On 06 October 2020, Federal Budget 2020-2021 was delivered by the Morrison Government outlining Australia’s economic recovery plan with focus on protecting Australians, securing the borders, providing resources to recover from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
As part of the plan, the Government announced measures regarding National Security, cyber security strategy, critical infrastructure and systems of national significance, operation sovereign borders, simplified trade system, modern slavery, immigration and social cohesion. Regarding migration program 2020-2021 allocations, the following announcements were made:
- Migration ceiling to remain at 160,000 places
- Global Talent Independent program allocation increased to 15,000 places
- Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) increased to 13,500 places
- Family stream planning level set at 77,300 places, of which 72,300 allocated to the Partner category
- Humanitarian Program allocation set at 13,750 places
In addition, the Government has also announced support in form of refunding Visa Application Charge (VAC), granting waivers and/or visa extensions to visa holders, including prospective marriage visa holders, temporary work visa holders, Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Worker Programme visa holders, visitor visa holders, and Working holiday makers, who have been unable to travel to Australia due travel restriction in place due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hon Alan Tudge MP, Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, said, “A carefully managed Migration Program is an important part of Australia’s economic recovery and will create jobs and bring high value investment to help Australia rebound from COVID-19.”