The size and the make-up of the Migration program is set annually during the budget process. To ensure the best possible outcomes for the Australian community, the planning levels are treated as a ceiling rather than a target. Consequently, outcomes for each year may vary due to various factors. Accurate figures for the 2018-2019 are not available yet, but they are expected to be similar to those in 2017-2018.
- Skilled – 111,099
- Family – 47,732
- Special eligibility – 236
- Child – 3,350
The new ceiling is set at 160,000 and the breakdown of the 2019-2020 figures is provided for each stream including various visa subclasses. The figures for 2017-2018 outcomes are used in the tables below for comparison purposes.
- Employer Sponsored
- Skilled Independent
- State Nominated
- Skilled Regional (will be discontinued)
- Skilled Employer Sponsored (available from Nov 2019)
- Skilled Work Regional (available from Nov 2019)
- Business Innovation and Investment program
- Global Talent
- Distinguished Talent
Total numbers for family, special eligibility and child streams will remain the same.
- Other family
- Special Eligibility
More than two thirds of the quotas are allocated to the Skilled stream, with a focus on categories that allow employers and states or territories to nominate skilled migrants. Notably, the biggest change in the Skilled migration stream is the reduction of the skilled independent visa numbers by almost 50%. At the same time, there is a clear focus on new regional work and employer sponsored visas that are boosted by 14,000 and 9,000 places respectively.
In November 2019 the definition of Regional Australia will be simplified and expanded to include all of Australia except for the following metropolitan areas:
- Skilled Employer Sponsored – for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia
- Skilled Work Regional – for people nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by a family member to live and work in regional Australia
Some features of these visas will include priority processing, five year validity and access to additional skilled occupations. Almost 700 occupations will be available for Skilled Employer Sponsored visa and over 500 occupations for Skilled Work Regional visa.
Under these new visas, migrants will be required to live and work in a regional area of Australia for at least three years before they can apply for permanent residence. A new permanent visa pathway will also be available in November 2022:
- Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) – for holders of the new regional provisional visas
In addition, a new graduate visa will be available from 2021:
- Temporary Graduate Regional – for people who have graduated with a higher education or post graduate qualification after studying at regional campuses
These new regional visas will provide further incentives for migrants to bring their skills to regional Australia and grow the Australian economy.