The October Budget, delivered on October 25th has brought a number of changes to the migration program, and its administration through the Department of Home Affairs, with some of these changes being announced before the Budget.
- 195,000 permanent skilled migration places announced, an increase from 160,000 last year. This has the objective of easing the skills shortage problem that many industry sectors are currently facing.
- An additional $42.3 million will be allocated to improve visa processing backlogs within the Department of Home Affairs, and raise awareness of opportunities for highly skilled migrants in Australia’s permanent Migration Program. It is envisaged that another 500 staff will be employed by the DHA to boost visa processing capacity across all visa subclasses as a result of this allocation of funds.
- Extended relaxation of work restrictions for student visa holders and secondary training visas holders to 30 June 2023, already announced, such as being able to work more than 40 hours per fortnight.
- The priority processing of offshore skilled migration applications and on-hand NZ Stream Skilled Independent SC 189 applications.
- $20 million allocated in additional funding over four years from 2022-23 for the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) to support individual learners with flexible delivery and case management.
- An additional 500 places in the aged care training pathway for Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme participants for 2022–23.
- A new Pacific Engagement Visa with up to 3,000 permanent migration places for nationals of Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste, in addition to the existing permanent migration program.
- Additional funding for 3 year Temporary Humanitarian Concern Visas (subclass 786) for Ukrainians and to provide extended access to Medicare for a 12 month period for Ukrainians, including their immediate family members, who hold a Bridging Visa E.
- $0.6 million in additional funding in 2022–23 for the Ukrainian Community and Settlement Support.
- Nil visa application charges for international teams, officials and official carers participating in the Virtus Oceania Asia Games 2022.
This newsletter only provides general information related to current migration matters. The information contained in this communication does not constitute specific migration advice, and should not be construed or relied on as such. Professional advice should be sought for the specifics of your situation prior to any action being taken. BD Welsh and Co disclaims any liability (including, without limitation, for any direct or indirect or consequential costs, loss or damage or loss of profits) arising from anything done or omitted to be done by any party in reliance, whether wholly or partially, on any of the information contained in this newsletter. Any party that relies on the information does so at its own risk. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.