Federal Budget 2024-2025 Impact on Australian Immigration

Over the next four years, the Government has pledged $18.3 million towards enhancing Australia's migration system. This initiative aims to stimulate economic growth and restore the system's credibility.

The 2024/25 budget has included various reforms, which have been discussed below: 


The budget allocation includes:

  • $15.0 million over the next three years for programs that educate migrant workers, providing them with essential information on their rights, workplace protections, and compliance with migration regulations.
  • $1.9 million for the fiscal year 2024–25 to support a pilot program enabling data sharing between the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Taxation Office. This program will cross-reference income and employment data to prevent migrant worker exploitation and ensure compliance with Australia's labour market and migration regulations.


The projected average staffing figures for 2023–24 reflect a significant investment in personnel aimed at improving service delivery efficiency and expertise. This investment includes converting additional contractors since the 2023–24 Budget. The funding will enable Services Australia to address the consequences of previous underfunding and reduce existing backlogs. It is also expected to provide the Department of Home Affairs with the necessary resources to enhance visa processing efficiency and reduce processing delays.


In addition, the Government has allocated $100 million to the Department of Home Affairs. This funding is intended to strengthen the department's core functions, including Australian Border Force operations, immigration enforcement and compliance efforts, and the maintenance of essential systems supporting these operations and services.


Permanent Migration Program

The Government has allocated a total of 185,000 places for the Permanent Migration Program in the 2024–25 period, with 132,200 places (approximately 70%) assigned to the Skilled stream. From the 2025–26 period onwards, the Government plans to extend the planning timeframe for the Permanent Migration Program from one year to four years. This forms part of the ongoing Migration Strategy aimed at improving the management and operation of the Australian migration system.

These measures are expected to result in a decrease of 110,000 individuals in net overseas migration over the forward estimates, starting from 1 July 2024. Net overseas migration is projected to reduce significantly, from 528,000 in the 2022–23 period to around 260,000 by the 2024–25 period.


Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) – Reduced Work Experience Requirement:

Effective from 23 November 2024, the Government will reduce the work experience requirement for the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa from two years to one year for all applicants.


National Innovation Visa (NIV) to Replace Global Talent (subclass 858) Visa:

By the end of 2024, the Government intends to introduce a new National Innovation visa, replacing the current Global Talent visa (subclass 858). This new visa aims to attract highly skilled migrants who can contribute to the growth of key sectors.


Discontinuation of Business Innovation and Investment Visa Program (BIIP):

The Business Innovation and Investment visa program (BIIP) will be discontinued. Applicants who choose to withdraw their BIIP application will be eligible for a refund of their visa application charge starting September 2024. The program will be redesigned to focus on applicants who can make specific and substantial contributions to Australia.


Work and Holiday Visa – China, Vietnam, and India Nationals:

From the 2024–25 period onwards, a pre-application (ballot) system will be introduced for the limited Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa program for applicants from China, Vietnam, and India. This system aims to manage program demand and streamline application processing times. A fee of $25, adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), will be charged for the ballot.


Southeast Asia Engagement Additional Funding:

The Government has allocated an additional $505.9 million over five years starting from 2023–24, with an annual contribution of $118.3 million thereafter, to strengthen ties with Southeast Asia. This includes funding for visa services, long-term business visas, and visas for frequent travelers from ASEAN nations and Timor-Leste.


Extension of Business Visitor Visas for Indian Nationals:

The validity period of the Visitor visa (subclass 600) in the Business Visitor stream for Indian nationals will increase from up to three years to up to five years. The implementation date has not yet been announced.


Introduction of the Talented Early-Professionals Scheme (MATES):

Commencing 1 November 2024, the Australian Government will launch the Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES). This scheme will provide up to 3,000 Indian graduates and early-career professionals aged 18 to 30 with the opportunity to live and work in Australia for up to two years. Applicants will be subject to a pre-application fee of $25 and a visa application charge of $365, with both fees adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).


Introduction of the Administrative Review Tribunal (ART) to Replace the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

The Australian Government has earmarked a total of $1.0 billion over the next five years, including an ongoing annual allocation of $210.8 million from 2028–29 and an additional $194.2 million spread from 2028–29 to 2035–36. This funding is dedicated to establishing and maintaining the new Administrative Review Tribunal (ART), which will replace the current Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The introduction of the ART aims to address the backlog in the courts caused by a high volume of migration judicial review applications.


