Migration Planning for FY 23-24: The Key Takeaways
Australia has long been a popular destination for migrants worldwide, and migration policies have seen various changes over the years. With FY 2023-24 approaching, here are the significant updates to the Australian Government’s migration program planning levels.
1. Planning Levels for 2023-24
The government’s decision to set the permanent Migration Program’s cap at 190,000 places for the fiscal year 2023-24 represents a calculated reduction. By trimming the number by 5,000 compared to the 2022-23 planning level, the government is reverting to figures that closely resemble the targets set before the global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
These pre-COVID levels were designed to maintain a balance in accommodating migrants while ensuring sustainable growth and stability. The decision to revert hints at the government’s confidence in the nation’s capacity to handle these numbers in the current global context. Additionally, it also indicates a belief in the benefits that this number of migrants brings, from workforce replenishment to economic vibrancy.
2. Objective and Vision
The overarching goals of the Migration Program for this year are multifaceted. Central to its purpose is addressing the continued and new skills gaps in the Australian market, emphasising the significance of not just quantity, but the quality and specialty of the migrants. By focusing on individuals possessing rare and specialist skills, Australia ensures that critical industries and sectors receive the requisite human resources to drive innovation and growth.
Recognising the profound influence of migration on the nation, the program isn’t just about the economy; it’s about the fabric of society itself. The strategy underscores migration as a pillar for resilience, a booster for productivity, and a catalyst for tighter family ties and a more cohesive community, painting a holistic vision for Australia’s future.
3. Ageing Population & Labour
One of the challenges the Migration Program aims to address is the ageing Australian population. Since migrants are typically younger than the current Australian population, migration can slow the rate of population ageing.
- Skill Stream: Taking up about 72% of the program, 137,100 places are reserved to address economic needs and fill labour market gaps.
- Family Stream: Accounting for 28% of the program, 52,500 places focus on family reunification, with an emphasis on Partner visas.
- Special Eligibility Stream: Covering unique cases, this stream has 400 places available.
5. Noteworthy Category Updates
- Skilled Independent: With 30,375 places for 2023-24, there’s a slight decrease due to the closure of the New Zealand stream from 1 July 2023.
- Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP): A significant reduction is seen, moving from 5,000 places in 2022-23 to 1,900 in 2023-24. The aim is to focus more on immediate workforce shortages.
- Global Talent: This category remains stable with 5,000 places.
6. State and Territory Nominations
States and territories in Australia play a pivotal role in the migration landscape, with each having its own set of nomination allocations. These allocations specify how many new primary applicants a particular state or territory is empowered to nominate. However, it’s worth noting that these allocations are not a cap on the actual number of visas that can be granted.
The allocation system ensures that each region gets its fair share of migrants, addressing specific regional needs and demands. Additionally, with states and territories having their own unique criteria for assessment, this approach helps tailor the migration program to meet localised labour market and economic conditions.
7. Net Overseas Migration (NOM)
Net Overseas Migration, commonly referred to as NOM, encapsulates more than just the permanent Migration Program. Indeed, while the permanent program is an integral part, NOM includes diverse categories, such as temporary migrants, students, humanitarian migrants, and even Australian citizens returning home. The projection for NOM in 2023-24 stands at a substantial 315,000. This number, markedly higher than in previous years, can be attributed to the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As international borders reopen and the global situation stabilises, many temporary migrants are seizing the opportunity to return to Australia. However, this surge is expected to be transient, with NOM projections suggesting a reversion to more typical patterns by the fiscal year 2024-25.
The Australian Government’s 2023-24 migration planning underlines a balanced approach, addressing both economic needs and societal bonds. As the world continues to change, it’s clear that migration will play a pivotal role in Australia’s future.
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