented migrants in vital sectors. The current Business Innovation and Investment visa program will end, with refunds available from September 2024. 

 

Southeast Asia Engagement 

The government will allocate $505.9 million over five years, starting in 2023–24, to deepen engagement with Southeast Asia, including improving visa access for member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Timor-Leste, with plans to offer long-validity business and frequent traveller visas. 

 

Technology Developments 

Cyber Security Investments 

Significant funding will support cyber security initiatives, including the appointment of a National Cyber Security Coordinator and efforts to secure Australia’s critical infrastructure. 

 

TRA ICT Improvement 

The government is advancing a business case to develop a modern ICT solution for assessing trade skills for skilled migrants by Trades Recognition Australia. This technology enhancement will facilitate the rapid availability of skilled workers to employers and support the delivery of the government’s migration and skilled workforce objectives. 

 

Machinery of Government Changes 

Cyber-security policy functions will transfer from the Digital Transformation Agency to the Department of Home Affairs, and the identity and biometrics function will move to the Attorney-General’s Department. 

 

Additional Announcements 

Staffing of Agencies 

Significant investments in staffing for 2023–24 aim to rebuild service delivery capacity and reduce backlogs in Services Australia and improve visa processing times at the Department of Home Affairs. 

 

Administrative Review Tribunal Establishment 

A new Administrative Review Tribunal will replace the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, with $1.0 billion allocated over five years from 2023–24 to manage high numbers of migration decision review applications. 

 

Reforms to Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services 

$120.9 million will be provided over five years from 2023–24 to enhance settlement services and support for refugees and migrants, including specialised support for youth, women, and Afghan humanitarian entrants. 

To further empower migrant and refugee women, the Government allocates $15.0 million over three years for educational activities about workplace rights, helping migrant women confidently address worker exploitation. Additionally, $3.8 million will sustain conversational English classes with childcare at Community Hubs over four years, facilitating easier access to language support for migrant women.

Support to Individuals Affected by the Hamas-Israel Conflict 

The government will extend Medicare eligibility and provide emergency financial assistance to individuals from affected areas in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, with a total of $2.9 million allocated over two years from 2023–24. 

 

Leaving Violence Program 

The government will make the Leaving Violence Program permanent, providing $925.2 million over five years from 2023–24 for financial support and services to victim-survivors of intimate partner violence. 

 

Department of Home Affairs – Supplementation 

An additional $100.0 million will be provided in 2024–25 to support core functions of the Department of Home Affairs, including operations and compliance activities. 

 

Get In Touch 

If the recent budget changes may impact you or your organisation, or if you require further clarification on how these developments could influence your migration strategies, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Contact our expert team of migration strategists at aisupport@absoluteimmigration.com to schedule an online consultation. 

 

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