One of the key architects of the federal budget is tight-lipped about whether the annual migrant intake will be lifted once international borders reopen.
Tuesday's budget is expected to confirm migration into Australia has plunged into negative territory for the first time since the Second World War.
The slump will have far-reaching consequences for the national economy, given migration accounts for almost two-thirds of population growth.
Skilled migrants also tend to pay higher taxes than many other working Australians.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann on Monday refused to say whether the budget would outline plans to increase the intake of migrants once the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
"Clearly there are severe restrictions in terms of international movements, there is significantly lower demand than there might have been in the past in relation to skilled migrants coming into Australia," he told ABC radio.
"We would expect that to recover as the economy recovers and we would expect it to go back to a more normal pattern once we are on the other side of this pandemic."
Australia's permanent migration intake was capped at 160,000 places for the 2019/20 financial year but the actual figure is expected to be much lower because of coronavirus travel restrictions.