According to the federal budget presented by treasurer Josh Frydenberg in the parliament today, the net overseas migration to Australia is estimated to reach 180,000 in 2022-23.
The Morrison government will keep the ceiling of 160,000 places for permanent migration program over the next financial year with a focus on skilled migration. The composition will remain the same as pre-pandemic levels of around two-thirds skilled and one-third family streams.
The skilled stream will rise to 109,900, comprising employer-sponsored (30,000 places), skilled independent (16,652 places) and state and territory nominated (20,000 places). Regional visas will more than double to 25,000 places.
The partner and child visa categories are estimated to deliver 40,500 and 3,000 visas respectively. 6000 places will be available for parent visas.
An extra 11,000 visas will be made available for working holiday makers.
The humanitarian program will remain at a ceiling of 13,750 places but an additional 16,500 places will be available for Afghan nationals over four years.
Temporary visas will be available to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.
The budget papers showed net overseas migration is forecast to increase from -89,900 people in COVID-affected 2020/21 to 41,000 2021/22, before increasing to 213,000 in 2023/24.
The government expects returning international students and close to 200,000 skilled migrants a year will set a path for the migration to bounce back after the Covid-driven decline.
Migration expert Abul Rizvi assumes an increased migration level to 190,000 from 2023-24.
“Long-term net migration still at 235,000. That assumes a migration program being increased to 190,000 from 2023-24. Suggests no increase to migration program in 2022-23. But composition may still shift towards skill stream if partner backlog is cleared,” Mr Rizvi tweeted.
Australia started reopening its international borders on 1 November last year. Since then, Over a million people have entered Australia, including more than 13,000 international students, 190,000 tourists, 70,000 skilled migrants and 10,000 working holidaymakers.
Mr Rizvi pointed out that offshore visa applications will soar due to reduced funding for citizenship, visas and migration management.
“Funding for citizenship; visas and migration management falls from $822m in 21-22 to $785m in 22-23; $624m in 23-24. All while this function is in gridlock while offshore visa applications will soar. Could only result in more gridlock,” he tweeted.