The 2021 – 22 Federal Budget has been announced, with some of the key items relating to migration including:
The Government will maintain the 2021-22 Migration Program planning level at 160,000.
Family and Skilled stream places will be maintained at 2020-21 planning levels. We have been advised there will be a continued focus on onshore visa applicants. We have already been seeing a reduction in ther partner visa pipeline, and this is set to continue.
Skilled visas – around half of the 2021-22 program is dedicated to skilled visas, with priority continuing to be given to highly skilled migrants (via employer sponsored visas, the Business Innovation and Investor Program and the Global Talent Independent visa program.
Global Talent visas – over the next four years, $550M has been dedicated to attracting talent and business from overseas. The budget revealed that the Australian Tax Office will provide fast track tax advice to foreign investors and that individual tax residency rules will be simplified. This is really exciting stuff, and our team are looking forward to assisting more highly skilled migrants to establish businesses, particularly in our regional areas which are rich with opportunities!
Humanitarian Program will be maintained at 13,750 places in 2021-22.
Sponsored Temporary Parent visas will be extended by 18 months for individuals who are unable to use their visas due to COVID19 travel restrictions.
Temporary visa holders – the requirement for applicants for the Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa to demonstrate their attempts to depart Australia if they intend to undertake agricultural work, has been removed.
The period in which a temporary visa holder can apply for the Temporary Activity visa has also been extended from 28 days prior to visa expiry to 90 days prior to visa expiry.
Student visa holders – to help support employers in the tourism and hospitality sectors, student visa holders are now able to work more than 40 hours per fortnight, as long as they are employed in the tourism or hospitality sectors.
Support for migrant refugee women – the Government has announced that funding is being provided to improve migrant and refugee women’s safety and increase capacity for early intervention, grass-roots and social and economic inclusion support.
A Temporary Visa Holders Payment Pilot will be provided with $10.3 million from 30 June 2022 to 2023 (to be administered by the Australian Red Cross). This pilot provides up to $3,000 to eligible temporary visa holders to help them cover expenses such as food, accommodation, utilities and other essentials and medical care.
Extended funding will also be provided to nine Community and Women’s Legal Centres across Australia to continue to help women in this challenging situation to access legal assistance and migration support.