Australia’s migration program runs from 1 July to 30 June. Each year, the Government sets the size and composition of the migration program. Understanding Australia’s Migration Program can give you insight into your chances of securing a visa.
Australia’s Migration Program
The program consists of three streams: Skilled, Family and Special Eligibility.
The skilled stream is created to attract highly skilled workers into Australia. This stream supports the Australian economy and fills labour shortages.
Popular skilled stream visas include skilled, employer sponsored, business and talent applications.
The family stream enables Australian citizens, permanent residents, or Eligible NZ citizens to reunite with immediate family members. This includes partners, parents, orphan relatives, aged dependent relatives, and carers.
Popular family stream visas include partner, parent and remaining relative applications.
The special eligibility stream includes applicants who do not fit into skilled or family streams. This stream is very small.
An example is former permanent residents returning to Australia.
How many visas are available?
There are two primary considerations for each year’s migration program:
- How many visas will be available?
- Where will visas be allocated?
The skilled stream is crucial for supporting Australia’s economy, whilst the family stream is important for social cohesion.
Traditionally, the skilled stream receives the majority of visa allocations in each migration program. In 2019–20, the skill stream accounted for 70 per cent of the total Program. However in 2020-21, the Government created a more equal balance in attempt to reduce the partner visa backlog.
There is increased pressure on the Government to bring back this balance, especially for parents. The processing time for contributory parent visas has ballooned to 12+ years.
By understanding Australia’s Migration Program, you can appreciate why some visas take longer to process.
To discover your chances of securing an Australian visa, book a consultation with our Migration Agent.
Learn more about Australian visas by completing our free online assessment.