Federal Budget 2024/25 | What it Means for Migrants and Employers of Visa Holders: On Tuesday, May 14, the Australian government unveiled its federal budget. It plans to use the funds from 2024–25 to change the migration system in order to put the migration strategy into effect. This also aims to decrease net overseas migration, especially the migration of foreign students.

New visa arrangements for Indian and South-east Asian applicants are part of this. These are initiatives to bolster essential tasks like monitoring immigration compliance. Here is a summary of what the federal budget has in store for businesses that employ visa holders and migrants:

1. Permanent Migration Programme: Focus on Employer-Sponsored Visas

A total of 185,000 spots will be available for competent South Africans (about 70%) under the Permanent Migration Programme in 2024–25, according to the Federal Budget.

Predictions show that the permanent migration programme will have 137,100 spots set aside for qualified workers. And this is a decrease from last year’s 190,000 spots. There has been little change to the distribution of family visas, which includes partner visas. The government’s migration policy calls for a four-year planning horizon for the permanent migration programme, up from one year in 2025–26.

2. Decrease in Net Overseas Migration

Over the forward projections starting July 1, 2024, we anticipate a 110,000-person drop in net overseas migration. This is a result of government measures, including the Migration Strategy’s tightening of student visa restrictions. The closing of the Subclass 408 Pandemic Event Visa also affects this.

In 2024–25, we expect net migration from outside the country to drop to 260,000, down from 528,000 in 2022–23. This is probably because of the new housing and cost of living stresses caused by the epidemic.

3. Arrangements for visas for applicants from India and South-east Asia

The Federal Budget made reference to many immigration programmes for Indian and South-east Asian candidates.

  • Fifty-five million dollars over five years beginning in 2023–24 to bolster ties with South-east Asia. The allocation of one and a half million dollars, spread over two years starting in 2023–24, aims to simplify visa requirements and grant long-validity business and frequent traveller visas to ASEAN and Timor-Leste.
  • For the capped Work and Holiday (Subclass 462) Visa programme for China, Vietnam, and India, the government will be introducing a pre-application (ballot) procedure in 2024–25 to control demand.
  • The new Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-Professionals Scheme (MATES) will be open to Indian citizens starting November 1, 2024. Through this programme, qualified young Indians may work in Australia for a maximum of two years after graduating from college.
  • There has been an increase in the maximum validity period for Indian citizens’ Visitor Visas (Subclass 600) Business Visitor Streams from three to five years.

4. Redesigning the Migration System

To revamp Australia’s immigration system, the government will spend $18.3 million over four years, beginning in 2024–25. Part of this will be:

  • 15 million dollars spread out over three years, beginning in 2024 and 2025, to teach immigrants how to legally work in the United States.
    funds totaling $1.9 million in 2024–2025 for a data matching pilot project with the Australian Taxation Office
  • The budget documents also cover the following projects and immigration budget expenses:
  • The Australian Border Force and other vital operations, as well as immigration compliance efforts, will receive an extra $100 million in 2024–25 from the Department of Home Affairs.
    There will be an increase in average personnel levels at the Department of Home Affairs and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in order to reduce wait times and enhance processing.

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