Migration Program planning levels | 2023-2024

Permanent Migration Program

The Government will set the 2024–25 permanent Migration Program planning level at 185,000 places and allocate 132,200 places (around 70 per cent) to the Skill stream.

From 2025–26, the Government will extend the planning horizon for the permanent Migration Program from one year to four years. (Budget paper 2, p8) The actions underway as part of the Migration Strategy are delivering a better managed migration system.

Government actions are estimated to reduce net overseas migration by 110,000 people over the forward estimates from 1 July 2024. Net overseas migration is forecast to approximately halve from 528,000 in 2022–23 to 260,000 in 2024–25 (Budget paper 1, p 24)

The long awaited Migration Strategy was released on 11 December 2023. An overview of the new strategy, which is designed to make our skilled migration system more focused on skills required to build productivity and use permanent migration to build and innovative and effective workforce for Australia’s future can be seen below.

Business Innovation and Investment visa program (BIIP) 188 visa will cease

The Business Innovation and Investment visa program (BIIP) 188 visa will cease, with refunds of the visa application charge provided from September 2024 for those who wish to withdraw their BIIP application. (Budget paper 2, p 136).

State and territory nomi​nated visa categories – nomination allocations

Under the Migration Program settings, nomination allocations are made available to States and Territories in the following visa categories:

States and Territories each assess eligible applicants against criteria unique to their jurisdiction.

Related:

Further information on State and Territory nomination requirements can be found at:

Related: Federal Budget – Australia Immigration

On 14 May 2024, the Australian Government announced that the planning levels for the 2024–25 permanent Migration Program (Migration Program) will be set at 185,000 places.

The permanent Migration Program will help fill skills shortages in priority sectors and prioritise visa processing for regional Australia while we are building the domestic pipeline of highly skilled workers.

The 2024–25 Migration Program also recognises the strong contribution all migrants make to social cohesion. It focuses on strengthening family and community bonds in Australia.

A well-targeted, skills focussed Migration Program supplements the cohort of working-age people. It helps boost participation rates and the size of the labour force.

The 2024–25 permanent Migration Program has the following composition:

  • Skill stream (132,200 places, approximately 71 per cent of the program) – This stream has been designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, particularly those in regional Australia.
  • Family stream (52,500 places, approximately 28 per cent of the program) – This stream is predominantly made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas and provide them with pathways to citizenship. Of this stream:
    • 40,500 Partner visas are estimated for 2024–25 for planning purposes, noting this category is demand driven.
    • 3,000 Child visas are estimated for 2024–25 for planning purposes, noting this category is demand driven.
  • Special Eligibility stream (300 places) – This stream covers visas for those in special circumstances, including permanent residents returning to Australia after a period overseas.

Migration Program planning levels as announced as part of the 2023–24 and 2024–25 Federal Budgets

Visa Stream

Visa Category

2023–24 Planning levels

2024–25 Planning levels

Skill

Employer Sponsored

36,825

44,000

Skilled Independent

30,375

16,900

Regional

32,300

33,000

State/Territory Nominated

30,400

33,000

Business Innovation & Investment

1,900

1,000

Global Talent (Independent)

5,000

4,000

Distinguished Talent

300

300

Skill Total

137,100

132,200

Family

Partner1

40,500

40,500

Parent

8,500

8,500

Child1

3,000

3,000

Other Family

500

500

Family Total

52,500

52,500

Special ​​Eligibility

400

300

Total Migration Program

190,000

185,000

1 Delivery of the Partner and Child visa categories are demand driven, with indicative planning levels only.

2024–25 permanent Migration Program planning levels

The 2024–25 permanent Migration Program has been set at a planning level of 185,000 with an approximate 70:30 split between the Skill and Family streams.

Employer Sponsored visa category

The Government has increased the planning level for Employer Sponsored from 36,825 visas in 2023–24 to 44,000 visas for the 2024–25 permanent Migration Program.

This planning level builds on the expanded pathway to permanent residence introduced by the Government from November 2023. It will allow a greater proportion of temporary migrants to secure permanent residence in a timely manner through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

State/Territory Nominated visa category

The Government has increased the planning level for the State/Territory Nominated category to 33,000 visas, and the planning level for the Regional category to 33,000 visas for the 2024–25 Migration Program.

Together these categories, which both contain visas nominated by state and territory governments, account for 36 per cent of the overall planning level and 50 per cent of the Skill stream.

Increasing the planning levels for the State and Territory Nominated and Regional categories will allow jurisdictions to attract skilled migrants to meet their specific economic and labour force challenges. Increases to the Regional category planning level will also support key commitments in the Migration Strategy to support regional Australia, in addition to priority visa processing.

Skilled Independent visa category

In the 2024­–25 Migration Program, the Government has allocated 16,900 places for Skilled Independent visas. This is a decrease compared to the 2023–24 program allocation of 30,375 places, but still well above the COVID-era planning levels of 7,500 and 6,500 places in 2020–21 and 2021–22 respectively.

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) visa category

The Government has reduced the planning level for the BIIP from 1,900 visas in 2023–24 to 1,000 visas for the 2024–25 permanent Migration Program.

As part of the Migration Strategy, the Government announced that it would not provide any new allocations for the BIIP while a new talent and innovation visa was considered. This new visa – to be called the National Innovation visa – will be available at the end of 2024.

The BIIP will be closed permanently from July 2024 and new applications for the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa will no longer be able to be lodged. The Migration Review concluded that the BIIP is delivering poor economic outcomes for Australia. This has been supported by other studies, including work undertaken by the Treasury, Productivity Commission and the Grattan Institute.