The breakdown of the funding for the ART’s establishment is as follows:

  • $854.3 million over the next four years, with an annual budget of $208.8 million thereafter, for a capped and adaptable funding model based on demand. This will enable the ART to resolve all case submissions annually, with enhancements in regional access and the trial of initiatives such as the First Nations Liaison Officer and programs focused on user experience and accessibility.
  • $75.1 million over five years starting from 2023–24, with $2.0 million annually thereafter, to assist agencies in transitioning from the AAT to the ART.
  • Additionally, $2.4 million is allocated in 2024–25 to the AAT for the Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA) to continue the merits review of protection visa applications eligible for expedited review under the Migration Act 1958 until the ART is operational.


Furthermore, the Government will allocate $115.6 million over the next four years, with an additional $194.2 million from 2028–29 to 2035–36, to address significant migration case backlogs in federal courts. This includes the establishment of two migration hubs specifically for migration and protection visa cases.



Reforms to Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services

The Australian Government has committed to investing $120.9 million over the next five years to enhance the resilience of settlement services and promote improved economic and social integration for refugees and migrants.


The funding breakdown includes:

  • $86.6 million over five years, starting in 2023–24, for the Humanitarian Settlement Program, which provides settlement services to refugees and migrants.
  • $27.0 million for a three-year period from 2024–25 to enhance specific support services. This includes Youth Transition Support services, specialised assistance for refugee and migrant women who are victims of domestic and family violence, and additional settlement aid for Afghan humanitarian entrants within the Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) Program.
  • $3.8 million over four years from 2024–25 to sustain conversational English classes in Community Hubs.
  • $1.9 million over five years from 2023–24 to extend Medicare access for Ukrainian individuals and their immediate family members holding a Bridging visa E until 30 June 2027.
  • $1.0 million for the fiscal year 2025–26 to continue the Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot until 30 June 2026, which facilitates settlement services through community volunteers.
  • $0.6 million over four years from 2024–25 to the Department of Home Affairs to enhance the administration of humanitarian settlement programs.


This funding initiative also contributes to the implementation of the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children for the years 2022–32.

The Leaving Violence Program (LVP)

The trial period for the Escaping Violence Payment and the Temporary Visa Holders Experiencing Violence Pilot will be extended until 30 June 2025. Building on the positive outcomes and insights from these initiatives, the Leaving Violence Program is scheduled to commence in mid-2025, once a suitable service provider is secured. 

The Government has committed $925.2 million over the next five years, with an ongoing annual contribution of $263.3 million, to support the permanent establishment of the Leaving Violence Program. This program offers financial assistance, safety assessments, and referrals to support services for individuals escaping violent relationships with intimate partners.


The funding breakdown is as follows:

  • $152.3 million over three years from 2023–24 to extend and expand the scope of the Escaping Violence Payment and the Temporary Visa Holders Experiencing Violence Pilot trials until 30 June 2025. This includes an additional 12 weeks of support services after the pilot's conclusion for active cases. The Leaving Violence Program (LVP) will succeed these trials.
  • $16.5 million over five years from 2023–24, with an additional $5.1 million in 2028–29, to maintain legal support for temporary visa holders extricating themselves from violent relationships.

Additionally, $6.1 million over four years from 2024–25, plus an ongoing $1.6 million annually, will be allocated for specialised support for visa holders affected by domestic and family violence through the Domestic and Family Violence visa support service.


Support for individuals impacted by Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel: 

The distribution of the funds has been set as follows:

  • An allocation of $2.0 million over the course of 2 years, is designated for the Australian Red Cross. This funding is intended to provide emergency financial support to newly arrived individuals who are experiencing financial difficulties.
  • A total of $0.9 million is also set aside for the same 2 year period to prolong Medicare coverage until 30 June 2025 for individuals holding a Bridging Visa E from the notably affected areas of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.


For more information on the Federal Budget 2024/25, feel free to contact IME Advisors, and we’ll be happy to help!