Release of the 2020-21 Budget
Australia’s highly anticipated Federal Budget was released on 6 October 2020, and it has created a lot of chatter around migration planning.
The budget details how Australia’s resources are allocated, with particular focus on job creation and retention for Australia following the Covid pandemic. The budget is important to migrants as it sets out how many visa allocations are permitted for the year. Lower immigration levels create more competition for migrants.
Key immigration facts from the budget
- The planned ceiling for the Migration Program will remain at 160,000 places
There will be a maximum of 160, 000 visas issued for 2020-21. This allocation is split between skilled, family, special eligibility and child streams.
- Partner visa allocations have hugely increased
The Government has increased the Partner Visa allocation by a massive 82% this migration year. Over the last few years, processing times have dramatically increased for partner applications as more people have been applying than there are spaces available. There is a backlog of over 90, 000 partner visa applications which has created mass media pressure as families are kept apart.
- Onshore Partner visas will receive priority
It is expected that 75% of Partner visas will go to those already in Australia. Moreover, the Government will be prioritising onshore visa applicants and partner visa applicants where the relevant sponsor resides in a designated regional area.
- Lower allocations for Skilled and Parent visas
Skilled visas (subclass 189, 190 and 491) have seen a significant decline in places, which is perhaps unsurprising given the post-covid economic uncertainty ahead. We anticipate occupations on the PMSOL and onshore applicants will receive priority.
Parent visas allocations have decreased by 39% to 4,500 for the migration year. This is disappointing given the already long waiting times.
|2020-21 Migration program planning levels|
|Business Innovation & Investment program||13,500|
|Child (estimate; not subject to a ceiling)||3,000|
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