Federal Budget Changes for migrants | Here’s a summary.
Following on from our updates on the Federal Budget and implications for Australia’s international border and the 2021-22 Migration Program, here’s how the Budget impacts specific visa holders and businesses.
- A four-year wait for Permanent Residents to access benefits, such as Paid Parental Leave | What this means for migrants and businesses
- Relaxed requirements for Temporary Visa Holders | Support measures for Agricultural, Tourism and Hospitality Businesses
- Social Programs for Women and Migrants
- A focus on highly skilled overseas talent through the Global Talent Visa
Read on to find out more about Federal Budget changes for migrants.
A Four-Year Wait To Access Benefits Such as Paid Parental Leave
One of the biggest changes to long-standing policies for migrants was that new Permanent Residents will need to wait longer to access welfare benefits – including for Paid Parental Leave.
Currently, Permanent Residents can receive Family Tax Benefit B immediately, Carers Allowance and Family Tax Benefit A after one year and Paid Parental Leave and Carers payments after two years.
From 2022, there will be a four-year wait for PR Visa holders for all of these payments.
What this means for migrants | Federal Budget Changes for Migrants
Temporary Visa holders should seek to understand their Permanent Residence (PR) options and apply without delay if eligible. Migrants who become PR Visa holders before the changes take place from 2022 will be exempt.
In Australia, some visa options allow you to apply for PR directly, while others such as Provisional Visas, require you to live and work in Australia for a period of time before obtaining PR.
It is unclear if the changes will apply to Provisional Visa holders in the same way as people who obtained PR directly, or whether the period of time spent in Australia on a Provisional Visa will count towards the four-year wait for Government benefits.
Migrants may need to be prepared to fund themselves for family circumstances that impact their earning capacity.
What this means for businesses
PR is a key incentive for attracting and retaining skilled migrants.
It is yet to be seen how an increase in waiting periods for Government payments may impact Australia’s attractiveness as a destination for skilled migration.
Businesses may wish to review their PR policies for employees on Temporary Visas and explore the practicalities of supporting overseas employees through family circumstances, such as having children.
Relaxed Visa Rules | Agricultural, Tourism & Hospitality Businesses
408 Pandemic Visa Applicants and 500 Student Visa Holders
- Applicants for the 408 Pandemic Visa no longer need to demonstrate attempts to depart Australia if they intend to undertake Agricultural work.
- Tourism and Hospitality have been added as critical sectors for the 408 Pandemic Visa as of 14 May 2021.
- Student Visa holders can temporarily work more than 40 hours per fortnight if employed in the Tourism or Hospitality sectors.
Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PCL) Visa Holders and Regional Businesses
- Continuation of extended visa validity period of 12 months for Pacific workers already in Australia under the SWP and PCL. These arrangements will continue until April 2022.
Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa Holders
- Visa validity period extended to 18 months for individuals who are unable to use their visas due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
- This is to not disadvantage Parent Visa holders who obtained visas at significant cost but could not then travel to Australia due to the border closure.
Social Support Programs | Federal Budget Changes for Migrants
Migrant and Refugee Women
- Extended funding for Community and Women’s Legal Centres across Australia to provide legal assistance.
Temporary Visa Holders
- A pilot program to support Temporary Visa holders experiencing family violence.
- A Temporary Visa Holders Payment Pilot administered by The Red Cross will provide up to $3,000 to assist with expenses for food, accommodation, utilities, essentials and medical care.
Permanent Residence Visa Holders
- A new delivery model for the Adult Migrant English Program from 1 July 2023. Provider payments will be linked to student outcomes.
- The cap of 510 hours will be removed and migrants will be able to study until they have reached the level of ‘vocational’ English.
Attracting Highly Skilled Overseas Talent | The Global Talent Visa
The Global Talent Visa program is designed to attract highly skilled individuals and Senior Executives from overseas who wish to establish a business in Australia.
It will be a significant focus for skilled migration with $550 million committed to the program over the next four years.
- Streamlined visas will be available with dedicated support from the Government’s recently established Global Talent Taskforce.
- Foreign investors will have access to fast-tracked tax advice and simplified tax residency rules through the Australian Tax Office.
Interstaff | Federal Budget Changes for Migrants
We’ll be sharing further insights on the direction of the Skilled Migration program in coming days.
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