Giorgio Motta and Rebeca Vonk Marins (Image: Supplied)

Migrants will be key to Australia's economic recovery.

The lack of arrivals since the pandemic began has affected our workforce, our GDP, our universities and our population growth. This financial year there'll be a net loss of 72,000 migrants, compared with a net gain of 154,000 in 2019-20. Population growth is expected to drop to 0.2%, down from 1.5% in 2018-19.

The number of permanent visas available for 2020-21 has been set at 160,000, but getting into Australia is tough. Caps on international arrivals were further slashed by states earlier this month in response to the more infectious UK variant of COVID-19. Those hoping to arrive have to have a valid visa, be granted an exemption by Australian Border Force, return a negative COVID test before departure, score a flight, and pay for hotel quarantine.