Australia will lift its migration cap to 195,000 places for 2022-23 as part of the Federal Budget 2022.
The Australian government will increase migrant intake by 35,000 from the previous ceiling of 160,000, with priority given to offshore applicants and New Zealanders.
Australia will also reduce the skilled worker visa backlog to help employers facing critical labour shortages across the country.
Skilled migrants will be allocated 90 per cent of the 35,000-place increase in migration, and over a quarter of them will be encouraged to move to regional areas.
Although Australia announced plans to increase migration to 195,000 places, it still falls short of the 220,000 spots urged by the Business Council of Australia for the next two years.
Anthony Albanese’s government lifted the migration ceiling following calls from several industries and Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan to increase the intake of skilled migrants to ease post-pandemic workforce shortages.
In June, Western Australia – the largest state in the country – had 13,200 more available positions than the number of unemployed people, leading to calls from the State Premier for increased migration.
In addition to increasing migration intake, Australia also introduced a new Pacific Engagement visa that will allow 3,000 people to move to Australia annually from July next year.
International students will also be allowed to work more than 40 hours per fortnight until June 30, 2023.
Australia unveiled a $36.1 million commitment across the next two years to support the Department of Home Affairs with 500 additional staff to boost visa processing capacity.
In addition, the Federal Budget also included a $6.2 million international marketing campaign to promote migration to Australia.
Moreover, Australia will invest $25.8 million to expand and reform the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme.