The Government handed down its first entire Budget on 9 May 2023, since it was elected in 2022. We will be covering the important announcements relating to Australian Migration.
The 2023-24 migration planning level will be 190,000 places, with 137,100 allocated to the skilled migration stream. This number is slightly lower than this financial year's number allocated to skilled visas.
Last year the numbers allocated to skilled visas were 142,400 places. The number of Employer-sponsored visas has slightly increased as many 482 visa holders in the short-term stream will be eligible to lodge the 186 permanent employer-sponsored visas.
The numbers for the Business and Innovation and Investment stream have drastically decreased by 3100 places, which is probably why the visa application fees for these visas have increased by 40 percent. The numbers for the 189,190, and 491 visas have slightly decreased compared to this year.
Increase in Fees and Charges
The Government will increase Visa Application Charges (VACs) from 1 July 2023. The Budget Papers indicate that Visa Application Charges will rise between 6% and 40%.
For the Visitor, working holiday, work and holiday, training, temporary activity, and temporary work (short stay specialist) visa, there is a 40% fee increase of 15%.
There is a 40% increase for Business innovation and investment visas and a 6 % increase for other visas.
The Passenger Movement Charge carrier's pay will increase from $60 to $70.
Increase in TSMIT
The Government will increase the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold from the current rate of $53,900 to $70,000 from 1 July 2023.
New nominations lodged ON or AFTER that date will be required to meet the new TSMIT of $70,000 or the annual market salary rate, whichever is higher.
Applications lodged BEFORE 1 July 2023 will not be affected.
By the end of 2023, the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme SC 186 will be amended.
All Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) SC 482 visa holders will be eligible for ENS visas sponsored by their employers.
Applicants must continue to work in the occupation nominated for their TSS visa(s).
Sponsored visa holders will be eligible for ENS TRT after two years (down from three years) of sponsorship on a TSS by their employer.
Applicants must meet all other nomination and visa requirements for the TRT stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme visa.
The limit on Short Term stream TSS visa applications that can be made onshore has also been removed in the interim.
Visa processing capacity will be supported with funding of $75.8 million over two years from 2023–24. Of this, $48.1 million will be allocated over 12 months to support 500 visa processing officers to manage the number of visa applications on hand. $27.8 million of this amount over the two years will be spent to upgrade existing visa ICT systems to improve visa service delivery efficiency.
An additional investment of $50.0 million over four years from 2023–24 (and $15.3 million per year ongoing) is to be provided for additional enforcement and compliance activities to maintain the integrity of the migration system.
Australian Migration Updates: Immigration Assessment Authority
The Government will provide $4.0 million in 2023–24 for the Immigration Assessment Authority to continue merits review of unsuccessful protection visa applications eligible for fast-track review under the Migration Act 1958, pending the establishment of a new federal administrative review body.
Australian Migration Updates: Temporary Graduate Post-Study Rights
Temporary Graduate visa holders with select degrees will be eligible for an extra two years of post-study work rights to improve the pipeline of skilled labor in key sectors from 1 July 2023.
Australian Migration Updates: International students working hour cap
The working hour cap for international student visa holders will be reinstated from 1 July 2023, following its removal during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be increased by 8 hours from pre-pandemic levels to 48 hours per fortnight. International students working in the aged care sector will be exempt from the capped fortnightly work hour limit until 31 December 2023.
Australian Migration Updates: Skills Assessment - Improved Skills Recognition
The Government is re-scoping two Skills Assessment Pilots to provide onshore migrants with fast-tracked skills assessments, free employability assessments, and access to further training to improve their employment prospects.
The Department has also announced an Aged Care Labour Agreement to address the skills shortages in this sector.
The Agreement provides additional incentives for employers to attract workers, including an expedited two-year pathway to permanent residency. In addition, ongoing business and union engagement will promote transparency, according to media reports. The Department of Home Affairs will process the associated visa applications as a matter of priority.
To access an Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement, the employer must first enter into an MoU with a relevant industry union(s) – the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the Health Services Union, or the United Workers Union.
Employers can nominate overseas direct care workers in the following Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) positions which are:
Nursing Support Worker (ANZSCO 423312)
Personal Care Assistant (ANZSCO 423313)
Aged or Disabled Carer (ANZSCO 423111)
If you need help with your visa application, please book a consultation at nationwidemigration.com.au/book-online.