The BGA Australia Team, led by Managing Director Michael “Mick” McNeill, wrote an update to clients on reforms in Australia’s migration policy. 


  • The government has released its new migration strategy, outlining the first major change to the immigration system in decades. The strategy aims to address challenges such as sluggish productivity growth, the aging population and skills shortages in areas such as national security and the net-zero carbon economy. 
  • The migration intake will be reduced to pre-pandemic levels in the short term by reducing the number of temporary workers and international students. 


  • The migration strategy, while always planned for release around this time, comes when Australia’s migration program is under heightened scrutiny from the political and middle classes in Australia. Opinion polls have drastically shifted against the Labor government following the defeat of the Indigenous referendum, rising interest rates and concerns over the cost of living and the release of convicted criminals from asylum seeker detention following a High Court ruling. 
  • While the number of temporary workers and international students were always expected to rebound post-COVID restrictions, the extent of this surge has surprised the government and economists. This has put pressure on house prices and rents, added to the inflationary pressure and strained government services and infrastructure. 


  • Businesses should note the introduction of a skills in demand visa that will give workers more opportunity to move employers. Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil emphasized “consensus” in the strategy’s development, appearing at a press conference with leaders from the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. 
  • The new talent and innovation visa will drive growth in sectors of national importance. The new four-year skills in demand visa will have three streams: specialist skills to attract highly skilled works from sectors such as technology and energy; core skills based on job market needs, to be regularly updated; and essential skills, with a labor shortage focus for those on lower incomes. 

We will continue to keep you updated on developments in Australia as they occur. If you have any questions or comments, please contact BGA Australia Managing Director Michael “Mick” McNeill at

Best regards, 

BGA Australia Team