Federal Budget For 2024-25 Released; Commitment To Migration System Reforms Reaffirmed

The Australian government released its federal budget for the year 2024-25, in which it reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to migration system reforms by implementing the plans outlined in its Migration Strategy.
Australia Immigration
To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.com.

At a Glance

The Australian government released its federal budget for the year 2024-25, in which it reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to migration system reforms by implementing the plans outlined in its Migration Strategy. Some key measures include:

  • The introduction of immigration programs such as the new National Innovation Visa;
  • Changes to existing immigration policies, including relaxation of the work experience requirement for the Temporary Skill Shortage subclass 482 visa; and
  • Budget allocation for immigration-related programs and offices.

The situation

On May 14, 2024, the Australian government's Budget for the 2024-25 financial year was announced. The government reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to migration system reforms by implementing the plans outlined in its Migration Strategy.

A closer look

The table below lists some of the migration measures proposed:

Proposed Plan Impact

Permanent migration program planning level. Consistent with the previous year's allocation, the government plans to set out 185,000 permanent migration spots, with 70% allocated to the Skill stream. Within the Skill stream, the Skilled-Independent visa program places have been reduced to 16,900 (from 30,375) and the Employer-Sponsored visa program places have been increased to 44,000 (from 36,825).

Employer-sponsored skilled foreign nationals benefit from the high allocation of permanent migration slots to the Skill stream as it opens more opportunities to permanently reside and work in Australia.

Fewer invitations will be issued by the Department of Home Affairs and a higher level of competition is expected amongst individual applicants with the significant reduction of places under the Skilled-Independent visa program.

Introduction of new immigration programs. With the aim of attracting more highly skilled foreign talent to Australia, the government introduces new visa programs, including the following:

  • In late 2024, the government will launch the new National Innovation visa, a replacement to the Global Talent visa and the Business Innovation and Investment visa programs (BIIP).
  • Starting November 1, 2024, the new Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) program will be opened specifically for Indian nationals. We will monitor and report as further information is released.
  • The new National Innovation visa would give exceptionally talented individuals an opportunity to live and work in Australia without an employer or family member's sponsorship. It will open a path for foreign investors to invest in Australia.
  • The MATES program provides Indian university graduates and early-career professionals an opportunity to live and work in Australia for up to two years, while gaining valuable work experience.

Relaxed rules for existing immigration policies. The government will relax the following existing immigration policies:

  • Starting November 23, 2024, the work experience requirement for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 will be reduced from two years to one year. This change will likely carry across to the new Skills in Demand visa (set to supersede the TSS visa program in late 2024).
  • The government will extend the validity period of Business Visitor visas issued to Indian nationals from three years to up to five years.
  • Trades Recognition Australia (a national skills assessment service that recognizes trade skills for migration purposes) will provide a modern technological solution for the assessment of trade skills to benefit both skilled workers and employers.
  • The relaxation of work experience requirements gives opportunities for graduates and early-career professionals to meet eligibility criteria and easily obtain a work visa in Australia.
  • The extension of the Business Visitor visa gives Indian nationals more flexibility in travelling and conducting business in Australia.
  • Skilled foreign nationals will benefit from a quicker and more efficient skills assessment process powered by modern technology.

New rules for holiday visas and students.

  • A new ballot process for Work and Holiday visas will be implemented for nationals of Mainland China, India and Vietnam.
  • Student visa slots for international students will be capped for all educational providers.
  • Applicants impacted by the changes in policies on Work and Holiday visas (new ballot process) and student visas (setting a cap) will find it more challenging to obtain these visas.
  • Indian nationals will benefit from being included in the Work and Holiday visa program for the first time.
  • Education providers who seek to offer additional slots above the imposed cap will need to demonstrate a new supply of purpose-built student accommodation to benefit both international and domestic students and free up pressure on the rental market.

Budget allocation for immigration-related programs and offices. The government allocated AUD 100 million to the Department of Home Affairs to support the performance of its core functions, including immigration and Australian Border Force operations. Separately, it also allocated the following amounts to different immigration-related programs and offices:

  • AUD 1 billion over five years to establish and support the operation of the new Administrative Review Tribunal (soon to replace the current Administrative Appeals Tribunal which adjudicates on immigration matters);
  • AUD 115.6 million to address court backlogs due to high volume of immigration applications for judicial review;
  • AUD 15 million over three years towards information and education about workplace safeguards, protections and compliance measures relating to migration laws; and
  • AUD 1.9 million for a data-matching pilot with the Australian Taxation Office of income and employment data to prevent migrant worker exploitation and to deter abuse of Australia's labor market and migration system.
  • The government's efforts to invest in immigration-related programs and offices ensure that Australia's immigration system is transparent and efficient.
  • Foreign workers will benefit from new policies imposing strict compliance responsibilities to employers as measures against workplace exploitation.


Consistent with its Migration Strategy, the government intends to address skills needs, reshape permanent skilled migration to drive long-term prosperity, raise the standards for international students, protect foreign workers, and simplify the migration system.

Looking ahead

The Australian government has progressively commenced consultations to seek views from key stakeholders, industry bodies and the public to assist in forming the settings for each of the visa programs under review.

To date, consultations have opened on the draft Core Skills Occupation List set to be used in the Core Skills stream of the proposed Skills in Demand visa and review of the Points Test used in the General Skilled Migration visa program.

Consultations on developing the new National Innovation visa, strengthening integrity in the approved sponsor application process and evaluating regional migration settings for the Working Holiday Maker program will be released throughout 2024.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

See More Popular Content From

Mondaq uses cookies on this website. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies as set out in our Privacy Policy.

Learn More