For most of us, the key question what is in news for migrants on Australian 2020 Budget announcement.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has declared that the planning figure for the Migration Program will remain unchanged, as the country strives to recover from the economic blow delivered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Morrison Government has announced it will maintain the planned ceiling for the 2020-21 Migration Program at 160,000 places.
In a noticeable departure from the traditional migration composition, the government has placed greater emphasis on family stream visas, raising the planning level from 47,732 to 77,300 places on a ‘one-off basis’ for this program year.
“While overall the government has placed greater emphasis on the family stream, most of these are people already in Australia,” the Acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge said in a joint media release with Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton.
Onshore applicants and partner visa applicants will be given priority
Government triples allocation for Global Talent Independent Program- fastest way to get permanent residency in Australia
Family stream: Overall the government will sharpen the focus on the family stream, predominately made up of partner visa category, which has been allocated a total of 72,300 places.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, global waiting times for offshore partner visa to be processed has risen to almost two years.
Budget papers also reveal that an English language requirement will also be introduced for partner visas and their permanent resident sponsors.
This could be an indication of the government’s intention to clear the massive partner visa application backlog that currently sits at 100,000, it could also mean a significant cut for places in the parent category.
In terms of partner visa, Australia’s partner visa processing times blow out due to COVID-19. Budget papers also reveal that an English language requirement will also be introduced for partner visas and their permanent resident sponsors.
These changes will help support English language acquisition and enhance social cohesion and economic participation outcomes
The government also will be prioritising onshore visa applicants and partner visa applicants where the relevant sponsor resides in a designated regional area. While the focus on onshore applications was expected, the fact that partner visa applicants with sponsors in regional areas will get priority is quite a pleasant surprise.
Priority will be given to Employer Sponsored, Global Talent, Business Innovation and Investment Program visas within the skilled stream.
Skilled stream: The budget papers reveal that the government will give priority to Employer-Sponsored, Global Talent, Business Innovation and Investment Program visas within the Skilled Stream.
‘This is the fastest way to get permanent residency in Australia’
As per the planning levels, the government has tripled the allocation of the Global Talent Independent (GTI) program to 15,000 places, a massive increase from the previous program year’s planning level where the government had set an objective to grant 5,000 visas.
The nominations for GTI applicants in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector has a quite a significant increase for the fledgling program that is currently in its second year. The GTI program seems to be growing, and ACS is increasingly seeing evidence of a significant pool of candidates. It nevertheless remains to be seen whether such growth can be realised,
In addition, the government has also raised the allocation for the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) to 13,500 places.
The Budget papers said “From 1 July 2021, the Government will streamline and improve the operation of the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP). The Government will introduce changes to improve the quality of investments and applicants”.
The immigration number fall for 2020-21: The 2020 budget estimates reveal that Australia will suffer its first negative net overseas migration since the Second World War in a major blow to the country’s economy already bruised by the pandemic.
Net migration numbers are expected to fall from 154,000 in the 2019-20 financial year to a net loss of 72,000 in 2020-21 and 21,600 in 2021-22.
International students in Australia.
The Government will also offer Visa Application Charge (VAC) refunds, waivers or visa extensions to visa holders who have been unable to travel to Australia due to COVID-19.
This includes waiving the VAC for Working Holiday Makers and Visitors to boost tourism once the borders re-open.