Budget Edition May 2024

The Australian Budget has brought down some points of interest in the migration programme.

Permanent Migration Program
The Government will set the 2024–25 permanent Migration Program planning level at 185,000 places and allocate 132,200 places (around 70 per cent) to the Skill stream.  The Australian Government is heavily invested in skilled migration and the family migration numbers are slowly decreasing.

Net overseas migration is forecast to approximately halve from 528,000 in 2022–23 to 260,000 in 2024–25.

Migration System Reforms
The Government will provide $18.3 million over four years from 2024–25 to further reform Australia’s migration system to drive greater economic prosperity and restore its integrity.
Funding includes:  • $15.0 million over three years from 2024–25 for information and education activities to provide migrant workers with accurate and appropriate information about workplace safeguards, protections and compliance measures related to migration laws  • $1.9 million in 2024–25 to conduct a data-matching pilot between the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Taxation Office of income and employment data to mitigate exploitation of migrant workers and abuse of Australia’s labour market and migration system.

Work and Holiday visa – China, Vietnam and India
The Government will introduce a visa pre-application (ballot) process for the capped Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa program for China, Vietnam and India from 2024–25. The ballot process will help to manage program demand and application processing times for these countries.

Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) 
The Government will implement a new Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) program for Indian nationals from 1 November 2024. MATES will provide a new mobility pathway for 3,000 Indian graduates and early career professionals (aged 18 to 30 years at the time of application), with knowledge and skills in targeted fields of study to live and work in Australia for up to two years. The visa will have a pre-application (ballot) charge of $25 and an application charge of $365.

Extending the validity of the Business Visitor visa for Indian nationals
The validity of the Visitor visa (subclass 600) Business Visitor stream for Indian nationals from up to three years to up to five years.

National Innovation visa, replacing the current Global Talent visa
The Government will implement a new National Innovation visa, replacing the current Global Talent visa (subclass 858) from late 2024. 
Business Innovation and Investment visa program 
The Business Innovation and Investment visa program (BIIP) will cease, with refunds of the visa application charge provided from September 2024 for those who wish to withdraw their BIIP application.

Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa – work experience reduced
The Government will also reduce the work experience requirement for the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa from two years to one year for all applicants from 23 November 2024.  As soon as we have more details on this change we will advise.
2024-2025 Permanent visa allocations
The allocation for permanent visa places are detailed below.

Skilled Program

Visa StreamVisa Category2023–24 Planning levels2024–25 Planning levels
SkillEmployer Sponsored36,82544,000
 Skilled Independent30,37516,900
 State/Territory Nominated30,40033,000
 Business Innovation & Investment1,9001,000
 Global Talent (Independent)5,0004,000
 Distinguished Talent300300
 Skill Total137,100132,200

VETASSESS and NSDC India join in Workforce Mobility Plan 

VETASSESS and the National Skills Development Corporation of India (NSDC) have agreed to jointly develop a plan to enable skilled workers from India to travel to Australia to fill labour shortages with Australian sponsors.  The Workforce Mobility plan will allow specific Australian employers to fill jobs in their industry under Australian Industry Labour Agreements. 

Priority areas for the project are:
• Hospitality 
• Automotive 
• Agriculture 
• Aged care 

VETASSESS and the NSDC will work on comparing qualifications between Australia and India, benchmarking of qualifications between the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and the Indian National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF), assessing workers’ skills and training in India, any English language training required, preliminary skills assessment and provide any gap training in partnership with Australian and Indian Institutions. 

Source: MIA – Migration Institute of Australia