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Australia:Budget 2022 and migration program

Australia Federal Budget 2021 – 2022

This information is based on the Budget papers published at budget.gov.au

Migration program numbers (new announcement)

The Government will maintain the 2021-22 Migration Program planning level at 160,000.

Family and Skilled stream places will be maintained at their 2020-21 planning levels, with a continued focus on onshore visa applicants, including reducing the onshore Partner visa pipeline.

Skilled visasaround 50% of the program dedicated to skilled visas and giving priority to highly skilled migrants in the employer sponsored Business Innovation and Investor Program and Global Talent visa cohorts.

Family visas – the number of places available will be set at 77,300 places for 2021-22.

Given the proportional allocation of places to the BIIP, Global Talent and Family visas, an overall decrease in other skilled migration visa places is evident.

Humanitarian Program will be maintained at 13,750 places in 2021-22.

The size of the program will remain as a ceiling rather than a target.

As previously noted Net Overseas Migration (NOM) is expected to fall from around 154,000 persons in 2019-20 to be around -72,000 persons by the end of 2020-21, before gradually increasing to around 201,000 persons in 2023-24.

Sponsored Temporary Parent visas – extension of validity period (new announcement)

The validity period for Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visas will be extended by 18 months for individuals who are unable to use their visas due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Global talent visas
Over the next four years $550 million will be committed to attract talent and business from overseas. The ATO will provide fast track tax advice to foreign investors and individual tax residency rules will be simplified.

Streamlining of visas will occur to target highly skilled individuals when circumstances allow, no further details of this streamlining were announced. This announcement most likely refers to the Global Talent visa services provided by the Global Talent Taskforce.

Temporary visa holders
The Government has removed the requirement for applicants for the Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa to demonstrate their attempts to depart Australia if they intend to undertake agricultural work.

The period in which a temporary visa holder can apply for the Temporary Activity visa has also been extended from 28 days prior to visa expiry to 90 days prior to visa expiry.

Student visa holders
The Government will provide further support to employers in the tourism and hospitality sectors to help them find workers, by temporarily allowing student visa holders to work more than 40 hours per fortnight, as long as they are employed in the tourism or hospitality sectors.

Pacific labour mobility
Pacific workers already in Australia under the Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme had their visas extended for 12 months in April 2020 to enable continued availability of workers in regional Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. These arrangements are confirmed to continue until April 2022.

Supporting migrant and refugee women (new announcement)
Funding is being provided to improve migrant and refugee women’s safety and increase capacity for early intervention, grass-roots and social and economic inclusion support.

A pilot program to support temporary visa holders experiencing family violence to explore visa options that are not reliant on their partner.

The Temporary Visa Holders Payment Pilot will be provided with $10.3 million from 30 June 2022 to 2023 to be administered by the Australian Red Cross. This pilot provides up to $3,000 to eligible temporary visa holders to help them cover expenses such as food, accommodation, utilities and other essentials and medical care.

Extended funding will also be provided to nine Community and Women’s Legal Centres across Australia to continue to help women in this challenging situation to access legal assistance and migration support.

Immigration Detention – Christmas Island
The Government will provide $464.7 million over two years from 2020-21 to increase the capacity of the onshore Immigration Detention Network and to extend use of the North West Point Immigration Detention Centre on Christmas Island. This measure addresses ongoing capacity pressures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic on Australia’s ability to remove unlawful non-citizens from this country.

Adult Migrant English Program – new delivery model
As previously announced the Government will introduce a new delivery model for the Adult Migrant English Program from 1 July 2023 to improve English language, employment and social cohesion outcomes for migrants by linking provider payments to student outcomes. The cap of 510 hours will be removed and migrants will be able to study until they have reached the level of ‘vocational’ English.


  • There was no annoucement on visa application charges.
  • No announcements were made related to international students in the Budget.
  • Economic growth is expected to hit 4% although this number is moderated by financial the assumptions on which this has been based.
  • Department of Home Affairs revenue decreased from $3,015.8 million in 2020–21 to $2,945.5 million in 2021–22. A proportion of this resulted from a decrease in the Department’s own-source income of $34.2 million.
  • $2.8 million in 2021-22 to strengthen Australia’s national system of identity settings, with costs to be met from within the existing resources of the Department of Home Affairs
  • The Government will provide $14.2 million in 2021-22 to develop the plan for next generation civil maritime surveillance and response capabilities, which will enable us to deter, detect and respond to civil maritime threats and to protect Australia’s borders.
  • The Government will provide funding to continue the Global Service Centre to respond to enquiries from individuals, businesses and industry on visas, citizenship, trade and customs related matters.

Contact Visa Lounge with any questions related to immigration to Australia and other countries.