A total of 190 000 places make up Australia’s migration programme for 2014 -2015, as announced by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection on Budget Day. Breaking down the numbers, next year’s programme planning levels comprise of:
- 128 550 places for skilled migrants, including employer-sponsored, general skilled and business migrants
- 60 885 places for family migrants sponsored by family members in Australia
- 565 places for special eligibility migrants, who include former permanent residents who have maintained close business, cultural or personal ties with Australia.
Australia Visa Migration Programme
The Australia visa migration programme is set by the government annually and lists the planning levels for permanent migration to Australia. The migration programme benefits Australia economically, through addressing immediate and long-term skill shortages in the workforce, and socially, through the reunification of families. The size and composition of the programme are set after extensive consultation around Australia and takes into account other factors such as overseas migration, economic, demographic and labour market trends. It is managed separately to the humanitarian programme.
Australian Visa Migration Programme – Information
While the overall size of the plan remains the same, there have been some changes within each stream: Places have been moved into the employer-sponsored category, which is designed to meet immediately to medium term skill shortages that remain in some industries and regions. If not addressed, these shortages will reduce economic growth and productivity. The skilled independent category has been reduced to ensure fewer migrants are competing directly with Australians for jobs as the labour market is slightly softening and unemployment is somewhat trending upwards. Immediate family reunion has been supported by increases in the partner and child categories, as well as in contributory parent. To maintain the relative proportions of the programme, reductions in the numbers of non-contributory parents and other family visas were necessary.