2017- 18 Migration Programme planning levels remain unchanged – government maintaining a strong economic agenda

As part of the federal government’s Migration Program, there are set allocated places each year for those wanting to migrate permanently to Australia. Following the governments recently released 2017-18 Migration Programme planning levels it is clear the government is maintaining a strong focus on the economic priorities of the day.

The total places available will be capped at 190,000 remaining unchanged from 2016-17.

The allocation of these places is categorised into three streams; skilled, family and special eligibility. Each stream has a significantly different proportion of the total places available and this is largely driven by the governments economic agenda and the emphasis on filling certain skills shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia.

This means that the skilled stream will represent the majority of places offered at 128,500. The family stream represents the second largest proportion of allocated places at 57,400 consisting predominantly of Partner visas and enabling the reunification of family members from overseas.

Lastly, the special eligibility stream covers any other visas that do not fit into the skilled and family stream, most notably permanent residents returning to Australia following a period away and this stream will be capped at only 565 places.

Following the government’s decision to abolish 457 visas, and have it replaced with the anticipated TSS visa, the unchanged total places available particularly in the skilled stream may come as a respite for those businesses concerned with their future capacity to employ overseas workers, particularly in the hospitality and tourism industry which continues to face skill shortages.

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