Open Borders Albo rubber stamps 8.3 million visas


Last week, Treasurer Jim Chalmers claimed that Australia’s record net overseas migration (NOM) is “not a government lever or a government target or policy. It’s a demand-driven thing”.

Chalmers also falsely claimed that the record NOM is because there are “fewer Australians leaving to work overseas”.

I rubbished Chalmers’ claims noting that the Albanese Government has taken deliberate policy actions to drive record numbers of migrants into Australia, including:

  • Extending post-study graduate visas by two years, making student visas much more attractive.
  • Committing $42 million and 600 staff to clear the contrived “one million visa backlog” and approving as many visa applications as possible.
  • Issuing 66,000 “pandemic event visas” rather than closing the rort down.
  • Prioritising offshore visa applications over onshore.
  • Signing open borders migration agreements with India.

On Monday the truth was revealed with the Department of Home Affairs finalising nearly 8.3 million visas in the 2022-23 financial year – a 190% increase on the 2021-22 fiscal year:

The Department told SBS Hindi that almost 600 new staff members were recruited between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023 who now support temporary and migration visa processing.

“On 27 October 2022, the Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil, signed a new Ministerial Direction (MD 100). MD 100 reduces the number of visa processing priorities, which has increased efficiencies and assisted in reducing processing times across all caseloads”, the spokesperson added.

Migration agent Neha Singh told SBS Hindi her clients were getting visa grants faster than ever before.

“We have noticed considerable change in processing times even for permanent visa grants as well”, she added.

As per the official statistics, there has been a significant decline of 66.2% in the number of current Student visa applications on-hand.

The number of on-hand temporary visa applications also dropped by 73% from more than 600,000 on 30 June 2022 to just over 161,000 on 30 June 2023. 

As of May 2023, the number of international students enrolled in Australian courses reached 608,942, with a significant portion of this figure, more than 98,000 students, originating from India.

The Albanese Government’s deliberate actions have lifted net visa arrivals to record levels, which has driven annual population growth to an all-time high 500,000 and has plunged the rental market into crisis.

Net visa arrivals

Nobody voted for and few people support such high levels of immigration.

With friends like the Albanese Government, Australian renters and workers sure don’t need enemies.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.