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Australia Immigration Plan 2023

The Australian Government has outlined its plans for the 2023-24 Permanent Migration Program, aimed at addressing critical skill shortages, enhancing economic productivity, supporting the transition to net-zero emissions, and promoting social cohesion. The program encompasses various visa streams and categories, with a focus on skilled migration, family reunification, and special circumstances.

In terms of figures, the 2023-24 Permanent Migration Program is set at a planning level of 190,000, prioritizing skilled migrants. The program maintains a distribution of approximately 70% for skilled visas and 30% for family visas.

Breaking down the allocations further:

  • The Skill stream is allotted 137,100 invitations, which corresponds to 72% of the entire program.
  • The Family stream is anticipated to receive an allocation of 52,500 invitations, constituting around 28% of the total program. It’s important to note that Partner and Child visa categories operate on a demand-driven basis and aren’t bound by a specific limit.

Australia’s Immigration Plan of 2023 – 2024

Visa Stream Visa Category 2022-23 Plan 2023-24 Plan
Skill Employer Sponsored 35,000 36,825
Skilled Independent 32,100 30,375
Regional 34,000 32,300
State/Territory Nominated 31,000 30,400
Business Innovation & Investment 5,000 1,900
Global Talent (Independent) 5,000 5,000
Distinguished Talent 300 300
Skill Total 142,400 137,100
Family Partner 40,500 40,500
Parent 8,500 8,500
Child 3,000 3,000
Other Family 500 500
Family Total 52,500 52,500
Special Eligibility 100 400
Total Migration Program 195,000 190,000

2023–24 State and Territory Nomination Allocations

State Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa
ACT 600 600
NSW 2,650 1,500
NT 250 400
QLD 900 650
SA 1,100 1,200
TAS 600 600
VIC 2,700 600
WA 1,500 850
Total 10,300 6,400

Skill Stream (137,100 Invitations):

The Skill stream constitutes approximately 72% of the program and is designed to bolster the economy’s productive capacity and alleviate skill shortages, including those in regional areas. The stream includes several visa categories, such as:

  • Employer-Sponsored
  • Skilled Independent
  • Regional
  • State/Territory Nominated
  • Business Innovation & Investment
  • Global Talent (Independent)
  • Distinguished Talent

Within the framework of the 2023-24 Permanent Migration Program, a total of 30,375 invitations have been designated for Skilled Independent visas (Subclass 189). Notably, the allocation for the points-tested segment of the Skilled Independent visa category has seen an increase, rising from 25,600 invitations in the previous year (2022-23) to 30,175 invitations in the current year (2023-24). The allocation for the continuing Hong Kong pathway remains unchanged, staying at 200 invitations.

This change aligns with the closure of the New Zealand stream of subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa starting from 1 July 2023. This adjustment is a result of a novel direct pathway to citizenship being introduced for Special Category Visa holders who fulfill the eligibility requirements for citizenship.

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) Visa Category

Since the Australian Government is addressing immediate workforce shortages, the allocation of invitations for the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) in the 2023-2024 Migration Program has undergone a substantial reduction of 62%. This reduction has led to a decrease in the number of visas, with the allocation dropping from 5,000 visas in the previous year (2022-23) to 1,900 visas for the current year (2023-24).

Global Talent Visa Category

As the Global Talent Visa (GTV) program delivers high-caliber skills for Australia through the targeted recruitment of exceptionally talented individuals in key sectors, the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program has maintained 5,000 invitations for the Global Talent Visa (GTV) Program.

Family Stream (52,500 invitations):

Comprising around 28% of the program, the Family stream focuses on family reunification and social cohesion. It includes visa categories like:

  • Partner visas (40,500 invitations)
  • Parent visas (8,500 invitations)
  • Child visas (3,000 invitations)
  • Other Family visas (500 invitations)

Special Eligibility Stream (400 invitations):

This stream caters to individuals with unique circumstances, such as permanent residents returning to Australia after residing overseas.

State and Territory Nominations

States and territories receive nomination allocations for visa categories like Skilled Nominated (subclass 190), Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491), and the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP). Each state’s allocation corresponds to their unique criteria for assessing eligible applicants.

Net Overseas Migration (NOM)

The permanent Migration Program is just one facet of net overseas migration (NOM), which includes temporary migration, citizens, New Zealanders, and Humanitarian migrants. NOM is projected to reach 400,000 in 2022–23 and 315,000 in 2023–24, primarily due to returning temporary migrants after the pandemic. This increase is expected to be transient, with NOM forecasted to normalize from 2024–25. The permanent Migration Program only partially influences NOM in the short term, as a significant portion of visas are granted to migrants already within Australia.

This strategic approach to Australia’s migration program maintains a focus on skilled migrants, aligns with economic goals, and aims to ensure migrants’ integration into society.


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Key Highlights

Skilled Independent Visa Category:

  • Allocated 30,375 places, slightly reduced due to the closure of the New Zealand stream of the subclass 189 visa.
  • The closure is a result of a new direct pathway to citizenship for Special Category Visa holders who meet citizenship eligibility requirements.

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) Visa Category:

  • The planning level was reduced from 5,000 to 1,900 visas, prioritizing immediate workforce shortages.
  • Focus on selecting business and investor migrants contributing to economic growth and innovation

Global Talent Visa Category:

  • Maintains 5,000 places to attract exceptional international talent while addressing skill shortages.

Family Stream:

  • The Partner visa category remains the largest within the Family stream, emphasizing family reunification and social cohesion.
  • Parent program increased from 4,500 to 8,500 places in 2022-23, maintained for 2023-24.

Migration Program Delivery:

  • Additional funding of $48.1 million was allocated for 500 visa processing officers to manage visa applications.
  • Investment of $27.8 million over two years to upgrade visa ICT systems for enhanced efficiency and attractiveness.

Migration Program Consultation:

  • Collaboration with state and territory governments, academia, industry, unions, and community organizations to shape planning levels and policy settings.
  • Factors considered include economic forecasts, demand for permanent visas, net overseas migration, and economic modeling.

Net Overseas Migration (NOM):

  • The Permanent Migration Program is a component of NOM, which also includes temporary migration and humanitarian migrants.
  • NOM is forecasted to be 400,000 in 2022-23 and 315,000 in 2023-24, driven by the return of temporary migrants.
  • The permanent Migration Program has a partial impact on NOM, with about 60% of visas granted to migrants already in Australia.

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