Federal Budget 2021 Migration Updates
As the pandemic continues to impact economic growth and international travel, the latest federal budget has revealed the migration planning program for 2021-22 and the efforts to mitigate the current skill shortages across the nation.
International borders are expected to be closed until mid 2022. As a result, the budget estimates reveal that Australia will experience another year of negative Net Overseas Migration (NOM).
The NOM is expected to fall from around 154,000 persons in 2019-20 to be around -72,000 persons by the end of 2020-21, before gradually increasing to around 201,000 persons in 2023-24.
The Government acknowledges that many industries are suffering from labour shortages that would usually be fulfilled by skilled migrants and international students. The following plans have been put in place while taking into account the protection of Australian public health.
Migration Planning Program
Migration planning levels for 2021-22 will remain unchanged at 160,000 places, with a focus on onshore visa applications.
The planning levels include:
- 79,600 skill stream places
- 77,300 family stream places
- 13,750 Humanitarian Program places
Prioritisation of the Employer-Sponsored, Global Talent, Business and Innovation and Investment Program visas within the skilled stream are still in place.
Global Talent Visas
By attracting and encouraging global talent and global businesses to invest in and relocate to Australia, the Government is ensuring Australia can capitalise on our strong economic position post COVID-19.
$550 million will be invested in order to achieve this over the next 4 years.
The validity period for Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visas will be extended by 18 months for individuals who are unable to use their visas due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Relief for the tourism and hospitality industry
To ensure the supply of critical services within the tourism and hospitality industry, the Australian Government has made changes to the conditions for Student Visa holders and Subclass 408.
Student Visa Holders
Existing fortnightly 40 hour work caps will be removed for student visa holders employed in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Student visa holders can work more than 40 hours a fortnight if they are:
- Employed by an aged care Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider with RACS ID or a NAPS ID, before 8 September 2020
- employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider
- enrolled in a health care related course and you are supporting the health effort against COVID-19, as directed by health officials
- employed in the agriculture sector
- employed in the tourism and hospitality sector
Temporary Visa Holders
Temporary visa holders employed in the tourism and hospitality sector will be able to access the Subclass 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa, for a period of 12 months. This can be applied for 90 days before their existing visa expires.
If you have any questions about what the Federal Budget Announcement means for your visa situation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.