You may have seen in the media that the Government has forecast an 85% drop in Net Overseas Migration for 2020/21 compared to 2018/19 pre-COVID figures. This includes both temporary and permanent migration.
This is a significant decrease and the Government is now considering how best to shape the 2020-21 migration program to ensure it supports critical industries and public health measures as part of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Here’s a summary of the key considerations:
- The Government has indicated it will target skilled workers that drive economic growth and create jobs. This will take into account future skills needs, changes in the labour market and the population objectives of states and territories. It is is also yet to announce changes to Australia’s Skilled Occupation Lists, which determine the eligible occupations for skilled migration.
- The 2019-20 Migration Program settings will remain in place until the 2020-21 program is announced in the October Federal Budget. We may have further clarity on the direction of the migration program when Treasurer, Josh Frydenburg presents the economic outlook for Australia on 23 July, 2020.
- States are now no longer issuing invitations for State and Territory Nominated Visas while the Government is deciding on the number of nominations that will be allocated per state for 2020-21. This is expected to be announced before the October Budget.
- The Government is considering International student migration as part of Step Three of its Roadmap to a COVID-Safe Australia. This indicates provisions will become available for international students to return to Australia. However, due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria, a pilot trial to allow 350 select overseas students to return to Australia to recommence university studies in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) this month has been postponed.
- COVID-19 continues to restrict travel to and from Australia – find out 5 ways COVID-19 is continuing to impact Australian travel.
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