Updated: Jun 30
On 27 April 2023, Minister Clare O’Neil gave a speech at the Nation Press Club, discussing Australia’s current migration environment and the future reforming strategy for the migration system.
On 9 May 2023, the federal government announced the new 2023-24 Financial year budget.
We have summarised the significant announcements in the Budget paper and the associated documents related to the Australian migration program below.
Migration Planning Levels
The 2023-24 Permanent Migration Planning level has been set at 190,000, with 72% quotation allocated to the skilled migration stream.
Skill stream (137,100 places):
200 places are allocated for the Hong Kong stream of subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa;
A reduction of 62% in the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) will ensure the permanent migration program is a greater focus on addressing immediate workforce shortages.
Family stream (52,500 places)
Business Innovation & Investment
Global Talant (Inderpendent)
Total Migration Program
* For 2023-24, delivery of the Partner and Child visa categories are demand driven, with indidemand-drivencative planning levels only.
Increase in Fees and Charges
From 1 July 2023, the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) paid by carriers will increase from $60 to $70.
From 1 July 2023, the government will increase the Visa Application Charges (VACs).
In addition to the regular Consumer Price Index (CPI), VACs will increase between 6% to 40%. The increment across the following visa subclasses:
General visas that are not mentioned below
CPI + 6%
Visitor, working holiday, work and holiday, training, temporary activity, and temporary work (short stay specialist) visas
CPI + 6% + 15%
Business innovation and Investment visas
CPI + 6% + 40%
Pacific Engagement Visa and Pacific Australia Labour Mobility visas
Exempt from increase
Temporary Graduate Post-Study Rights
From 1 July 2023, Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders with selected degrees will be eligible for an extra 2 years of post-study work rights to improve the pipeline of skilled labour in key sectors.
Temporary Graduate Visa Skills and Qualifications
From 1 July 2023, the skilled occupation list will be reinstated for the Graduate Work stream of Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa. The applicants who lodge the relevant visa application will need to:
nominate one occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and;
have a degree, diploma or trade qualification closely related to that occupation and
have a relevant and positive skills assessment from a relevant assessing authority.
International Students Working Hour Cap
From 1 July 2023, the working hour cap for international student visa holders will be reinstated. It will be increased by 8 hours from pre-pandemic levels to 48 hours per fortnight, except for students working in the aged care sector.t
International students working in the aged care sector will be exempt from the capped fortnightly work hour limit until 31 December 2023.
Increase in Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold
From 1 July 2023, the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold will increase from $53,900 to $70,000.
The applicants who are about to apply for the employer-sponsor visa (subclass 482/494/186/187) will be affected. The groups of Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) holders who would like to apply for the Permanent Resident visa (subclass 191) might be affected.
However, this change will not affect existing visa holders and nominations lodged before 1 July 2023.
Expanded Permanent Pathway for Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa Holders
By the end of 2023, the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa will be available for ALL Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa holders whose employers wish to sponsor them.
Applicants will need to continue to work in the occupation nominated for their TSS visas
The occupations for the 186 visa TRT stream will not limit to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL);
Eligibility for the TRT stream will be reduced from 3 years to 2 years of employment with the sponsoring employer;
Applicants will need to meet all other nomination and visa requirements for the TRT stream
The renewal cap (one-time) for the 482TSS short-term stream visa holders will be removed.
Direct Pathway to Australian Citizenship for New Zealand Citizens
From 1 July 2023, New Zealand citizens living in Australia for 4 years and more will be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship directly, with no need to apply for a Permanent visa first. The applicants need to meet the general residence requirement.
Love and Thoms High Courts Cases
$5.5 million over 4 years provided to support a pathway to permanent residency for individuals who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents and who satisfy the tripartite test as set out in Mabo v Queensland [No. 2] (1992) 175 CLR 1, as a result of the High Court’s decision in Love v Commonwealth; Thoms v Commonwealth (2020) 270 CLR 152.
Eligible individuals will be invited to apply for the Resolution of Status visa (subclass 851) for permanent residence providing access to essential Government entitlements, services and programs.
Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Scheme
Additional training places will be created for PALM scheme workers in priority sectors for the Pacific and Timor-Leste and where there are job shortages in Australia.
Adult Migrant English Program
A new delivery model will be implemented for the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) with improved English language, employment, and settlement outcomes for migrants.
* A full copy of the Budget papers is available on the Budget 2023 website.
* Minister Clare O’Neil and Minister Andrew Giles’ have made a joint media statement.