Federal Budget Announcement 2021 – 2022 update on Australia’s immigration program

The Australian Government has recently announced their budget planning for the financial year 2021 -2022. However, there are not many immigrations related news being made in this announcement.

We understand that people who are looking to migrate to Australia often wait for this announcement and see how it could affect their current situation. Therefore, we have summarised some immigrations related key points from the budget announcement for your reference.

Key Points of the announcement

Migration Program Allocation

Although the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry proposed to increase the allocation to 190,000, the government announced that it will keep the 2021 – 2022 migration program planning level at 160,000 for this financial year. This number remains unchanged compared to that of 2020 – 2021.

The distribution of the quota is the same as in 2020-2022, which is

Processing priority will be given to onshore visa applicants including partner visa applicants, employer sponsored, Business Innovation and Investor, and Global Talent visas.

This planning reflects that the government wants to focus on the recovery of the economy post-covid, by attracting investment and highly skilled workers.

Parent Visa validity

In this announcement, the government will extend the validity period of the Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visas to 18 months for those who are unable to use their visas due to Covid19 travel restrictions.

No restriction of working hours for international students working the tourism and hospitality

To tackle labour shortage in tourism and hospitality sectors, the government has relaxed the restriction on student visas. Accordingly, international students who are working in these two sectors can work unlimited hours until further notice from the government.

Please note that this is only a temporary relaxation. International students and employers should watch for new announcement for any changes to avoid being in breach of student visas.

408 visa applications

According to the budget announcement, applicants for the visa subclass 408, who intend to work in agricultural sector, do not need to prove that they have arranged to leave Australia.

Furthermore, the period in which the applicants can apply for this type of visa has been extended to 90 days prior to their visa expiry date (instead of 28 days). This only applies if you are working in critical sectors.

Please note that the 90 days is the period you can apply for this visa prior to your visa expiry. If your current visa had expired, you only have 28 days to apply for this visa.

Adult Migrant English Program

From 1 July 2023, a new delivery method will be introduced for the Adult Migrant English program. This program enables eligible migrants to study English to improve their employability, adaptation, and social cohesion.

Migrants will be able to study English in this program until they reach the level of vocational English, instead of only 510 hours of study.

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