On 14 May 2024, the Commonwealth Government delivered the Federal Budget, setting out the allocation of public resources to the Government’s policy priorities over the next 12 months, as well as budget estimates over the next four years. Migration measures form a part of the Federal Budget.

The Federal Budget outlines some significant reforms to the migration system (subject to their passage through Parliament), a key change being the reduction in the work experience requirement to qualify for a Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa from late 2024.

The Government will also introduce a new National Innovation visa to attract exceptionally talented migrants, to replace the Subclass 858 Global Talent visa and the Subclass 188/888 Business Innovation and Investment visa.

Another key measure outlined in the Federal Budget is the allocation of 70% of places in the permanent Migration Program to skilled visa categories.

The Budget also estimates reduced net overseas migration by 110,000 people from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2028. Net overseas migration is forecast to approximately halve from 528,000 in 2022–23 to 260,000 in 2024–25, with further reductions in 2026-27 and 2027-28, when net overseas migration is forecast to be 235,000.

In this article, we outline the key migration measures announced in the Federal Budget.

TSS Visa Reduced Work Experience Requirement

The Government will reduce the work experience requirement for the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa from two years to one year for all applicants from 23 November 2024 onwards.

National Innovation Visa

The Government will implement a new National Innovation visa, to replace the current Subclass 858 Global Talent visa from late 2024, to target exceptionally talented migrants who will drive growth in sectors of national importance.

The Business Innovation and Investment visa program (BIIP) will cease, with refunds of the visa application charge provided from September 2024 for those who wish to withdraw their BIIP application.

Mobility Arrangement For Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES)

The Government will implement a new Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-professionals Scheme (MATES) program for Indian nationals from 1 November 2024.

MATES will provide a new mobility pathway for 3,000 Indian graduates and early career professionals (aged 18 to 30 years at the time of application), with knowledge and skills in targeted fields of study to live and work in Australia for up to two years. The visa will have a pre-application (ballot) charge of $25 and an application charge of $365, both of which will be indexed to inflation in future years.

This measure is part of the Australia-India Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA).

To learn more about MATES, please refer to our article on the New Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early-Professionals Scheme (MATES) For Indian Nationals To Commence.

Extending The Validity Of The Business Visitor Visa For Indian Nationals

As part of the Australia-India Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA), the Government is also extending the Subclass 600 Visitor visa (Business Visitor stream) validity period for Indian nationals from up to three years to up to five years.

Permanent Migration Program – 2024–25 Planning Levels And Multi-year Planning

The Government will set the 2024–25 permanent Migration Program planning level at 185,000 places and allocate 132,200 places (around 71%) to the Skilled stream, a small reduction from the current planning level of 190,00 places in the 2023-24 year. This measure aims to help address Australia’s long-term skill needs.

For the Family stream, 52,500 places (approximately 28% of the migration program) have been allocated in 2024/25. Within this stream, 40,500 places are allocated for Partner visas, and 3,000 places are allocated for Child visas (although these are only estimates given these categories are demand-driven).

300 places have also been allocated to a Special Eligibility stream, which covers visas for those in special circumstances, including permanent residents returning to Australia after a period overseas.

State and territory nomination allocations for the Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) visa and the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa for 2024/25 are yet to be announced.

From 2025–26, the Government will extend the planning horizon for the permanent Migration Program from one year to four years. The first four-year cycle will commence in 2025–26 until 2028–29.

Here is a breakdown of the allocation of permanent visa places in 2024/25.

Employer Sponsored Visa Category

The Government has increased the planning level for the employer sponsored stream from 36,825 visas in 2023–24, to 44,000 visas in the 2024–25 permanent migration program.

This planning level builds on the expanded pathway to permanent residence introduced by the Government from November 2023. It will allow a greater proportion of temporary migrants to secure permanent residence in a timely manner through the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream.

State/Territory Nominated Visa Category

The Government has increased the planning level for the State/Territory nominated category to 33,000 visas, and the planning level for the Regional category to 33,000 visas for the 2024–25 migration program.

These categories, which both contain visas nominated by state and territory governments, make up 36% of the overall planning level, and 50% of the Skilled stream.

