The federal government announced the 2022-23 budget on Tuesday this week and announced the migration planning levels for the year. The government noted the impact of closed borders on Australia’s workforce shortages. We understand that the government intends to invest in expanding and upskilling the workforce to secure skilled workers needed now and in the future. The government’s migration program will focus on skilled workers which is set to increase from the 2021 -22 planning levels to 109,900.
Skilled visa stream
There will be 30,000 more places above 2021-22 planning levels. The employer sponsored visa scheme will be allocated 30,000 places, while 16,652 places will be allocated to Skilled Independent visa and 20,000 for state/ territory nominated visas. The regional visas will more than double to 25,000 places. There is a drop in allocated places for business innovation and Global Talent visa which have been allocated 9,500 (down from 13,500) and 8,448 (down from 15,000) places respectively from the 2021-22 year. 300 places have been allocated for Distinguished Talent visas.
We understand that the skilled occupation lists will be reviewed and updated in early 2022-23 to reflect changes in Australia’s labour market, based on advice from the National Skills Commission.
Skilled visa scheme planning levels
|State / Territory nominated||20,000||11,200|
|Business and Innovation and Investment||9,500||13,500|
Family visa stream
An estimated 50,000 places have been allocated for the family visa stream. This takes up the remaining 30% of places within the program. We understand that partner and child visas have been allocated 40,500 and 3,000 places respectively and the partner visa will now be subject to demand and visa processing requirements. This on demand driven model will provide flexibility to meet the demand for partner visa in the program year. The government will redistribute the unused 10,000 places to the skilled program. This means that applicants can expect even longer processing times.
There is 6,000 places allocated parent visa and 500 places for other family visas.
Working Holiday Makers
The government recognises the contribution of working holiday makers in agriculture, short-term work and tourism in Australia, as such about 11,000 additional WHM visas will be available for prospective backpackers. This is a 30% increase for year 2022-23.
The government has recently also introduced concessions for WHM, which allow visa holder to work for more than one employer for more than 6 months until 31 December 2022. Further, WHM who arrive in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 April 2022 can apply for a refund of the visa application charge (VAC).
Should you have any questions about these transitional arrangements, please don’t hesitate to contact our migration lawyers.