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Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge

Australia’s Permanent Migration Program 2029-2021, capped at 160,000 places

Australia’s Permanent Migration Program will remain at a cap of 160,000 places for 2020-21, with planning levels of 79,600 places allocated in the Skill stream and 77,300 places in the Family stream. Child and Special Eligibility visas will make up the remaining 3,100 places, said a statement from Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Mr. Alan Tudge.

Mr Tudge is also the current Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure.

Approximately two thirds of permanent visas in the 2020-21 program are expected to go to people already in Australia. Of the remaining visas, it is anticipated that approximately two thirds will be granted under the Skill stream and one third under the Family stream.

Innovators, investors and job creators – those who are going to grow Australian businesses, create Australian jobs and supercharge our economic recovery – will be the target of our skilled visas.

Priority within the Skill stream will be given to Global Talent, the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) and Employer Sponsored visas.

After a successful launch in late 2019, the Global Talent Visa will be expanded from 5,000 to 15,000 places. It will continue to target the best minds from around the world in key sectors including advanced manufacturing, financial services and Fintech and health. The program will be enhanced by the whole of Government Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce announced in September.

Australia is strategically well placed to attract the global talent given our relative health and economic success during the pandemic.

We will also double the number of places available for business investors to 13,500 places. The BIIP program will be streamlined and there will be changes to investment and residency requirements, ensuring the program is targeted at Australian venture capitals and emerging small and medium size businesses to support the economic recovery. Further details on these changes will be announced in coming weeks.

Employer Sponsored visas, for those migrants coming to fill a specific skills gap where an Australian worker is not available, will be prioritised over non-sponsored visas with a focus on occupations on the Priority Migration Skills Occupation List. This list will be regularly reviewed and updated based on advice from the National Skills Commission.  

Migration Program – Family stream

The majority of visas within the Family stream will go to partners, with 72,300 places allocated, an increase from 37,118 last year. This will give more certainty to those wanting to settle in Australia with their partners and plan for their futures.

It will address nearly all the present applicants awaiting finalisation of their visa.

It is expected that 75 per cent of Partner visas will go to those already in Australia.

Humanitarian Program

The Humanitarian Program will be set at 13,750 places and the number of allocated places will be a cap rather than a target – in line with the approach taken to the Migration Program.

This cap of 13,750 is in line with last year’s outcome of 13,171 and reflects the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which will continue to present challenges to delivery in 2020-21.

The Government will continue to focus on settlement and integration support for humanitarian entrants. This will include prioritising supporting people in work and improving English language skills.

In absolute numbers, Australia remains the third most generous humanitarian resettlement country in the world, maintaining our long-term commitment to people who cannot return to their home country because of persecution.