2024-25 Federal Budget: Key migration changes for employers

Holding Redlich


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Budget announcement provided insights into the migration program for the next financial year.
Australia Immigration
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The Federal Budget announcement on 14 May provided some insight into the migration program for the next financial year. These announcements align with the Migration Strategy and ongoing reforms we can expect to see over the next few years. This article summarises some of the key announcements that will impact employers.

Cap on student visa numbers from 1 January 2025

In recent months, we have seen many changes to student visas as part of the Government's efforts to strengthen the integrity of the migration program. The Government has announced it will impose caps on student visa numbers from 1 January 2025. Details of those caps are expected to be announced following extensive consultation with stakeholders. For employers, a reduction in student visa holders in Australia means a reduced casual workforce.

Reduction in work experience for Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa holders

An interesting announcement was the reduction of the work experience requirement for the subclass 482 visa. Currently, to be eligible for this visa, an applicant must have at least two years of relevant work experience. From 23 November 2024, this will be reduced to only one year. The interesting thing about this announcement is the timing. Late last year when the Migration Strategy was released, it ws indicated that the subclass 482 visa would cease and be replaced with the Critical Skills Shortage visa by the end of 2024. It is unclear whether this change to the subclass 482 visa means the introduction of the new visa will be delayed or whether this change will flow onto the new visa.

New Migration Program planning levels

The planning levels for the next financial year can be found in the table below. This is good news for employers with an additional 7,175 places available for permanent employer sponsored visas. On the other hand, the reduction in available places for the Skilled Indepdent visa will see more onshore applicants seeking to achieve permanent residency through employer sponsorship.


Source: Department of Home Affairs website

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold to increase from 1 July 2024

Separate from the Federal Budget, the Government has on 28 May announced an increase to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT), which will take effect from 1 July 2024. This comes a year after its first increase since 2013. The threshold will be raised from the current $70,000 to $73,150.

From this date, new employer nomination applications must meet the new TSMIT of $73,150 or the annual market salary rate, whichever is higher. Nominations lodged before 1 July 2024 will not be affected.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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