The Government will maintain the 2020-21 Migration Program planning level at 160,000, it announced in the federal budget on Tuesday night.
While the cap will remain at 160,000 places, the government has announced a major change to the program structure.
- Family Stream places will increase from 47,732 to 77,300 places on a one-off basis for the 2020-21 Migration Program year.
- Employer-Sponsored, Global Talent, Business Innovation, and Investment Program visas will be prioritized within the Skilled Stream.
- Budget papers have revealed there will be an increased number of places for Partner visas (72,300 within the family stream visas) and onshore applicants will be prioritized.
- Onshore visa applicants and Partner visa applicants where the relevant sponsor resides in a designated regional area will also be prioritized for the 2020-21 Migration Program.
- Among new permanent residents, two thirds will be in the skilled stream and one third from the family stream.
- Global Talent Independent program allocation tripled to 15,000 places.
- Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) increased to 13,500 places.
- The Government will also offer Visa Application Charge (VAC) refunds, waivers or visa extensions to visa holders who have been unable to travel to Australia due to COVID-19.
- There will be 13,750 places allocated for the Humanitarian Program.
‘These changes will help maximize the economic benefits of the Migration Program, and enhance the responsiveness of the program to evolving health and economic challenges,’ the document reads.
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