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On May 9th, 2023, the Australian Government released their new Federal Budget. This budget includes some announcements that impact international students, permanent and temporary skilled workers as well as their family members.

If you’re planning to work, live or study in Australia, we’ve collected the important highlights from the 2023-24 Federal Budget that may impact you.

IELTS for migration

Permanent migration program announcements

The Australian government has announced that there will be 190,000 places in the permanent migration program for 2023-24:

  • 70% of these visas will be reserved for skilled migrants

  • the remaining 30% will be available for family visa applicants

  • 400 places available for Special Eligibility stream applicants, such as permanent residents returning to Australia

Skilled migrant visa allocation

There are 137,100 places reserved for skilled migrants in the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program including:

  • 36,825 places for Employer Sponsored visas

  • 30,375 places for Skilled Independent visas

  • 32,300 places for Regional Skilled visas

  • 30,400 places for State or Territory Nominated Skilled visas

Australia is experiencing skills shortages in many industries. The high percentage of visas reserved for skilled migrants reflects the current government's goal of filling as many in-demand vacant jobs as possible.

Family visa allocation

52,500 places in the permanent migration program have been reserved for family visas. These visas allow family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents to come to Australia on a permanent or temporary basis. The expected allocation is:

  • 40,500 places for partners

  • 8,500 places for parents

  • 3,000 places for children

  • 500 for other family members

It’s important to remember that these are estimated numbers of available places only. The actual amount of partner and child visas that are approved depends on the number of applicants and there is no maximum number of these visas that can be granted.

Changes for skilled migrants on temporary visas

The 2023-24 Federal Budget includes announcements that impact the following visas:

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TMIT) increase

The TSMIT is the minimum annual salary that must be paid to a skilled worker on a Subclass 482 TSS visa, or the TRT steam of Subclass 186 or 187 ENS visa. The TSMIT is designed to make sure that skilled migrant workers are not paid less than an Australian worker would be paid for the same job. 

From July 1st, 2023, the TSMIT will be increased from $53,900 to $70,000 or the annual market salary rate (whichever is higher).

TSS visa onshore renewal limit change

Subclass 482 TSS visa holders (short-term stream) are currently limited to one onshore renewal of their visa. As a temporary measure to help skilled workers who have to leave the country before reapplying for their TSS visa, the Australian Government is removing this limit. 

Improved employer-sponsored pathway to permanent residency

In welcome news for Subclass 482 TSS visa holders and their employers, there are some major changes coming to the TRT stream of the Subclass 186 ENS visa. These changes will be in place by the end of 2023. 

1. Reduced wait times to apply for a permanent visa

Subclass 482 TSS visa holders currently have to work for their nominating employer for three years before they can apply for the TRT stream of a Subclass 186 ENS visa. By the end of 2023, this requirement will be reduced to only two years of working for their nominating employer. 

2. Changes to subclass 186 occupation restrictions

From July 1st, 2023, Subclass 482 TSS visa holders will be able to apply for the TRT stream of a Subclass 186 ENS visa, even if their job is not listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Applicants must still be working in the occupation nominated for their TSS visa.

Changes for international students

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There are two key announcements in the 2023-24 Federal Budget that impact international students.

1. Student visa work restrictions

The Australian Government is bringing back work restrictions for student visa holders. These changes are designed to make sure international students are able to focus on their education, while still being able to financially support themselves. 

From July 1st, 2023, student visa holders will be able to work a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight. These restrictions do not apply to international students who are already working in the aged-care sector. Aged care workers who also hold a student visa are able to work unlimited hours in their current job until the end of 2023. 

2. Extended Temporary Graduate visa post-study rights

Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa holders may be eligible for an extra two years of post-study work rights. To receive this extension, visa holders must have a degree related to an occupation that is in demand in Australia. 

The full list of eligible degrees will be published before July 1st, 2023, but students can view an indicative list now. Eligible degrees include:

These extra two years of post-study rights are in addition to the available extensions for students who live, work and study in regional areas. 

Visa application fee increases

The Australian Government has announced that visa application fees are set to increase from the 1st of July, 2023. Application fees for permanent visas (and temporary visas which provide a pathway to permanent residency) are expected to increase by 6%.

Faster visa processing times

Visa processing times are a high priority for the Australian Government. The 2023-24 Federal Budget has pledged $75.8 million over the next two years to help applicants receive their visas faster. This money will be used to recruit new staff and improve systems in visa processing departments. 

More detailed information about these announcements will be provided later this year. If you’re unsure how these changes may impact your unique situation, contact IDP's multilingual experts today for personalised visa advice.

IELTS for migration

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IELTS on computer or paper. Academic or General Training. With IELTS, you choose how you take your test based on what it is you want to do. The General Training test is used for migration purposes. Academic test is usually for entry into university.

From maximising your chances of success on your immigration application to helping you achieve your career goals, your IELTS result will bring you one step closer to your migration goals. 

IELTS is accepted as proof of English language proficiency for study, work and migration in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. It's recognised by more than 12,000 organisations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 140 countries around the world.

By choosing IELTS, you will establish yourselves with an English language test that sets you up to succeed from day one in your study, work and migration goals.

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Practice makes perfect

Preparing early for your IELTS test is essential. It allows you to get familiar with the test format and understand how you will be marked and scored. The good news is we have a range of free and paid material to give you feedback from official IELTS experts on your progress. This can help you focus your preparation.

Additionally, don't forget to access your study plan and get IELTS tips from our IELTS Experts during our Masterclasses.

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Get expert advice from our registered MARA agents

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If you require assistance with Australian immigration or visa applications, seek expert migration guidance from IDP's team of multilingual migration agents.

Whether you're starting your stay in Australia or seeking an extension, IDP's registered agents can provide assistance. Whether your goal is to study and obtain permanent residency or have a temporary stay, they can help you with various visa types.

To receive support, book an appointment with one of their registered MARA agents located across most of Australia.

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Immigration and the law

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for changes that may apply to you. If you are interested in Australian student visas, work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Australian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent.

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Published on May 10, 2023

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