October 2020 Migration Level Budget Update

Today the Australian Government announced October budget migration planning levels. There are some big changes to migration planning levels, which many people should be aware of.

The first change is the planning level for 2021 will be 160,000. This is same level as per the previous year, which would be a relief for many who presumed the planning level would be very low due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Let’s breakdown the changes within the different types of visa. There are some visa which have received a higher allocation, while others have reduced.

The Global Talent Visa has had its allocation tripled from 5,000 to 15,000. Business Innovation and Investment Program has doubled in number from 6562, up to 13,500 places. Another big winner in allocations is Partner Visas. The Family Stream Planning level has been set at 77,300 places, up from 47,732. Within this planning level, there has been an increase to 72,300 in the Partner Visa category.

So where are the reductions?

They are mostly in skilled visas.

  • For employer sponsored, the number reduced from 30,000 in 2019 to 22,000, a decrease of 26%.
  • The Skilled Independent visa has been reduced from 16,650 to 6,500 in the 2021, a decrease of 60%.
  • Regional visa has seen a significant cut to regional visa, having been reduced from 25,000 to 11,200.
  • The State / Territory nominated visa has also been reduced from 24,965 to 11,200, a 55% reduction.

Other news within the Migration Budget

There are some announcements in relation to family visas. There is going to be more English language requirements for partner visas.

This might upset some applicants and does pose questions to be asked about whether Australia is heading back towards the White Australia policy days, which would be a terrible mistake.

Another overall trend in the October budget, is the reduction of regional visas. It appears the focus on regional visas has now turned to the priority of occupations that can assist with coping with the COVID outbreak, or with making an economic recovery for Australia.

The priority can be found in Direction 87. This gives the priorities as skilled visas for prioritised occupations and business visas rather than the points basis. Business visas, that are critical to the recovery of the economy sector, then skilled visa, then regional, and lastly the rest, such as 189 194.

This is disappointing news for many people who are prepared to do a points based skilled migration visa. Having done a skills assessment, passed the points testing and brought together everything required to prove your work experience, only to find that the types of visas that you’re aiming for, are getting more difficult to obtain due to the reduction of placements.

This will be very difficult, and we only hope placements will return to normal after covid 19 is brought under control.

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