Australian Migration Program Helping Our Economy Bounce Back

Good news for visa applicants looking to relocate or reunite in Australia. The Department of Home Affairs has announced that it will increase the number of skilled visa places available for the next year, as it seeks to help kick start the economy in post-pandemic times. The Department also targeted family visas, and in particular partner visas, to be granted according to demand, which will hopefully reduce processing times and reunite families and partners quicker than in the past.


Goals of the 2022-23 Migration Program

The 2022-23 Migration Program will return visa places to pre-pandemic levels of one third family visas and two thirds skilled visa placements. Australia is in the midst of a critical workforce shortage and this move attempts to help us recover economically from the pandemic. The Australia Government aims to balance economic, demographic and social objectives with this latest Migration Program.


Skilled Visas on the Increase

In last financial year there were 79,600 skilled visa places allocated with an even spread of places across the visa categories. The 2022-23 Migration Program is planned to ramp up places to 109,900 in the skilled visa stream. Skilled independent visa placements more than doubled along with places for Regional visas. Employer sponsored and state nominated skilled visas also saw a large increase in available places for the coming financial year. It is worth noting that while Business Innovation and Investment and Global Talent visa places have dropped overall, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs can redistribute visa places as needed. This allows Australian skilled visa volumes to better reflect global economic needs as they occur.


Reduced Places for Family Visas but now Demand Driven

While the total number of planned partner visa places dropped overall, the department has stated that these visas will be demand driven, and therefore will not be capped. Planned child visa volumes remain the same but they will also not have a ceiling, so numbers can go beyond planned levels. Planned parent visa placements will go up 33% in 2022-23 but these will be capped at 6000 for the year.


How is the Migration Program Formed each Year?

Each financial year the Migration Program is established at the same time as the Australian Government budget, to help establish the size and makeup of the of the program. Public submissions are accepted in the last two months of the previous year and help shape the program. These submissions along with labour and economic forecasts, migration trends, overseas research and fiscal modelling are all included in the planning process. The Department of Home Affairs consults heavily with state governments, industry and academic representatives, community groups and unions for additional information.

The states and territories are responsible for assessing every applicant against the criteria specific to their jurisdiction. This applies to the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) Visa, Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa and the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) visas. The states work with the Department of Home Affairs to determine planned places for each state. The numbers for 2022-23 have not yet been released but should become available soon.

With so many Australian industries crying out for workers, this latest Migration Program focusing on skilled workers could not have come at a better time.



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