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2024-25 Australia Federal Budget - Migration Updates

Treasurer Jim Chalmers presented the budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year last night. Here are the key migration-related points and recent visa changes we have summarized from the budget.


From the budget

Permanent Migration Program Planning

2024–25 permanent Migration Program planning level is set at 185,000 places, with 132,200 of these places (about 70%) allocated to the Skill stream. Net overseas migration is forecast to halve to 260,000 in 2024-2025.


From FY2025–26, the Government will extend the planning horizon for the permanent Migration Program from one year to four years, which means the total migration planning level and the proportion of various types of visas are planned every four years


2024-25 Migration Program planning level

Visa Category

FY23/24

FY24/25

Change%

Skill Stream

 

 

 

Employer Sponsored

36,825

44,000

19.5%

Skilled Independent

30,375

16,900

-44.4%

Regional

32,300

33,000

2.2%

State/Territory Nominated

30,400

33,000

8.6%

Business Innovation & Investment

1,900

1,000

-47.4%

Global Talent (Independent)

5,000

4,000

-20.0%

Distinguished Talent

300

300

0.0%

Skill Total

137,100

132,200


Family Stream

 

 

 

Partner

40,500

40,500

0.0%

Parent

8,500

8,500

0.0%

Child

3,000

3,000

0.0%

Other Family

500

500

0.0%

Family Total

52,500

52,500


Special Eligibility

400

300

-25.0%

Total Migration Program

190,000

185,000

 

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS482) visa - reduced work experience requirement

For ALL TSS482 applications submitted starting from November 23, 2024, the work experience requirement will be reduced from 2 years to 1 year

 

Business Innovation and Investment program (188/888) - Cease

From July 2024, BIIP will cease and new 188 visa applications will no longer be accepted. However, eligible 888 visa applicants can still submit their applications.

From September 2024, those who wish to withdraw their 188 visa application will receive a refund of their visa application fee. Although withdrawal is not mandatory, only 1,000 places are allocated in the BIIP for this fiscal year.


Global Talent GTI – New Visa Replacement

The new National Innovation Visa will be implemented from the end of 2024 to replace the existing GTI visa

 

Working and Holiday Visa (462) - 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. A ballot charge of $25 will apply.


Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) - implement from 1 Nov 2024

From 1 November 2024, MATES will offer a new mobility pathway for 3,000 Indian graduates and early career professionals (aged 18 to 30 at the time of application) with expertise in targeted fields of study. This visa allows them to live and work in Australia for up to two years. There will be a pre-application ballot charge of $25 and an application fee of $365.

 

Visa Application Charges - there is no mention of an increase at the moment

 

Recent announced visa changes

500 Student Visa/590 Guardian Visa - Increase applicants’ financial capacity requirements & English requirements

  • From May 10, 2024, the financial capacity requirements for 500 & 590 visa applicants (main applicants) will rise to AUD 29,710 + first-year tuition fees; the amount will also increase for any extra secondary applicants.

  • From March 24, 2024, the English proficiency standard for 500 visa applicants will increase to IELTS 6; for those who undertake a packaged ELICOS, a minimum of IELTS 5 will be required

 

Temporary Graduate Visa 485 - From July 1, 2024

  • Applicants must be under 35 years old (Hong Kong SAR and BNO passport holders are exempt).

  • Post-Vocational Education Work Stream replaces Graduate Work Stream: graduates with an associate degree, diploma, or trade qualification who meet the criteria are eligible to apply.

  • Post-Higher Education Work stream replaces Post-Study Work stream: graduates at degree level or higher level who meet the requirements can apply.

  • The ‘select degree’ 2 year extension visa period will cease

  • The Replacement stream will cease

  • From March 24, 2024, applicants will need to meet an English proficiency level of IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (PTE 57, with at least 43 in listening, 42 in speaking, 48 in reading, and 51 in writing in each section). The scores will now be valid for 1 year.

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