January 13, 2024

A Comprehensive Review of Australia’s Migration System: Prospects and Pitfalls

Australia's migration system is a pivotal aspect of its economic growth and cultural diversity. However, it's essential to scrutinize the complexities of this system to understand its true impact. In this in-depth article, we will explore Australia's migration policies and trends, shedding light on both their positive contributions and potential challenges.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Migration

The landscape of migration in Australia faced unprecedented disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A 15% cut in the annual migrant intake in 2019 was followed by the mass departure of migrant workers and students in response to the pandemic. This exodus left the local economy grappling with a severe shortage of skilled labor. The relaxation of pandemic restrictions, pent-up demand, and a depreciating Australian Dollar have contributed to the significant surge in migration numbers, with a historic high of 490,000 net overseas migrations (NOM) in FY23 – a remarkable 63% increase from the previous record set in FY09.

Skilled Migration and Fiscal Impact

Australia has a history of benefiting immensely from skilled migration. According to the 2021 Census, 28% of Australians were born overseas, and nearly half have at least one immigrant parent. The impact of skilled young migrants, aged 25-35, is particularly noteworthy. They tend to earn more, work longer, spend more, and contribute more in taxes. In 2021, the Treasury's "Fiscal Impact of New Australians" (FIONA) model revealed that skilled migrants had a fiscally positive impact of $127,000 per person over the average Australian population. They account for 61% of the permanent migrant population.

Temporary Migration Realities

Australia is also home to a substantial temporary migrant workforce, including students, New Zealand citizens, and temporary skilled workers. Despite concerns about their impact on local jobs, research suggests otherwise. Temporary skilled visa holders represent less than 1% of the Australian labor force and typically have a high average base salary. Contrary to accusations of being a burden on government services, they contribute positively to government revenue through taxes.

Certain industries, especially those with a high exposure to migrants, experience a net positive impact. This can be through increased demand, as seen in supermarkets and telecommunications, or a rise in labor supply, as observed in mining and healthcare services.

The Role of Migration in Sustaining Economic Growth

Australia's consistent population growth, driven partly by immigration, has played a pivotal role in maintaining economic growth. Even during global economic crises, such as the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, Australia's economy remained resilient, largely thanks to record levels of immigration.

In 2023, Australia faces economic challenges, including a decline in per capita GDP and high-interest rates. Growth is driven by net exports, investment, and the return of international students, who contribute an estimated $29 billion to the local economy. Immigration continues to be a significant factor in sustaining this growth.

Balancing Prosperity and Sustainability

The opposition to increased immigration levels is often rooted in concerns about sustainability, particularly in densely populated urban areas. Housing shortages, congestion, and rising property prices are common concerns. However, a drastic reduction in immigration levels could have a net negative impact on the domestic economy.

Comparing Australia's situation with the post-Brexit UK, we see the importance of well-considered immigration policies. The UK's shift towards welcoming more students and refugees has resulted in labor shortages and skill gaps, contributing to inflation. In contrast, Australia's pro-immigration policies have helped maintain a robust labor market without overheating it.

The Future of Australian Economic Growth

Several key sectors, including healthcare, scientific and technical services, education and training, and accommodation and food services, rely heavily on skilled permanent and temporary immigrant workers. Striking a balance between prosperity and sustainability is crucial for the continued growth of the Australian economy. A middle-ground solution that addresses the needs of both the economy and the growing population is essential for a sustainable and prosperous future.


Australia's migration system has played a crucial role in its economic growth and cultural diversity. It has attracted skilled workers who contribute significantly to the country's fiscal health. While challenges such as housing shortages and congestion must be addressed, it is clear that a well-managed immigration system remains essential for Australia's economic prosperity. Evidence-based policies that support growth while addressing demographic challenges are the key to Australia's continued success.

Ready to Migrate to Australia? Trust Pelican Migration Consultants in Dubai

If you're considering the exciting journey of migrating to Australia, you've come to the right place. At Pelican Migration Consultants, we understand that this decision is a significant step in your life, and we are here to ensure it's a smooth and successful transition. As your trusted immigration consultants in Dubai, we simplify the often complex process of immigration, making it as simple as possible for you.

Our team of experts is dedicated to providing you with top-notch guidance, from the initial consultation to obtaining your visa and settling into your new life in Australia. We know that the process can be overwhelming, and that's where we step in – to make sure you have all the necessary information and support you need.

Migrating to Australia is an exciting prospect, and we're here to ensure that it's also a stress-free one. Pelican Migration Consultants takes pride in our commitment to our clients, and we're passionate about helping you achieve your Australian dream.

Choose Pelican Migration Consultants for a smooth journey to your new life in Australia. Let's embark on this exciting adventure together and turn your Australian dream into a reality.