Budget changes to the Australian migration landscape | MJLegal

Australia migration changes post budget announcement for 2024/2025

June 5

With the announcement of the budget for the 2024/25 financial year, several notable changes have been introduced to the Australian immigration program with a view of making the system more effective and efficient. With the numerous inefficiencies understood in the Australian immigration landscape through the migration system review report published on the 21st of March 2023, many recommendations were made to amend the existing immigration laws and regulations. This blog will outline some of such changes introduced in detail.

Over $18.3 million funds to be allocated for reformation of the Australian migration system

For a period of 03 years from 2024–25, the government aims to spend around 15.0 million to provide information and education activities for migrant workers to improve their exposure and knowledge on workplace safeguards, protections, and all immigration laws in general. A portion of the funds will also be allocated to build data matching mechanisms between the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Taxation Office with a view to have better access to employment data and avoid migrant labour exploitation.

The migration planning level for the year 2024-25 will be set at 185,000 places.

Nearly 70% of the year’s immigration program will be allocated to the skills stream. This includes the allocations for the employer sponsored visas, skilled visas, business innovation and investment visas and global talent visas. This allocation is made to ensure that Australia attracts skilled migrants to address their long-term skill shortages.

The family visa program will be set at 52,500 same as last year, with the same allocations for partner, parent and child visas.

Better opportunities for skilled Indian graduates.

The migration program intends to introduce a new Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) for Indian graduates and early career professionals between the ages of 18 -30 years. As a part of the Australia-India Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA), this scheme would provide a 02-year visa for Indian nationals to migrate to Australia to live and work in Australia targeted fields and industries.

As per the mobility agreement, the Government has further also increased the duration of business visitor visa (SC 600) stream for Indian nationals from 03 years to 05 years. 

Implementation of the national innovation visa

The government will work to replace the current Global Talent Visa (SC 858) with a National Innovation Visa with a view to target talented migrants who are able to drive growth in the Australian target sectors. These changes will come into place from late 2024.

From September 2024, the Business Innovation and Investment program will cease, and refunds will be made for applications that are in the system at the point of withdrawal, should the Applicants wish to withdraw them.

Reduction of the work experience requirements for Temporary Skill Shortage visa

The work experience requirement for the SC 482, temporary skill shortage visa is now set at 02 years in your nominated or closely related occupation. From the 23rd of November 2024, this requirement will be reduced to 1 year allowing more applicants to be eligible for permanent residency through the employer sponsored visa pathway.

Increased government funding for migrant and refugee settlement services

The government will provide $120.9 million over a period of 05 years from 2023-24 to improve and promote better settlement services for refugees and migrants. The funding would be directed to the Humanitarian Settlement Program, Youth Transition Support services, Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) Program and to provide settlement support for Afghan humanitarian entrants.

Replacement of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal will be replaced with the new Administrative Review Tribunal (ART) with an aim to establish and support the sustainable review of the increasing number of immigration appeals. Funds of around $854.30  would be allocated over a period of four years from 2024 -25, to establish a demand driven funding model for the tribunal with a view to finalise 100 per cent of cases lodged per year. The government has already partially funded this measure.

As per the above changes the government will continue to uphold and promote the efficiency and effectiveness of the migration program with a view of protecting migrants from unfair labour practices and promoting more certain avenues for permanent residency.

Along with the changes bought about for the new migration year, we hope 2024-25 would be an interesting year for migrants in and out of Australia. Stay updated on new changes with MJ Legal!

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