May 29, 2023

Latest Migration News May 2023

Latest Migration News May 2023

The federal budget was recently released, and it included some important changes to immigration policy.

Firstly, let’s discuss Migration Planning Levels for the financial year 2023-2024 which starts on 01 July 2023.

The 2023-24 migration planning level will be 190,000 places.

The 2023-24 Migration Program has been designed to address persistent and emerging skills shortages and support the transition to a net-zero emissions economy by attracting specialist skillsets that are difficult to find or develop in Australia. The Program has the following composition:

  • Skill stream gets 137,100 places – this stream is designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia.
  • Family stream gets 52,500 places – this stream is predominantly made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas and provide them with pathways to citizenship.
  • Special Eligibility stream has 400 places this financial year – this stream covers visas for those in special circumstances, including permanent residents returning to Australia after a period overseas.

Migration Planning Levels in numbers 2023-2024


Visa StreamVisa Category2022-23 Planning levels2023-24 Planning levels
Employer Sponsored35,00036,825
Skilled Independent32,10030,375
State/Territory Nominated31,00030,400
Business Innovation & Investment5,0001,900
Global Talent (Independent)5,0005,000
Distinguished Talent300300
Skill Total142,400137,100
Other Family500500
Family Total52,50052,500
Special Eligibility 100400
Total Migration Program 195,000190,000

Another change we would like to tell you about is the increase in Visa Application Charges

The Government will increase Visa Application Charges (VACs) from 1 July 2023.

The Budget Papers indicate that Visa Application Charges will rise by between 6% and 40%, with the increases distributed across the following visa subclasses:

Visa ClassesPercentage increase
Visitor, working holiday, work and holiday, training, temporary activity and temporary work (short stay specialist) visas15%
Business innovation and investment visas40%
Other visas6%

It means that if you are planning to lodge your visa application soon, better be quick and finalize it until 01 July 2023.

To justify these increases, additional funds are required to speed up visa processing times.

Finally, an improved delivery model for the Adult Migrant English Program will be implemented within the existing funding. Changes will provide improved English language, employment, and settlement outcomes for migrants by providing flexible tuition options, introducing a national curriculum, supporting professional development for teachers, and enhancing client support and performance management.

Another important change is that the Government will increase the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold from the current rate of $53,900 to $70,000 from 1 July 2023. It will affect 482, 494 and 186 visa applicants. This means that people who earn more than $70,000 will be eligible for these types of visas.

The budget also made some changes to temporary visas.

Temporary Graduate visa holders with select degrees will be eligible for an extra 2 years of post-study work rights to improve the pipeline of skilled labour in key sectors from 1 July 2023.

The working hour cap for international student visa holders will be reinstated from 1 July 2023, following its removal during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be increased by 8 hours from pre-pandemic levels to 48 hours per fortnight.

International students working in the aged care sector will be exempt from the capped fortnightly work hour limit until 31 December 2023. This is important because the aged care sector is facing a shortage of workers.