Australian Temporary Visa Holder Statistics October 31, 2022

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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 October 31, 2022 and it makes for interesting reading on the recovery in temporary visa holders in Australia with work rights, post borders reopening.

Australia’s unemployment rate was just 3.4% in October, can this be explained by the foreign workforce being absent down-under?


On the surface, there were 2.21m visa holders in Australia as at October 31, 2022 compared to the pre-COVID benchmark of December 31, 2019 of 2.4m. This appears to be normalising to pre-COVID levels. The breakdown by visa class makes for interesting reading – particularly when you look relative to working rights.

Visitor Visas In Australia

Visitor visas, for whom do not have work rights in Australia, were at 337,563 as at 30 September 2019 and have recovered to 271,301 as 30 September 2022. But the next quarter will be a test for the airlines and flight costs, as there were 633,816 visitor visas in Australia for New Year’s 2020.

Working Holiday Visas Australia

Checking the stats on 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 86,899 working holiday visas in Australia as at 31 October 2022 – showing significant momentum in the working holiday visas coming into Australia. This needs a further 50% growth to get back to near the pre-COVID peak.

Student Visas

Student visas have recovered from a low of 315,949 as at December 31 2021, to 424,793 as at October 31, 2022, BUT this is a long way short of the peak of 633,816 as at September 30 2019. Again, Australia needs to grow student visa numbers by a further 50% to get back to pre-COVID levels.

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 recovered marginally to 111,000 as at October 31, 2022.

So, across the 3 key visa categories of working holiday, students and skilled – there still 300,000 odd fewer temporary visa holder workers in Australia as at October 31, 2022 than pre-COVID!

Bridging Visas

BUT… it is interesting to note, Bridging Visas are up significantly from 180,000 as at June 30 2019 to a whooping 357,743 come October 31 2022 – accounting for practically half the shortfall described above! The backlog of Home Affairs in processing visas isn’t showing great signs of improvement!

Here’s the full break-down courtesy of

BP0019 Number of Temporary visa holders in Australia 2022-06-30