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Road to Post Covid19 Recovery

The Government's Economic and Fiscal Outlook released by the government shows the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across all parts of the Australian economy, including migration.

The Outlook revealed a few key assumptions on how the pandemic will continue to affect migration to Australia:

As most of our readers are aware, between July and December 2020, only Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents, New Zealanders, a small number of international students, and those with a valid Temporary Visa and Travel Exemption will be able to travel to Australia, based on announced policy to date.

Looking ahead, from 1 January to 30 June 2021, the Government assumes the international travel ban will be lifted, however a two‑week quarantine period will still be required for all arrivals. Temporary and permanent migration is expected to resume but at a reduced rate overall, with international travel to remain low until the end of the June quarter 2021.

With regards to the international tourism and student migration levels are expected to remain low in 2020-21 at this stage there are no specific figures available.

What we do know is that Australia’s population growth is assumed to slow to 1.2 per cent in 2019-20 and to 0.6 per cent in 2020-21 — the lowest annual rate of growth since 1916-17. This is mainly due to lower Net Overseas Migration levels.

Net overseas migration (NOM) is assumed to fall from 232,000 in 2018‑19 to be 154,000 in 2019‑20 and 31,000 in 202021 (NOT A TYPO). The NOM includes both temporary and permanent migration and is significantly affected by international travel restrictions and constraints on the ability of applicants to meet visa application requirements.

What does all of this mean?

Whilst the numbers appear to be somewhat grim, it is important that we remember there are many migrants who are currently in Australia looking to either extend their stay or vary the nature of what their visa allows them to do.  Our job as practitioners is to be robust, strategic and diligent in understanding the everchanging nature of the COVID19 situation which is not leaving our shores anytime soon.

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