The Labor Government elected in May 2022 delivered its first Budget this evening.
The Labour Government presented its first Budget this month, highlighting key information with regards to the Department of Home Affairs in relation to migration.
The budget reiterated the focus on skilled migration, highlighting the cap increase from 160,000 to 195,000, which had been previously announced after the Jobs and Skills Summit.
There were few immigration related announcements in this Budget, with some having been previously announced:
- 195,000 permanent skilled migration places
- an additional $42.2 million to accelerate visa processing, resolve the visa backlog and raise awareness of opportunities for high-skilled migrants in Australia’s permanent Migration Program
- extended relaxation of work restrictions for student visa holders and secondary training visas holders to 30 June 2023
- priority processing of offshore skilled migration applications and on-hand NZ Stream Skilled Independent SC 189 applications.
- an additional 500 places in the aged care training pathway for Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme participants 2022–23
- a new Pacific Engagement Visa with up to 3,000 permanent migration places for nationals of Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste, in addition to the existing permanent migration program
- additional funding for 3 year Temporary Humanitarian Concern Visas (subclass 786) for Ukrainians and extended access to Medicare for a 12 month period for Ukrainians, including their immediate family members, who hold a Bridging Visa E
- $0.6 million in additional funding in 2022–23 for the Ukrainian Community and Settlement Support
- nil visa application charges for international teams, officials and official carers participating in the Virtus Oceania Asia Games 2022.
Additional funds, $42.2 million, were allocated to enable faster visa processing in order to resolve the visa application backlog issues and promote permanent visa opportunities for highly skilled migrants. It reiterated the Government’s commitment to skilled migration by prioritising offshore skilled applications and current Subclass 189 NZ stream applications.
The budget promised the continued relaxation of work restrictions on student visas until 30 June 2023.
The Government demonstrated their sustained support for the Pacific by enabling an additional 500 places in the aged care training pathway for Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme participants for 2022–23 and a new Pacific Engagement Visa with up to an additional 3,000 permanent migration places for those from Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste.
There will be further funding for Temporary Humanitarian Concern Visas (Subclass 786) for Ukrainians and continued access to Medicare for a period of 12 months including family members who hold a Bridging visa E.
$600,000 funding has been allocated for 2022-23 for the Ukrainian Community and Settlement Support.
Further information may be released in the Home Affairs Portfolio Budget statements in the coming days.
Minister Clare O’Neil’s has released a short portfolio media release this evening which is available here.
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