Australian Temporary Visa Holder Statistics February 29, 2024

The Australian Department of Home Affairs publishes data via the Australian Bureau of Statistics on temporary visa holders in Australia. The most recent data comes from February 29, 2024. The highlights include:

  • There were 2.81m visa holders in Australia as at the end of February;
  • Students (500 visas) have flooded back into Australia post COVID and with trade tensions easing with China, hitting a new record high of more than 713,000. This is up from a low of close to 316,000 as at December 31 2021;
  • Working Holiday Makers (417 and 462 visas) also hit a new high of over 181,000, up from a low of 23,000 in December 2021;

Visas and the Australian workforce

Australia’s unemployment rate was just 3.8% in February even with the influx of both the temporary visa holder workforce and a healthy permanent migration program.

Visitor Visas In Australia

Visitor visas, for whom do not have work rights, touched 600,000 as at December 31 2023 (settling back to 400,000 by the end of summer Feb 29), down from the same date in 2019 (pre-COVID) when there were around 635,109 in Australia.

Student Visas

Student visas have recovered from a low of 315,949 as at December 31 2021, to reach a new high of 713,144 as at February 29 2024 easily exceeding the pre-COVID peak of 633,816 as at September 30 2019.

As the “housing crisis” takes hold across Australia, particularly with rentals in Sydney, there is a sense in the media, politics and public that this number of student visas is a significant contributing factor. There is a lot of rhetoric pointing to a crack down on “dodgy” student visas. Watch this space for tighter compliance.

Bridging Visas

After a dramatic decrease in the final quarter of 2022 (which saw a massive 44% drop in just 1 quarter as Home Affairs powered through the visa application backlog “post COVID”), Bridging Visas numbers have more recently started to creep back up, with 231,409 visa holders awaiting a decision on their visa applications. This is up from 176,856 at the end of June 2023!

Working Holiday Visas Australia

Looking at 417 and 462 working holiday visas, which peaked at 141,000 as at December 31, 2019 and bottomed at 19,324 2 years later – we had 181,216 working holiday visas in Australia as at 29 February 2024. This has helped industries such as Hospitality and Agriculture enormously as they did struggle for staff during COVID.

Skilled employment visas

Then there’s the temporary resident, skilled employment visas, they dropped from 143,000 as at June 30 2019, to 94,500 over the subsequent 3 years, zapping another 50,000 workers from out labour market! This has now fully recovered to a new record high of 155,193 by the end of February 2024.

Where Australian Temporary Visa Numbers Have Landed

As you can see from the above, temporary visa holder are still flooding into Australia! Students are back. Working Holiday Makers are here in big numbers. Skilled visas are well and truly recovering. Bridging visas are creeping back up!

Here’s the full break-down courtesy of

BP0019 Number of Temporary visa holders in Australia 2024-02-29