Australia’s Permanent Migration Program is designed to achieve a range of economic and social outcomes. The program is set on an annual basis and re-sets on 1 July each year. For the current migration year, with the total places available capped at a ceiling of 190,000. These figures refer to permanent migration and do not include temporary visa grants such as visitor and temporary work visas.
The subcategories of permanent migration are broken down as follows:
Skill – designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia. This represents most places offered (128,550 places in 2018-19).
Family – is predominately made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas, and provide them with pathways to citizenship (57,400 places in 2018-19).
Special Eligibility – this covers visas for those in special circumstances that do not fit into the other streams. This can include permanent residents returning to the country after a period away and is the smallest stream (565 places in 2018-19).
Based on the above figures, Skilled Migration Continues to remain Australia’s priority, representing 68.9% of the total migration intake.
The priority processing arrangements enable Home Affairs to consider and finalise visa applications in an order of priority that the Minister considers appropriate.
The priority processing arrangements apply to applications for the following visas (as of 1 July 2018):
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
Points-tested skilled migration (GSM)
Australia’s immigration intake historically has been driven by demand for skilled migrants, therefore it is not a surprise that skilled migration remains on top of the list of preferred method of migrating to Australia.
Whilst the Department regularly updates their processing times based on the number of applications lodged versus the number of applications finalised for the previous month, a simple method to estimate how fast your application will be processed is to understand where your application sits within the priority group order.
Priority groups 1,2, and 3 – these are allocated to Employer sponsored programs. Regional Sponsored Migration remains at the very top, closely followed by Employer Nomination Scheme. Applicants nominated by state or territory receive are third in place in terms of priority.
Occupations on which are on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic List (MLTSSL) (this also includes independent as well as family sponsored applications). These applicants are classified as Priority Group 4.
Priority 5 is for reserved for applicants who do not fit any of the above criteria
If you are interested in skilled migration, get in touch with one of our consultants today to discuss your options.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.