Migration Program — 2020-21 | Budget update
Update: 7 October 2020
The 2020-21 Federal Budget predicts that net overseas migration numbers will fall from 154,000 persons in 2019-20 financial year to a net loss of 72,000 in 2020-21, but it is expected to gradually increase and return to positive levels in 2022-23.
The Government will maintain the 2020-21 Migration Program planning level at 160,000.
The program will have a strong focus on attracting the best and brightest migrants from around the world, with a tripling of the Global Talent Independent program allocation to 15,000 places and an increase in the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) to 13,500 places.
Family Stream places will increase from 47,732 to 77,300 places on a one-off basis for the 2020-21 Migration Program year. Onshore visa applicants and Partner visa applicants where the relevant sponsor resides in a designated regional area will also be prioritised for the 2020-21 Migration Program.
Changes to Partner visas
The Government will introduce English language requirements for Partner visa applicants and their permanent resident sponsors. It will also apply the family sponsorship framework to Partner visas which will mandate character checks and the sharing of personal information as part of a mandatory sponsorship application, and subject the sponsor to enforceable sponsorship obligations. These changes will complement existing family violence provisions within the Partner visa program.
Changes to the Business Innovation and Investment Program
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.
Visa application charges for BIIP visas will also be increased by an additional 11.3 per cent (above regular CPI indexation) on 1 July 2021 to $8770. These changes will sharpen the focus of the BIIP program on higher value investors, business owners and entrepreneurs and improve the economic outcomes of the BIIP.
New Zealand Pathway to Permanent Residency
Eligibility for the pathway will be extended to Special Category (subclass 444) visa holders who have a taxable income at or above the Temporary Skilled Migrant Income Threshold for at least three of the last five income years, including the most recent year.
Humanitarian Program ceiling will be set at 13,750 places, with a flexible mix of places between offshore and onshore categories in response to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
VAC Refunds and Waivers
Temporary visa holders (prospective marriage, Pacific labour scheme or seasonal workers) affected by the COVID travel ban will be able to access a VAC refund. Working Holiday Makers will be able to access VAC waivers and Temporary skilled workers and visitor visa holders will be eligible to have the VAC for a subsequent visa waived.