Australian Federal Budget – Implications for Migration

As the Federal Budget year of 2020-2021 has been announced, there are a couple of points to keep in mind when planning your migration process.

Migration Program Levels

The good news is that the current Migration Program Planning level will remain unchanged at 160,000. Below is a table showcasing the planning levels for migration for 2020-21.

Skill Stream

Employer-Sponsored 22,000

Skilled Independent 6,500

Regional 11,200

State/Territory Nominated 11,200

Business Innovation & Investment program. 13,500

Global Talent 15,000

Distinguished Talent 200

Skill Total 79,600

Family Stream

Partner 72,300

Parent 4,500

Other Family 500

Family Total 77,300

Special Eligibility 100

Child (estimate; not subject to a ceiling) 3,000

Total 160,000

Skilled Visas

For the skilled stream, visas that are Employer-sponsored and Global Talent will carry the highest priority.

Of all these visas, Global Talent has been accorded a very high planning level of 15,000 compared to 5,000 for the last year. This is in line with the government’s policy of attracting highly skilled and talented professionals into Australia.

Skilled Independent and State/Territory nominated planning levels have been reduced and this may see yet more competition in this already highly competitive space.

NZ Citizen Pathway through the Skilled Independent – will have a lower requirement of proving only 3 years of earnings above $53,800 in Australia in the last 5 years. These 3 years must include the most recent financial year.

Business, Investment and Innovation Program (BIIP)

The program will now prioritise high-value investors, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Additionally, Visa fees for BIIP visas will be increased by 11.3%, effective 1 July 2021.

Changes for Family Visas

72,300 places in the family stream will be allotted to partner applicants, which may potentially see improvements in the Partner visa processing times. Onshore visa applicants where the pertinent sponsor lives in the appropriate regional area will carry top priority. Compulsory partner sponsorship approval (before a Partner visa application is submitted) will be enforced for partner visas but it has not been decided when this change will be affected. English language requirements may also be implemented for partner visa applicants and their sponsors, but it may not be implemented until late 2021. The English language requirement will be functional English.

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