Australian Immigration Changes Effective from 1 July 2024

Significant changes to Australian immigration policies will come into effect on 1 July 2024, impacting various visa categories and migration regulations. These changes aim to enhance the integrity and quality of Australia’s international education and migration systems and address issues such as exploitation and visa loopholes. Here are the key updates:

australian immigration changes

Increased Visa Fees for International Students

The fee for international student visas will rise from $710 to $1,600. This adjustment reflects the growing value of education in Australia and the Albanese Government’s commitment to restoring integrity within the international education sector. The additional revenue will fund several crucial initiatives, including:

  • Universities Accord Measures: This includes making the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) fairer, providing paid practical training, and offering FEE-Free Uni Ready courses.
  • Vocational Education and Training Sector Support: Financial assistance for apprentices and their employers.
  • Migration Strategy Implementation: Ongoing measures to strengthen the migration system.

Migration Strategy Updates

Several previously announced elements of the Migration Strategy will also take effect:

  • Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT): The TSMIT will increase from $70,000 to $73,150. This adjustment, based on annual indexation, is the second increase under the current government.
  • Temporary Graduate Visas: Significant updates to the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) program are now in effect. The Graduate Work Stream is renamed to the Post-Vocational Education Work Stream with an age cap of 35 years, except for Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders, who are eligible up to 50 years. The Post-Higher Education Work Stream will also have a 35-year age cap, except for Masters (Research) and PhD graduates, eligible up to 50 years. The Second Post-Higher Education Work Stream will retain its structure but be renamed, and the Replacement Stream will be discontinued. These updates align with Australia’s evolving economic landscape and skill demands.
  • Visa Hopping Restrictions: Loopholes allowing students and other temporary visa holders to continuously extend their stay will be closed. This includes holders of the Temporary Graduate, Visitor, and Maritime Crew visas, among others. These measures aim to address the issue of ‘visa hopping,’ where former international students remain in Australia on a series of temporary visas by requiring genuine students to apply from offshore.
  • Enhanced Mobility for Temporary Skilled Migrants: Conditions for visa holders under the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482), Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457), and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494) visas have changed for more flexibility. Visa holders now have up to 180 days at a time, or a maximum of 365 days throughout the visa period, to secure a new sponsor, apply for a different visa, or arrange their departure from Australia. During this time, they can work for other employers, even in occupations not listed in their original sponsorship.
  • New Exemptions for UK Citizens on Working Holiday Visas: The eligible age range has been extended from 30 to 35 years, and the ‘specified work’ requirement has been removed.
  • Work and Holiday Visa for Philippines Citizens: Citizens from the Philippines can now apply for this visa, allowing them to work and travel in Australia for up to twelve months.
  • National Innovation Visa: Replacing the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP), this new visa aims to attract high-calibre entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Permanent Migration Programme Cap: Set at 185,000 places, with 132,200 allocated to the Skill stream.
  • Closure of Skilled-Recognised Graduate Visa: No new applications will be accepted for this visa.
  • Support for Partner Visa Applicants: Enhanced protections and pathways to permanent residency for applicants experiencing family violence.
  • Strengthening Employer Compliance: The Strengthening Employer Compliance Bill 2023 introduces new criminal measures against employers who exploit migrants.
  • Workplace Justice Visa Pilot: This new visa allows temporary visa holders to remain in Australia temporarily while pursuing workplace justice.

Key Statements from Ministers

Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor: “Australia has a world-class education sector that draws international students from around the globe. We need to ensure all students receive the quality education they pay for. We continue to eliminate unscrupulous providers who take advantage of international students.”

Minister for Education, Jason Clare: “International education is a critical national asset. These changes will strengthen the integrity of our international education system and fund important reforms, including making HECS fairer and expanding FEE-Free Uni Ready courses.”

Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil: “We inherited a broken and dysfunctional migration system. Reform was essential. These changes will help restore integrity and create a fairer, smaller migration system better able to deliver for Australia.”

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles: “Our reforms will help vulnerable workers speak up while we crack down on employers doing the wrong thing. We are committed to delivering higher wages for skilled migrants and Australians.”

For assistance in understanding these changes, contact one of our migration strategists at (02) 9279 0473 or book an appointment at