2023-24 Migration Program Overview
On 9 May 2023, the Australian Government announced the planning level for the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program, set at 190,000 places. This program is designed to:
- Address Persistent and Emerging Skill Shortages: Attract specialist skillsets that are difficult to find or develop in Australia.
- Support Transition to a Net-Zero Emissions Economy: Align with the country’s environmental goals.
- Skill Stream (137,100 places): To improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages, including in regional Australia.
- Family Stream (52,500 places): Predominantly made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas.
- Special Eligibility Stream (400 places): For those in special circumstances, including permanent residents returning to Australia.
Visa Stream and Category Planning Levels
|VISA STREAM||VISA CATEGORY||2022-23 PLANNING LEVELS||2023-24 PLANNING LEVELS|
|Business Innovation & Investment||5,000||1,900|
|Global Talent (Independent)||5,000||5,000|
|Total Migration Program||195,000||190,000|
Program Size and Composition
The size and composition of the Migration Program are set each year alongside the Australian Government’s Budget process. The planning levels and policy settings for the 2023-24 Migration Program were informed by:
- Public Submissions
- Economic and Labour Force Forecasts
- International Research
- Net Overseas Migration
- Economic and Fiscal Modelling
The Australian Migration Program Planning Levels for 2023-2024 have been meticulously designed to address the country’s evolving needs. This article provides an in-depth analysis of the state and territory nominated visa categories, the planning levels, and the strategic considerations behind the program.
State and Territory Nominated Visa Categories
This financial year, there are huge reductions of around 70% to all the state nomination allocations for General Skills Migration (GSM) for 190 and 491 visas. These allocations were released by the federal government on Thursday, August 25th.
The overall numbers show that the combined state allocations for 190 and 491 visas in 2022-23 were 62,416, while for 2023-24, the number has reduced to just 16,700.
The State and Territory Nominated planning level is 30,400 places and the regional planning level is 32,300 places. This means the overall number of visas the Government plans to grant in these programs in 2023-24 will be broadly similar to the number of visas granted in 2022-23.
- Note: Migration Program planning levels refer to the number of visas delivered under the Migration Program each year for each category and count not only the primary applicant but any accompanying dependents they may be include on their application.
As a result of a successful State and Territory nomination program in 2022-23, the Department of Home Affairs has commenced this program year with a high volume of visa applications on-hand in these programs. The Department of Home Affairs has reduced the allocations to focus on the applications they have on hand. This allocation is intended to support an ongoing pipeline of visa applicants, without unduly impacting on visa processing times and the potential to delay the arrival in Australia of those already in the pipeline.
What does this mean for applicants waiting for an invite?
It means that the program will become more competitive, and fewer invitations will be sent out overall, whilst the Department of Home Affairs focuses on processing the applications they have on hand.
Under the Migration Program settings, the Australian States and Territories have been allocated specific numbers for the following visa categories:
Each State and Territory assesses eligible applicants against criteria unique to their jurisdiction. Here’s a detailed breakdown:
|STATE||SKILLED NOMINATED (SUBCLASS 190) VISA||SKILLED WORK REGIONAL (SUBCLASS 491) VISA|
Note: No new allocations have been given for the BIIP for the 2023-24 planning level.
The Department of Home Affairs will focus on the applications they have on hand. The frequency of invitations may differ this year based on a range of factors, noting the lower allocation.
Given the lower allocation this year, you can expect the number of invitations to decrease, which will also likely result in higher minimum scores meriting an invitation.