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Summary of Australia's 2023-24 Permanent Migration Program

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Thurs, 28th September 2023

The 2023-24 Permanent Migration Program in Australia has been formulated to address the scarcity of specific skillsets in the country. The Australian Government has set the planning level for this program at 190,000 places. These places are distributed across various visa streams as follows:

Skill Stream

  • Employer-Sponsored: 36,825 places
  • Skilled Independent: 30,375 places
  • Regional: 32,300 places
  • State/Territory Nominated: 30,400 places
  • Business Innovation & Investment: 1,900 places
  • Global Talent (Independent): 5,000 places
  • Distinguished Talent: 300 places
  • Total Skill Stream: 137,100 places

Family Stream

  • Partner: 40,500 places
  • Parent: 8,500 places
  • Child: 3,000 places
  • Other Family: 500 places
  • Total Family Stream: 52,500 places
  • Special Eligibility Stream: 400 places

The program aims to achieve several objectives, including enhancing resilience, boosting productivity, and supporting the economy's transition to net-zero emissions. While the question of whether admitting a significant number of people annually is feasible and beneficial remains open-ended, a focused Migration Program geared toward skills supplementation can increase participation rates and the labor force's size. Migration also lowers the average age of the population due to the generally younger age of migrants compared to the existing Australian population.

The program primarily consists of two streams:

  1. Skill Stream (approximately 72% of the program): Focused on improving the economy's productivity and addressing skill shortages, especially in regional areas.
  2. Family Stream (approximately 28% of the program): Includes various categories, with Partner and Child visas being demand-driven and not subject to a ceiling.

Noteworthy program features include:

  1. Skilled Independent visa category: 30,375 places allocated.
  2. New Zealand citizens living in Australia for four years or more can directly apply for Australian citizenship from July 1, 2023, without the need for a permanent visa.
  3. Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) visa category planning level was reduced to 1,900 to address workforce shortages.
  4. Global Talent visa category maintains 5,000 places.
  5. Family stream planning levels remain consistent, with Partner visas being the largest category at 40,500 places.
  6. Child visa program remains at 3,000 places, emphasizing family reunification.

Efforts will continue to manage visa numbers by funding 500 visa processing officers with an additional $48.1 million over 12 months.

Nomination allocations for state and territory-nominated visa categories for the 2023-24 program year are yet to be finalized.

It's important to note that the Permanent Migration Program is only one component of net overseas migration (NOM), which includes temporary migration, Australian citizens, New Zealanders, and Humanitarian migrants. Approximately 60% of visas under this program are granted to migrants already residing in Australia, minimizing the program's immediate impact on housing, infrastructure, and services.

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