2018-19 Migration Program Update
The 2018-19 Migration Program outcome has been released by the Department of Home Affairs.
This article looks at the 2018-19 migration program numbers, the planning levels for 2019-20 and trends in permanent versus temporary migration to Australia.
A summary of the program outcomes from 2014-15 to 2018-19 and the planning level for 2019-20 is below.
Overall, we can see that numbers for the migration + humanitarian program had been tracking at above 200,000 until the 2017-18 financial year. In that year, the Minister for Immigration appears to have limited the number of visa grants in the migration program to around 160,000, despite a planning level of over 180,000. Migration program outcomes have been at this level since then and this is also the planning level for the 2019-20 planning year.
|Migration and Child Program||Humanitarian||Total Migration and Humanitarian|
2018-19 Migration Program
Looking now at the changes between the 2017-18 and the 2018-19 program years, we can see that there was a large increase in the employer sponsored program – around 6,500 places. This is most likely due to the large number of additional applications lodged in ENS and RSMS employer sponsored categories ahead of changes to eligibility criteria.
There was a corresponding decrease in the number of Points Tested Skilled visas – a decrease of around 7,800 places. As this type of application requires an invitation through SkillSelect in general, the Department of Immigration can limit the number of applications made. This appears to have been in response to increased numbers of employer sponsored skilled visas being granted.
Other categories are relatively static, apart from the parent visa category which saw around 500 fewer visas being granted.
|Employer Nomination Scheme||29,307||33,025||3,718|
|Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme||6,221||8,987||2,766|
|Employer Sponsored Total||35,528||42,012||6,484|
|Points Tested Total||68,111||60,240||-7,871|
|Business Innovation and Investment||7,260||7,261||1|
|Global Talent (new)|
|Other Skills Total||7,460||7,461||1|
|Skill Stream Total||111,099||109,713||-1,386|
|Family and Child Total||51,082||50,495||-587|
|Total Migration and Child Program||162,417||160,323||-2,094|
|Total Migration and Humanitarian||178,667||179,073||406|
2019-20 Migration Program Planning Level
Whilst the overall program number for 2019-20 is planned to be similar to 2018-19, there are a number of new visa types being introduced and changes to numbers in other categories.
Three new visa streams are due to be introduced:
- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: 9,000 places. This is a provisional visa for people with a job offer with a regional employer. Essentially replaces the permanent RSMS visa.
- Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: 14,000 places. This is a provisional visa for people sponsored by a state or territory government or a relative living in a regional area. Essentially replaces the provisional streams of the current points tested visas.
- Global Talent Independent: 5,000 places. For highly skilled people applying for migration to Australia – most likely will be granted either a distinguished talent or points tested visa, though details are not yet available.
Places for these programs have been carved out of other programs – namely:
- Approximately 9,000 places for the repealed RSMS visa to be back-filled by the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) program
- A reduction of 3,000 places in the Employer Nomination Scheme
- A reduction of almost 16,000 places in the Skilled Independent program and 1,000 places in the State/Territory Nominated program to accommodate the new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) program
- Approximately 600 extra places in the family program, mainly made up by increased parent visa grants
|Employer Nomination Scheme||33,025||30,000||-3,025|
|Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme||8,987||-8,987|
|Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (new)||9,000||9,000|
|Employer Sponsored Total||42,012||39,000||-3,012|
|Skilled Work Regional (new)||14,000||14,000|
|Points Tested Total||60,240||57,620||-2,620|
|Business Innovation and Investment||7,261||6,862||-399|
|Global Talent (new)||5,000||5,000|
|Other Skills Total||7,461||12,062||4,601|
|Skill Stream Total||109,713||108,682||-1,031|
|Family and Child Total||50,495||51,082||587|
|Total Migration and Child Program||160,323||160,000||-323|
|Total Migration and Humanitarian||179,073||178,750||-323|
The Australian Government has implemented a drop of approximately 20,000 places in the permanent migration program going forward. In addition, many of these places are now allocated to provisional visas – namely 9,000 provisional employer sponsored and 14,000 state or family sponsored places for regional Australia.
On the other hand, Net Overseas Migration continues to be high – approximately 250,000 in the 2018 Calendar Year. The historical trend is that much of this growth has been in temporary visa holders. The changes to the migration program are likely to accelerate this trend.
For employers, this means that the number of temporary and provisional visa holders with work rights will continue to grow, well in excess of the growth in permanent visa holders. It is more important than ever to ensure that all staff have appropriate work rights.
- The Hon David Coleman MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs – Migration program focusing on regional Australia
- Department of Home Affairs – Migration Program Statistics
- Department of Home Affairs – Humanitarian Program Statistics
- Department of Home Affairs – Migration Program Planning Levels