The MIA has provided a summary of the Federal Budget 2022-23 in relation to the Migration Program. The Budget papers and Portfolio Statements are published at budget.gov.au
This information is is indicative of Government policy and implications on the visa program, therefore helpful for those who are making plans for any Australian visas.
The Government will reinstate Migration Program planning levels to 160,000 in 2022-23.
Net Overseas Migration is expected to increase from -89,000 in 2020-21 to 41,000 in 2021-22, then 180,000 in 2022-23, before increasing to 213,000 people in 2024-25.
Skilled stream visas will account for 70% of the program with a total of 109,900 places. This represents an increase of approximately 30,000 places over the 2021-22 program, with 20,000 of these places resulting from the overall increase in the program and 10,000 redistributed from the partner program.
The Government contends that this redistribution recognises the sharp fall in the number of on-hand Partner visa applications and will further support the economic recovery by increasing the places available for skilled visa holders.
|State and Territory Nominated||20,000||11,200|
|Business and Innovation and Investment||9,500||13,500|
Family visas will be allocated the remaining 30% of places within the program, with as previously observed 10,000 places redistributed from the partner visa category to the skilled stream.
The Budget papers contain the somewhat curious statement that ‘partner visa granting arrangements will move to a more demand driven basis going forward’. The MIA will seek further clarification on this.
Parent visas have received a small increase in allocation.
|Child (estimate, not subject to ceiling)||3,000||3000|
The Humanitarian Program will be maintained at 13,750 places in 2022-23. The size of the program will remain as a ceiling not a target.
To support regional settlement, the Government is committed to settling 50% of humanitarian entrants in regional Australia.
Afghanistan – $665.9 million will be allocated over the 4 years from 2022-23 for an additional 16,500 humanitarian places for Afghan nationals. This brings the total number of places for Afghans across the migration program to 31,5000 over the next four years. This includes the 10,000 already announced as arriving under the Humanitarian Program and 5,000 announced as arriving under the Family stream.
Myanmar – the Government will continue to work with international partners, no other information provided.
Ukraine – the Government will make available up to 4,000 three year Temporary Humanitarian Concern Visas (Subclass 786) to Ukrainians across 2021-22 and 2022-23. However, most Ukrainians are expected to resettle in Europe.
Youth Transition Support – $9.2 million will be provided to extend existing Youth Transition Support services for 12 months to 30 June 2023, to continue the provision of services to young humanitarian entrants and vulnerable migrants, to increase their engagement in education and community sport and assist in transition to employment
Human Rights Advocacy – $1 million will be available over 5 years from 2022-23 to establish a Human Rights Advocacy Program to provide grants of up to $100,000 to human-rights focused organisations to advance Australia’s human rights priorities (funded by DFAT).
Reform of Settlement Strategies and Services
From 1 July 2022, the Government will reduce the visa application charge to 40% of the current rate for primary applicants to the Community Support Program and remove it entirely for secondary applicants. It will also increase the number of places available in the program from 750 to 1,900 places by 2024-25.
Ensuring that communities from across regional Australia can participate directly in the settlement of refugees will be one of the key priorities for the Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot. Expenditure will facilitate community sponsorship of up to 1,500 refugees across Australia, to help refugees resettle with the support of trained community groups, faith-based groups and volunteers.
Specific Visa Programs and Streams
Global Talent Attraction
The Government will provide $19.5 million over 2 years from 2022‑23 to continue the Global Business, Talent and Investment Taskforce, as the renamed Global Australia Taskforce, to attract talented individuals and international investment to Australia.
Skilling Australians Fund Allocation
Although the Budget papers do not specifically report the amount collected with the SAF Levy, $127 million has been allocated from the Fund for training for occupations in high demand that rely on skilled migration, future growth industries, rural and regional areas, and with a strong focus on apprenticeships and traineeships.
Work and Holiday
WHM places will increase by 11,000 (30%) in 2022-23. WHM visa holders who arrive in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 April 2022 will be eligible for a refunded VAC.
Australian Agricultural Visas
In December 2021, the Australian Government announced $87.2 million over four years from 2021-22 (and $23.4 million per year ongoing from 2025-26) for the Australian Agriculture Visa. The Department of Regional Development will receive $15 million for operational staff over four years through to 2024-25. This will fund an increase in deterrence and enforcement activities aimed to combat worker exploitation and minimise rates of non-compliance under the scheme.
The Government will also further clarify the tax treatment for income earned by workers under the Australian Agriculture Visa scheme established in MYEFO 2021-22.
Temporary Visa Holders Experiencing Violence Pilot
The Temporary Visa Holders experiencing violence pilot is funded by the Department of Social Services and has been provided $20.3 million in funding to provide direct support to women on temporary visas experiencing violence. Up to $3,000 per person/family to cover expenses such as accommodation and medical care may be provided. This funding included $7 million over two years for nine Women’s and Community Legal Services nationally, to help women access legal assistance and migration support, with the remaining funding used for an evaluation.
Department of Home Affairs – Resourcing
The total resourcing for the six functional units (eg, Immigration, Border Force, Customs etc) that comprise the Home Affairs portfolio will increase by 11% – from $3.7 billion to $3.9 billion dollars.
Across the whole Home Affairs portfolio, the staffing level will increase by 398 positions, from 13,612 to 14,010 in the 2022-23 financial year.
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