On the evening of October 6th the Federal Government handed down its much-awaited budget for 2020-21; a year like no other, as Australia and the international community embark upon the long journey out of a pandemic stricken world.
The budget introduced a mix of assistance packages and development initiatives, together with some important changes to Australia’s migration programs.
As analysts examine the impacts and possible benefits of these changes, we summarise them below:
- Migration has been capped at 160,000, precisely the same as in 2019 – 2020. Irrespective of this and as a direct consequence of coronavirus border closures, the government is forecasting a decline in net overseas migration, from 154,000 in 2019-2020 to 72,000 in 2020-2021.
- These numbers are then expected to gradually increase to around 201,000 by 2023-2024, with the progressive return of international students and permanent migrants in the latter part of 2021, coinciding with the resumption of international travel.
- Employer sponsored visas, Global Talent visas and Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) visas will be prioritised within the skilled stream.
- Global Skilled Independent visa places have increased substantially, from 500 places in 2019-2020, to 15,000 places in 2020-2021.
- Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) has also been increased and now offers 13,500 places.
- The number of places for Family Stream visas has increased from 47,732 in 2019-2020, to 77,300 in 2020-2021. Priority will be given to onshore Partner visas.
- English language requirements have been introduced for Partner visa applicants and their sponsors.
- Family sponsorship framework will now be applied to Partner visas, with mandatory character checks and sharing of personal information, together with new sponsorship obligations.
- In 2020-2021, an allocation of 13,750 places has been provided for Humanitarian visas.
Due to past and present circumstances presented by COVID-19, for 2021 Australia’s population growth has now been predicted at a meagre 83,000, compared to the original forecast of 455,000.
The Government remains fully aware however, of Australia’s need to boost population in concert with sound economic recovery and continues to stringently monitor the country’s progress.
Updates, information and assistance
Immigration law is constantly evolving. In this current era it can often appear complex and confusing but friendly guidance and professional assistance is always available.
For more information on this or on any relating issues, contact the migration experts – Sellanes Clark and Associates – specialising in all immigration matters.