28 Jul 2020

What Australia’s Economic Outlook Means for Immigration

The Government’s recently announced Economic and Fiscal Outlook revealed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across all parts of the Australian economy, including immigration.

Australia’s Economic Outlook revealed several forecasts based on a few key assumptions. Several of the assumptions indicate how the Government predicts the pandemic will affect migration to Australia over the coming year. Here’s a summary.

Australia’s Economic Outlook and Assumptions

Between July and December 2020, existing rules will apply whereby only Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents, eligible New Zealanders, a small number of international students, and those with a valid Temporary Visa and Travel Exemption can travel to Australia.

From 1 January to 30 June 2021, the Government assumes the international travel ban will be lifted, however all travellers will still be required to meet a two‑week quarantine period. Temporary and permanent migration is expected to resume but at a reduced rate until the end of June 2021.

International tourism and student migration levels are expected to remain low in 2020-21.

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. This is the lowest annual rate of growth since 1916-17 and 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 2020‑21. The NOM includes both temporary and permanent migration figures and is significantly affected by international travel restrictions and constraints on the ability of applicants to meet visa application requirements. 

Future migration levels remain highly uncertain, due to the nature of the pandemic and duration of measures to contain its spread in Australia and internationally.

We expect the Government will release further details on the size and composition of Australia’s 2020-21 migration program on 6 October, 2020 as part of its Federal Budget announcements.

Getting Advice

Australia’s international travel ban continues to have a significant impact on immigration and the broader economy. It is possible to apply for a Temporary or Permanent Visa and the Government has recommenced visa processing, however delays are still being experienced.

If you have any visa or migration concerns, you may wish to seek professional advice. We encourage you to contact our Registered Migration Agents at or +61 8 6263 4406.


Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents
Treasurer Josh Frydenburg – Economic and Fiscal Update

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

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