Migration Program Planning Levels for 2023-24: Australian Government’s Focus on Skill and Family Stream


On May 9, 2023, the Australian Government unveiled its plans for the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program, setting the planning level at 190,000 places. This strategic decision aims to address persistent and emerging skill shortages in the country, attract specialized talents that are scarce in the domestic market, and support various aspects of the Australian economy.


Strategic Role of Migration in Australia’s Transition to Net-Zero Emissions

One of the primary goals of the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program is to enhance the country’s resilience and productivity, especially during the ongoing transition towards net-zero emissions. As Australia continues to develop its pipeline of highly skilled workers internally, the program will play a pivotal role in augmenting the workforce with individuals possessing sought-after skills that can propel economic growth and innovation.

Emphasizing Family Bonds: Social Cohesion in Migration Program

Additionally, the Migration Program recognizes the valuable contributions migrants make to Australia’s social fabric. It emphasizes the importance of family and community bonds, underlining the government’s commitment to family reunification. This aspect of the program aligns with the government’s dedication to social cohesion and the integral role migrant families play in fostering a diverse and harmonious society.

Mitigating Aging Population: Migration as a Demographic Solution

Moreover, the permanent Migration Program serves as a solution to Australia’s aging population. By bringing in migrants, who tend to be younger on average than the existing population, the country can mitigate the effects of an aging demographic. The infusion of working-age individuals helps boost participation rates and expands the labor force, thereby contributing to economic vitality.

The composition of the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program is divided into three main streams:


  • Skill Stream (137,100 places): This stream is tailored to enhance economic productivity and address skill gaps, particularly in regional Australia. By bringing in individuals with specialized expertise, the program aims to uplift industries and regions that require immediate attention.


  • Family Stream (52,500 places): This stream facilitates family reunification through Partner and Child visas, constituting about 28% of the program. The Partner visa category, the largest within the family stream, underscores the significance of supporting families and ensuring they remain cohesive even across international borders.


  • Special Eligibility Stream (400 places): This stream accommodates unique circumstances, including permanent residents returning to Australia after a period abroad. It offers a pathway for specific cases that might not fall under the conventional skill or family categories.

While the planning level of 190,000 places remains consistent with pre-COVID levels, the program is slightly reduced by 5,000 places from the previous year’s planning level of 195,000. This minor adjustment ensures a balanced approach, considering the evolving dynamics of the domestic and international landscape.

Skill Independent, Business Innovation and Global Talent Visa: Shifting Landscape in Visa Categories


  • The Skilled Independent visa category, with 30,375 allocated places, reflects a comparable allocation to the previous year. The reduction in places is attributed to the closure of the New Zealand stream of the Skilled – Independent visa, which now provides a direct pathway to citizenship for eligible Special Category Visa holders.
  • The Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) category has seen a reduction from 5,000 visas to 1,900 visas. This modification prioritizes addressing immediate workforce needs while fostering economic growth through business and investor migrants.
  • The Global Talent visa category maintains its planning level at 5,000 places, ensuring that Australia remains an attractive destination for exceptional international talent.

Family Stream: Key Visa Category in Australia’s Migration Plan

In terms of family stream, the program retains the family size stream while supporting Australian citizens and permanent residents in reuniting with their families. The government acknowledges the positive social contributions immigrant parents make to families and local communities.

The Migration Program’s planning levels were disclosed as part of the 2022-23 and 2023-24 Federal Budget announcements

Visa Stream

Visa Category

2022-23 Planning levels

2023-24 Planning levels


Employer Sponsored




Skilled Independent








State/Territory Nominated




Business Innovation & Investment




Global Talent (Independent)




Distinguished Talent




Skill Total




















Other Family




Family Total




Special Eligibility




Total Migration Program



For more information, please visit the official website of the Australian Department of Home Affairs on the link here.

The unveiling of the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program underscores the Australian Government’s commitment to a balanced approach that promotes economic growth, addresses skills shortages, and values family reunification. Through targeted planning, Australia aims to build a strong and dynamic society that thrives in a global landscape.

Efforts to manage visa processing will be intensified, with increased funding and system upgrades to ensure efficient service delivery and enhance the country’s appeal to a diverse range of international talents, students, and tourists.

If you’re interested in applying for a Skilled Independent Visa, Business Innovation Visa, Global Talent Visa, or any visa within the Family Stream, such as the Partner Visa, feel free to reach out to NB Migration Law for assistance, our team of expert migration lawyer will navigate you through the process.

Book a free consultation today and let us help you find a way forward.