Australian Budget 2024-25: Major Shifts in Migration Policy and Implications

Written by

Inayat Sharma

Fact check by

Divyansh Chaudhari

Updated on

Jul 14,2024

alt image

Planning your Canada PR
Free last minute checklist

The Australian Budget for the financial year 2024-25, delivered today, will bring significant changes in the country's migration policies. These changes are going to influence every immigration sphere—from students to skilled migrants. Take a closer look at the proposed adjustments and their probable consequences.

General Overview of Changes

The most striking feature of the new budget is the decrease in general net overseas migration. The federal government has announced that net overseas migration (NOM) will be reduced to 260,000 for 2024-25. This is a significant decrease compared to 528,000 in 2022-23 and 395,000 in 2023-24.

Impact on Student Visas

This reduction in NOM means that student visas will be strictly regulated. With fewer visa spots available in general, getting a student visa could be more difficult. This means more strenuous scrutiny and higher requirements for prospective international students looking to study in Australia.

Skilled Migration Still Looks Good

While overall migration numbers are being cut, the outlook in terms of skilled migration still looks relatively bright. The permanent migration cap is fixed at 185,000 for the year 2024-25, down from the 190,000 spots in 2023-24. Within that cap, skilled migration is projected at 132,200, down marginally from 137,100 in the previous year.

Reduced Backlog and Better Processing

The little-mentioned aspect in terms of this reduction in skilled migration spots is that this has come with a hugely reduced backlog. It essentially means that the processing of skilled migration applications will be effective, hence perhaps quicker and smoother transitions for skilled migrants. 

MATES Programme for Indian Graduates

It is planned to introduce a new initiative called the MATES program. It will target Indian early career graduates and allow these graduates to live and work in Australia for two years with a nominal VAC through a balloting system. Longer visitor visa spans for Indian nationals will be made available under the Migration Mobility Partnership Agreement (MMPA).

Benefits to Indian Nationals

The MATES program and the extended visitor visa duration are welcome steps under the MMPA for deepening Australia-India relations. It is expected to result in Australia's attractiveness as a destination for workers and travellers from India.

Funding to DHA for Migration Reforms

The budget provides $8.3 million to DHA for migration reforms in 2024-25, slightly lower than the $8.5 million provided in 2023-24. The funding will help improve the overall migration system, which could translate to a better and more efficient time for the processing of visa applications.

Possible Improvement in Processing Times

The funding, though lower than in the previous period, shows an ongoing interest in improving the efficiency of the migration system. This could improve processing times and make the application experience more efficient.

Multi-Year Migration Planning

The government seems to be moving away from year-to-year strategic planning to a multi-year approach in migration planning. A multi-year approach, proposed through the December 2023 policy guidelines, aims to bring more predictability and stability into the migration system.

Multi-Year Benefits

Multi-year planning will offer more certainty for both migrants and employers, ensuring better long-term planning and decision-making. It can also deal with structural issues present in the migration system more effectively.

Changes to Visas

Various changes in some visa categories have also been announced, reflecting the government's concern to make immigration in line with national priorities.

Replacement of Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent Visa, subclass 858, will be replaced by the National Innovation Visa. This new line of visas will fast-track growth in those sectors which are nationally critical in ensuring that Australia attracts the best talent in areas deemed crucial for the economic and technological advancement of the nation.

Cessation of BIIP

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) will be closed in September 2024. Applicants willing to withdraw their Subclass 188 applications will be given VAC refunds. The closing of this class of visas tends to represent a shift away from business investment visas and towards other skilled migrants.

Work Experience Requirements for TSS

The work experience requirements for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) are proposed to be reduced from two years to one year, effective from November 23, 2024. This change will make it easier for employers to sponsor skilled workers and address immediate skill shortages more effectively.

Conclusion

The year ahead promises to be a mixed bag for different categories of migrants. Skilled migrants, be they in general skilled migration or employer-sponsored streams, will likely have a more friendly environment with reduced backlogs and better processing times, while student visas may see increased regulation and scrutiny.

For those who wish to study and settle in Australia, it will be very important to have a clear and well-thought-through plan. Prospective students should be assured that all the requirements are met and, in case the student visa becomes hard to acquire, have alternative pathways. Skilled workers should be ready to make the most of stable migration spots and improved processing efficiencies.

The bottom line of the Australian Budget 2024-25 is a balanced approach between national interests and opportunities for skilled migrants, nurturing international relationships, particularly with India. The move to multi-year planning and targeted visa reforms depicts a forward-looking strategy aimed at making Australia a competitive and attractive destination for global talent.

To know more about the Australian budget 2024-25, TerraTern is the perfect place to know all the information about it. TerraTern is the place for all the latest news and blogs in the immigrant world!

Get all the details on Australia PR with this visa checklist

Why Trust TerraTern

At TerraTern, we adhere to a stringent editorial policy emphasizing factual accuracy, impartiality and relevance. Our content, curated by experienced industry professionals. A team of experienced editors reviews this content to ensure it meets the highest standards in reporting and publishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the reduction of Net Overseas Migration impact student visas?

The NOM has been decreased to 260,000 for 2024-25, meaning that fewer visa spots will be available in general; this is estimated to bring in stricter regulations and higher requirements for student visas. International students may pass through more stringent criteria to study in Australia.

What is the outlook in regard to skilled migration under the new budget?

Even though the number of migrants has decreased, the outlook for skilled migration still looks positive. The permanent migration cap is set at 185,000; of this, 132,200 will be open for skilled migrants. The reduced backlog in applications means processing times will be a bit faster and more efficient for skilled migrants.

What is the MATES program, and who will benefit from it?

The MATES program is an initiative aimed at early career graduates from India to be eligible to live and work in Australia for two years at a nominal visa application charge offered through a balloting system. A complimenting initiative to this is the longer visitor visa tenures under the MMPA to strengthen the relationship between Australia and India, attracting more Indian nationals to Australian shores.

What changes have been made to specific visa categories like the Global Talent Visa and the TSS visa?

The Global Talent Visa (subclass 858) will be replaced by the National Innovation Visa, focusing on attracting talent in sectors critical to Australia's economic and technological growth. The Business Innovation and Investment Program will close in September 2024; VAC refunds are available for applicants who will withdraw their subclass 188 application. - The work experience requirement for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, subclass 482, will be reduced from two years to one year, effective from November 23, 2024, making it easier for employers to sponsor skilled workers.

What are the benefits of the government moving to multi-year migration planning?

Multi-year migration planning by the government allows the migration system to become more predictable and stable. This approach will enable migrants and employers to make their decisions and better plan for the long term. This move should also help address structural issues within the migration system more cohesively and ensure a more stable and effective process in the future for migration.