Nov 29, 2023 | Corporate, Private

Insights for aspiring expats: Migration plans for 2024 and the impact on Australia’s housing market

If you’ve landed on this article, we’ll assume you’re busy crisscrossing the internet in search of answers to all your Australian visa-related questions.

Because the Australian government continually adapts its visa policies to meet the evolving needs of its economy and society, aspiring expatriates must stay informed about any upcoming changes or reforms in the immigration system. Regularly checking official government sources will ensure you are well-prepared and can plan your relocations accordingly.

In this article, we’ll delve into all the latest visa news in Australia, including the types of visas experiencing shifts in issuance rates, the government’s plans for the future, and how these developments may be impacting housing markets in specific regions.

Let’s look at the numbers

Earlier this year, the Australian government announced that the planning for the 2023/2024 permanent Migration Program will be set at 190,000 places. This compares to the total of 195,000 places allocated for the 2022/2023 period.

The Migration Program is focused on addressing skills shortages in the local workforce by attracting workers with specialist skill sets. The program builds resilience, boosts productivity and supports the local economy.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, the 2023/2024 permanent Migration Program is composed as follows: around 140,000 places are allocated for the Skill stream, around 50,000 places for the Family stream (this category includes around 40,000 Partner visas and 3,000 Child visas, among others), and 400 places for the Special Eligibility stream.

The Skill stream aims to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market; the Family stream enables Australians to reunite with family members from abroad and support them in their journeys to citizenship; and the Special Eligibility stream is saved for those in special circumstances, such as permanent residents returning to Australia after a period overseas.​​​​

For detailed information about the number of places allocated per category, and how it compares to the previous year, visit this outline written by the Department of Home Affairs.

Overwhelmed by the numbers and statistics? Don’t worry! We’ll read the fine print so you don’t have to. Here are some key information points to know about the 2023/2024 permanent Migration Program:

  • The slightly reduced planning level for the Skilled Independent visa category is the result of the closure of the New Zealand stream of subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa from 1 July this year. This change is due to a new direct pathway to citizenship for Special Category visa holders who meet citizenship eligibility requirements.
  • To ensure smooth delivery of the 2023/2024 Migration Program, the Australian government will provide an additional $48.1 million over 12 months to extend funding for 500 visa processing officers.
  • The government is further investing $27.8 million over two years to upgrade existing visa ICT systems, which will enhance the efficiency of Australia’s visa service delivery.
  • The permanent Migration Program forms part of Australia’s net overseas migration (NOM), which also takes into account temporary migrants such as students and holiday workers, along with Australian citizens, New Zealanders and humanitarian migrants.
  • NOM is expected to be 315,000 in the 2023/2024 period, compared to the forecasted 400,000 in 2022/2023. NOM forecasts are said to return to their regular pre-pandemic patterns from 2024/2025.

How does the Migration Program impact Australia’s housing market?

The dynamics of visa issues are not isolated from the broader economic landscape, including the housing market. Despite Australia experiencing significant employment growth across various industries, the rental crisis poses a unique challenge. Job vacancies – and visa applications – have surged, but the pressing question remains: where will workers live, especially those unable or unwilling to purchase property?

We have previously written about Australia’s rental housing shortage, particularly in major cities like Perth and Melbourne. Australia is grappling with its lowest national rental vacancy rate in decades, signalling a rental crisis amidst a surge in employment rates. This scarcity has led to increased rental prices and heightened competition among tenants.

In a recent article published in Contact Magazine, Professor Cameron Parsell, Dr Ella Kuskoff and Professor Tim Reddel deep dive into Australia’s housing crisis, specifically in the Queensland region. They emphasise the urgent need to invest in a range of strategies to get more affordable and social housing on the ground. “The confronting reality is that the market will not provide sufficient supply of affordable and safe housing for all citizens, without a suite of legislative and financial policy mechanisms from government, at all three levels,” they write.

Several factors contribute to the saturated rental market. The exodus of Australians from capital cities to regional areas and the reopening of international borders have intensified demand. The return of expats, international students, and migrant workers is further straining rental conditions, especially in favoured relocation destinations.

Government initiatives and professional relocation support services, like those offered by Claymore Thistle, aim to help you with these issues and provide viable solutions for a smoother transition to life in Australia.

In closing

Navigating the complexities of visa applications is the stuff of nightmares. Luckily, you don’t have to do it all by yourself!

With the help of professional migration & relocation agents, you can simplify the process so that you can focus on the exciting part of the big move. On top of that, the Australian government warmly welcomes expats to join the local workforce. The visa system values families and social networks, therefore offering generous opportunities for the relocation of spouses, children, parents and other family members to Australia.

The adaptive visa policies, as outlined for the 2023/2024 Migration Program, reflect a strategic focus on addressing skills shortages and building resilience in the local workforce.

If you are ready to take the first step in your relocation to the Land Down Under, book a free consultation today to speak to one of our relocation experts. Still doing your research? Head over to our blog for all the best insider tips for moving to Australia.

Whether you are moving for work, study, or family reasons, Claymore Thistle will support you every step of the way!

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