Increasing the planning levels for the State and Territory Nominated and Regional categories will allow jurisdictions to attract skilled migrants to meet their specific economic and labour market challenges. Increases to the Regional category planning level will also support key commitments in the Migration Strategy to support regional Australia, in addition to priority visa processing.

Skilled Independent Visa Category

In the 2024­–25 Migration Program, the Government has allocated 16,900 places for Skilled Independent visas. This is a decrease compared to the 2023–24 program allocation of 30,375 places.

Business Innovation And Investment Program (BIIP) Visa Category

The Government has reduced the planning level for the BIIP from 1,900 visas in 2023–24 to 1,000 visas for the 2024–25 permanent Migration Program.

As part of the Migration Strategy, the Government announced that it would not provide any new allocations for the BIIP while a new talent and innovation visa was considered. This new visa (the National Innovation visa) will be available at the end of 2024.

The BIIP will be closed permanently from July 2024 and new applications for the Subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa will no longer be able to be lodged.

Subclass 188 BIIP visa applications that have been lodged will continue to be processed.

Those who hold a subclass 188 visa and meet the relevant criteria for the grant of a Subclass 888 Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa will still be able to continue on this pathway after July 2024.

Global Talent Visa Category

The Government has reduced the planning level for the Global Talent Visa program to 4,000 visas for the 2024–25 Migration Program.

This is the last year of the Global Talent visa program as it transitions to new arrangements using the National Innovation visa. Through the new visa, the Government will provide a permanent visa pathway for the most exceptional talented migrants (such as high-performing entrepreneurs, major investors and global researchers). National Innovation visas granted in 2024-25 will be counted within the Global Talent visa Program.

Family Stream

The Government has maintained the size of the family stream.

The Partner visa category is the largest component within the family stream. From 2022–23, the Partner program moved to a demand-driven model.

The Parent visa program has been maintained at 8,500 places while the Other Family (including Aged Dependent Relative, Remaining Relative and Carer programs) visa category has been maintained at 500 places.

The Child visa program allows Australian residents to sponsor their dependent or adopted child or an orphaned relative. The Child program is demand-driven and remains set at 3,000 places (for planning purposes only).

Visa Pre-application Process For Certain Working Holiday Maker Programs

The Government will introduce a visa pre-application (ballot) process for the capped Subclass 462 Work and Holiday visa program for China, Vietnam and India from 2024–25.

The ballot process will help to manage program demand and application processing times for these countries. A ballot charge of $25 (indexed to inflation in future years) will apply.

Establishment Of The Administrative Review Tribunal And Addressing Extremely High Migration Backlogs In The Courts

The Government will provide funding to establish and support the sustainable operation of the new Administrative Review Tribunal (ART), which replaces the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), and to address court backlogs associated with high numbers of applications for judicial review of migration decisions.

This includes funding for a capped, flexible demand-driven funding model for the ART, enabling it to finalise 100% of case lodgements each year, and improved regional accessibility and piloting First Nations Liaison Officer and user experience and accessibility programs.

The Government will also provide funding to address extremely high migration backlogs in the federal courts, including through the establishment of two migration hubs dedicated to hearing migration and protection matters.

Trades Recognition Australia ICT Improvements

The Government will progress a business case to develop a modern ICT solution for the assessment of trade skills for skilled migrants by Trades Recognition Australia (TRA).

A modern ICT solution will make skilled workers more rapidly available to employers and support the delivery of the Government’s migration and skilled workforce objectives.

Southeast Asia Engagement

The Government will provide additional funding to improve visa access and provide long validity business and frequent traveller visas for ASEAN member countries and Timor-Leste.

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Australia’s migration laws are complex, and each case is different. We recommend that you seek professional advice if you are interested in applying for an Australian visa, as being fully informed will give you the best chance of achieving a successful outcome on your case. A migration professional can help you to do this.

For up-to-date advice on your eligibility for an Australia visa, including how the new migration measures announced in the Federal Budget and how they may affect you, contact PAX Migration Australia, a leading immigration service providing advice on a range of visas. Contact us for a no-obligation discussion on how we may be able to assist you to achieve your migration goals in Australia.


Budget 2024/25 – Budget Paper No. 1 – Budget Strategy and Outlook

Budget 2024/25 – Budget Paper No. 2 – Budget Measures

Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs – Immigration and Citizenship – What we do – Migration Program planning levels