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Budget 2023

“budget” by 401(K) 2013

Budget 2022 update: Visa relaxations, revamps foreign investment framework

The Government has relaxed certain work restrictions for a range of visas including eligible Student and Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa holders, and extended visas for certain engineering graduates negatively affected by COVID19 travel restrictions, providing support to businesses and aiding Australia’s economic recovery.

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The Government is also incentivising international students and WHM visa holders to bring forward their arrival in Australia by refunding the Visa Application Charge for Student visa holders who arrive in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022, and for WHM visa holders who arrive in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 April 2022, inclusive. The Government will also increase country caps for Work and Holiday visas by 30 per cent in 202223, increasing overall places available by around 11,000. 

The Government is also redistributing 10,000 places in the 202122 Migration Program from the Partner visa category within the Family stream to the Skill stream, thereby increasing the Skill stream ceiling from 79,600 to 89,600. This redistribution recognises the sharp fall in the number of onhand Partner visa applications and will further support the economic recovery by increasing the places available for skilled visa holders. 

The Government will also clarify the tax treatment for income earned by workers under the Australian Agriculture Visa scheme established in MYEFO 202122 to respond to workforce shortages in the agriculture and primary industry sectors. 

This measure is estimated to increase receipts by $115.0 million, and increase payments by $16.0 million over the forward estimates period.

Migration Program – 2022-23 planning levels

Receipts ($m)202122202223202324202425202526
Australian Taxation Office5.
Department of Home Affairs70.0......
Total – Receipts65.
Related payments ($m)
Department of Education, Skills and Employment  0.7 4.3 4.3 4.3 
Department of Health......
Department of the Treasury........
Services Australia........
Department of Social Services0.
Department of Home Affairs0.
Total – Payments0.

The Government will maintain the 202223 permanent Migration Program planning level at 160,000. Skill stream places will increase from the 202122 planning levels to 109,900 and account for around 70 per cent of the permanent Migration Program. Partner visa granting arrangements will move to a demand-driven basis going forward. 

These changes will help maximise the economic benefits of the permanent Migration Program. 

This measure is estimated to increase receipts by $20.0 million, and increase payments by $12.1 million over the forward estimates period.

Resident Return Visa – mandating online lodgement of applications

Receipts ($m)202122202223202324202425202526
Department of Home Affairs..........

The Government has mandated online lodgement of Resident Return visa applications (except where special circumstances apply), improving processing efficiencies and enabling applicants to better track their application. 

Currently, Resident Return visa applications can be lodged online or on a paper application form, with paper applications attracting a NonInternet Application Charge. Over 99 per cent of applications lodged in 202021 were lodged online. 

This measure is estimated to result in a negligible decrease in receipts over the forward estimates period.

Foreign Investment

The Government will amend Australia’s foreign investment framework to reduce the regulatory burden faced by investors and support Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID19 pandemic. The amendments will streamline the requirement for some investors to notify the Government before acquiring an interest, while still maintaining the Government’s ability to address national interest concerns as they arise. These amendments are due to commence on 1 April 2022. 

This measure is estimated to decrease receipts by $2.2 million over the forward estimates period. Further information can be found in the explanatory statement to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Amendment Regulations 2022.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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