The net inward migration to Australia is set to rebound to pre-pandemic levels, says the findings of the Centre for Population. Australia had imposed strict border restrictions during the COVID period and in the past few years, the country lost around 473000 potential migrants owing to COVID. As per the report, the travel restrictions imposed in the wake of COVID led to a loss of 85000 people in 2020-21. This is Australia’s first migration loss since the second world war. However, the restrictions were lifted in 2021 and the year witnessed a sharp increase in migrant arrivals, a net inflow of 150000 in 2021-22. This is likely to increase to 235000 in 2022-23, the pre-pandemic levels. As per the report, if the pandemic had not occurred, the cumulative net overseas migration would have been higher by 473000 persons during the period between 2019-20 and 2025-26.
International students in Australia boost immigration numbers
In 2021, the rebound of immigration was largely owing to the influx of students. The number of international students coming to Australia increased by 122000 in October 2022, compared to December 2021. The offshore student visa grants during the period between January and September 2022 were the highest ever.
Further, the annual permanent migration cap has been increased from 160000 to 195000. This has led to the increase in the number of those who come to Australia on family and skilled visas.
Australia needs immigrants
Even as the Australian economy is recovering from the impact of the pandemic, the labour shortages are preventing the growth of the economy. So the government needs to ensure that the country has enough skilled workers they need. At the same time, the Australian government is also taking all efforts to make Australia’s migration settings sustainable, so that it can serve the national interests of Australia.
The Australia government has also launched a review of the migration program, the report of which will be submitted in 2023. It is expected that this report would help Australia make more effective plans for making the migration system more efficient.
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