The Australian government released the federal budget for 2024-25, reaffirming the migration strategy and introducing several other key initiatives and changes to immigration policies.

Key Points:

  • As BAL previously reported, the Australian government released a migration strategy outlining key actions and new policy commitments to overhaul the current migration system.
  • The 2024-25 budget further outlines the measures contained within the strategy, including:
    • Introducing a new national innovation visa starting late 2024; the visa will replace the global talent visa. The government will also close the business innovation and investment visa programs on July 1.
    • Reducing work experience requirements for the temporary skill shortage subclass 482 visa beginning Nov. 23. At that time, the work experience requirement will be reduced from two years to one year to provide quicker access for skilled workers.
  • In addition, the federal budget contains additional changes in support of the migration strategy to manage demand and attract additional foreign talent.
    • The permanent migration program level plan will be reduced to 185,000 places (132,200 of which are dedicated to skilled migration).
      • The skilled-independent visa program will reduce the available slots to 16,900 (from 30,375) and increase the available slots for the employer-sponsored visa program to 44,000 (from 36,825).
    • Applicants from China, India and Vietnam will receive a new ballot process under the work and holiday visas (subclass 462) starting in 2024-25.
    • Finally, a new Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) program will be launched Nov. 1. The program is open to Indian nationals and will offer 3,000 graduates and professionals a two-year visa under a ballot process.
      • The government is also extending the business visitor visa validity period for Indian nationals from three years to up to five years.

BAL Analysis: These changes are part of the Australian government’s migration strategy to reduce net overseas migration to pre-pandemic levels. The new national innovation visa aims to attract exceptionally talented migrants in sectors of national importance and showcases the government’s intention to address critical skill needs while balancing the demand for permanent skilled migration.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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