Subclass 188 BIIP visa applications that have been lodged will continue to be processed in line with Government priorities and the Migration Program planning levels. BIIP policy guidance will be tightened to ensure that all business migrants coming to Australia through this program have overall had a successful business career and will bring an economic benefit to Australia.

Those who hold a subclass 188 visa and meet the relevant criteria for the grant of the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) (subclass 888) visa will still be able to continue on this pathway after July 2024.

Reducing the planning level for BIIP will ensure the 2024–25 permanent Migration Program is focussed on highly-skilled individuals who will help to support a stronger, more robust, economy.

Global Talent visa category

The Government has slightly reduced the planning level for the Global Talent Visa Program to 4,000 visas for the 2024–25 Migration Program.

This planning level aligns with the Government’s broader reforms around talent and innovation, and accounts for the last year of the Global Talent visa program as it transitions to new arrangements using the forthcoming National Innovation visa. Through the new visa, the Government will provide a permanent visa pathway for the most exceptional talented migrants – such as high performing entrepreneurs, major investors and global researchers. National Innovation visas granted in 2024-25 will be counted within the Global Talent visa Program.

Home Affairs will manage the transition to the new National Innovation visa to ensure applicants, including existing applicants of the Global Talent visa, are supported in the application process. Existing Global Talent visa applicants will not be adversely affected by the transition. Visa applicants will be assessed against the eligibility criteria at the time of their application.

Family stream

The Government has maintained the size of the family stream. Family migration is an important element of Australia’s migration system. It allows Australian citizens and permanent residents to reunite with their family members and contribute to stronger social cohesion outcomes. The Australian Government recognises that immigrant parents can make valuable social contributions to their families and local communities.

The Partner visa category is the largest component within the family stream. From 2022–23, the Partner program moved to a demand driven model which:

  • recognises the social, economic and demographic benefits of family reunification and the Partner visa program in particular
  • provides the flexibility to adjust the program in line with expected demand and help to reduce the Partner visa pipeline and processing times for many applicants.

The Parent visa program has been maintained at 8,500 places while the Other Family (including Aged Dependent Relative, Remaining Relative and Carer programs) visa category has been maintained at 500 places.

The Child visa program allows Australian residents to sponsor their dependent or adopted child or an orphaned relative. The Child program is demand-driven and remains set at 3,000 places for planning purposes only. The Australian Government prioritises the reunification of a child with an Australian parent or family sponsor. This ensures we uphold our international obligations to consider the best interest of a child as a primary consideration.

2024–25 permanent Migration Program consultation

The size and composition of the Migration Program is set each year alongside the Australian Government’s Budget process.

To inform the planning levels and policy settings of the 2024–25 Migration Program, consultation occurred with:

  • state and territory governments
  • academia
  • industry
  • unions
  • community organisations.

When planning the Migration Program, the Australian Government considers the following:

  • Public submissions
  • Economic and labour force forecasts
  • International research
  • Demand for permanent visa programs
  • Net overseas migration
  • Economic and fiscal modelling.

The Department invites public submissions as part of the planning process for future Migration Programs. Submissions to inform the 2024–25 Migration Program have now closed. For more information, see Australia’s 2024–25 Migration Program.

State and territory nominated visa categories – nomination allocations

Under the Migration Program settings, nomination allocations are available to states and territories in the following visa categories:

  • Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190)
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491)

States and territories each assess eligible applicants against criteria unique to their jurisdiction.

Further information on state and territory nomination requirements can be found at:

  • ACT – Migration
  • NSW – Visas and migration
  • VIC – Live in Melbourne
  • QLD – Business & Skilled Migration Queensland
  • NT – Migrate
  • WA – Business Migration Western Australia (BIIP) or Skilled Migration Western Australia (190 and 491 visas)
  • SA – Move to South Australia
  • TAS – Migration Tasmania

The Department processes existing on-hand applications and new applications nominated by a state or territory in line with the permanent Migration Program planning levels and skilled visa processing priorities.

2023–24 state and territory nomination allocations

State

Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa

Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)*

ACT

600

600

0

NSW

2,650

1,500

0

NT

250

400

0

QLD

900

650

0

SA

1,100

1,200

0

TAS

600

600

0

VIC

2,700

600

0

WA

1,500

850

0

Total

10,300

6,400

0

* ​No new allocations have been given for the BIIP. The Department has enough applications on-hand to meet the 2023–​24 planning level for the BIIP.​

Net overseas migration – relationship with the permanent Migration Program

The permanent Migration Program is only one component of net overseas migration (NOM). NOM includes temporary migration, such as Working Holiday Makers and Students. It also includes Australian citizens, New Zealanders and Humanitarian migrants.

The size of the permanent Migration Program has decreased since 2022–23 and it is not the cause of recent volatility in NOM. Around 60 per cent of visas under the permanent Migration Program are granted to migrants already onshore and in the community, residing in established households at the time of visa grant. This minimises the permanent Migration Program’s near-term impact on housing, infrastructure and services.

You can find further details about NOM on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website. Details about NOM projections are at the Centre for Population’s National Projections.

Multi-year planning model for migration

From 2025–26, the Migration Program will move to a multi-year planning model, extending the Program planning horizon to four years from the current twelve month cycle.

Extending the outlook of Australia’s Migration Program will enable migration planning to better align with longer-term infrastructure, housing and services planning across all levels of government. The multi-year approach will incorporate housing supply as one of the key factors to shape the broad direction of long-term migration planning.

Public consultation on the size and composition of the first four-year cycle (covering 2025–26 to 2028–29) will commence later this year.

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