Migration Program Ceiling for 2019-2020

What is the Migration Program Planning Ceiling?

The Migration Program planning ceiling is designed to attain a variety of social and economic results, which is set each year through the Australian Government’s Budget Process. The program consists of three main sub-programs which are managed within a ceiling figure. The figure for 2019-20 consists of 160, 000 places, and mainly focuses on skills.

The layout of the program is categorised into the following three streams:

  • Skill Stream;
  • Family Stream; and
  • Special Eligibility Stream.

Skill Stream

Two thirds of the program is allocated to the Skilled stream, which is designed to enhance the productivity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market. Consisting of 108, 682 places in 2019-20.

Family Stream

Enables Australians to reconcile with family members from overseas and allows for a pathway to citizenship. The family stream consists of mainly of Partner visas, and a total of 47, 732 places are available in 2019-20.

Special Eligibility

Visas in special circumstances are considered within this stream. This stream is the smallest and can include permanent residents returning to Australia after being away for a period. The special eligibility stream consists of 236 places.

New Skilled Regional Provisional Visas

What is the Skilled Regional Provisional Visa?

The Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa is a 4-year provisional visa, for skilled workers who choose to live and work in a regional area to obtain permanent residence in Australia.

New changes involved?

From November 2019, two new skilled regional provisional visas will be introduced. The two new visas are as follows:

  • Skilled employer sponsored regional (Provisional) visa; and
  • Skilled work regional (Provisional) visa.

Skilled employer sponsored regional (Provisional) visa

Suitable for people who are sponsored by an employer in regional Australia. The visa will consist of almost 700 occupations.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa

Suitable for people who are nominated by a State, Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member to live and work in regional Australia. The visa will consist of over 500 eligible occupations.

Migrants who are granted the new visas, will need to have at least 3 years of work and life experience in a regional area of Australia before they are eligible to apply for permanent residence. Once the visas are granted a validity period of up to five yeas will be applied.

The two new regional visas will not impact anybody who has already obtained a permanent skilled visa. All applications lodged prior to November 2019, will continue to be processed as normal.

Definition of Regional Australia

Regional Australia for all Skilled visas in November 2019, will include all regions of Australia except for the following metropolitan areas:

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast
  • Perth

Areas located within the new regional definition will have access to the new skilled regional provisional visas. The migrants and employers involved will receive priority processing and a wider range of occupations.

Expansion of Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs)

Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) will provide opportunities and assistance to regional businesses (e.g. agriculture and hospitality). DAMAs will ensure local communities thrive, through a formal agreement between the Australian Government and a specific regional area. Participating regions will be able to identify their unique workforce shortages and be eligible to access experienced overseas workers for vacant skilled or semi-skilled occupations.

DAMAs has already been in successful operation in The Northern Territory since 2015. In December 2018, a further five-year agreement has commenced in the Northern Territory. Further to this, the Minister has also agreed to install DAMAs in the following additional regional locations:

  • Kalgorlie-Boulder, Western Australia (Goldfields)
  • Regional South Australia
  • Adelaide City
  • Great South Coast, Victoria (which was announced late last year).

Further Information

The specific details surrounding the new Skilled Regional Provisional Visas have yet to be released however Ethos Migration will continue to provide further information as it becomes available.

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