Australia has presented its second Budget during the pandemic with important decisions taken for immigration Australia needs to improve.
The Australian government will maintain its planned ceiling for the 2021-2022 migration program. This will be 160,000 immigrants. Josh Frydenberg, the Treasurer, stated in the Australian parliament that the country has managed the COVID pandemic so effectively that it has grown even more attractive a place for the best among the skilled and talented foreigners to come to.
The budget has streamlined visas, targeting highly skilled individuals. This will be practical when the conditions existing favor as the pandemic recedes.
The immigration levels planned include 77,300 places for the family stream and 79,600 places for the skilled stream. Maintaining the ceilings of these streams at the 2020-21 levels, the government will focus on on-shore visa applicants. There will be a reduction to the on-shore partner visa pipeline.
The Australian government will also be maintaining the number of places at 13,750 places for the Humanitarian Program.
The success of any planning done for improving Australia migration will be based largely on the success of the COVID-19 vaccination strategy and the number of COVID-19 cases. A safe quarantine program that can accommodate more people returning to Australia has been planned. These returnees will include international students and skilled migrants.
The budget and its impact on skilled migration to Australia
With the new budget, the Australian government presented its intention to give priority to visas of certain categories. They include Employer-Sponsored, Business Innovation, Global Talent, and Investment Program.
Return of international students
As per what is learned from the budget, international students will return to study in Australia in a phased manner. The number of students arriving in Australia will gradually be increased from 2022.
The Australian government has also provided flexibility to Australia student visa holders in the hospitality and tourism sectors. Students can now work more than 40 hours per fortnight. This is to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on them.
An additional $53.6 million have been set aside for international education providers. These are the ones who have suffered great economic losses due to border closures done by Australia. This measure is taken by the Australian government aiming at independent English language and providers of non-university education.
Temporary visa holders
The federal government has let go of the need for applicants to apply for the Temporary Activity visa (Subclass 408) to show that they are attempting to leave the country so that they can undertake agricultural work.
A temporary visa holder can now apply for the Temporary Activity visa during a period that has now been extended to 90 days prior to visa expiry from 28 days.
Parent visa validity
A new provision has been introduced by the government. This one will extend the period of validity for Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visas. This extension will be by 18 months. It will be applicable for those who aren’t able to use their visas because of travel restrictions due to COVID-19.
This announcement is backed by the Australian government with an allocated amount of $0.1 million.
Adult Migrant English Program
The Australian government has decided to introduce a new delivery model for the AMEP (Adult Migrant English Program). This will be applicable from 1 July 2023. It’s meant to improve employment, the English language, and the results of social cohesion for migrants. This will be achieved by linking student outcomes to provider payments.
The cap of 510 hours will be removed. Migrants can now study until they have achieved ‘vocational’ level English.
Australia’s net migration plans
There has been an impactful revelation for the Australian economy that has come up in the 2021-2022 Budget. It’s a fact that the Australian economy relies heavily on immigration. The budget estimates show that Australia will suffer yet another year with net overseas migration plunging to a negative figure since the Second World War.
As has been noted before, the NOM (Net Overseas Migration) is expected to reduce from around 154,000 persons in 2019-20 to around -72,000 persons by the end of the period of 2020-21.
It’s an accepted fact that Australia’s post-COVID recovery will be dependent on roping in the necessary workers and migrants. They will be essential for the success of the country.
It’s estimated that for net overseas migration to go back to pre-pandemic numbers will take around 2 years. That will happen in case the borders are properly opened. For Australia, it means that recovery will take longer than in countries like the US and Canada.
So, the key aspect now for Australia to grow back to prosperity will be the size of the migrant population arriving in the country. These migrants will be either international students or skilled foreign workers.
If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Australia, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.
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