2020-21 Migration Program Update

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July 13, 2020

Summary of COVID 19 impact on 2020-21 migration program

Department of Home Affairs (Immigration Department) has recently released a document that addresses the impacts of COVID 19 on migration program planning and delivery for the year 2020-21.


Impact of border closure

Border closures have had a significant impact on net overseas migration. In comparison to net overseas migration (NOM) for the 2018-19 year, NOM is expected to fall by 30 percent in 2019-20 and even further in 2020-21.


Migration program and economic recovery

Protecting the health of Australians during the COVID 19 pandemic is the Australian Governments priority. A carefully calibrated migration program will play an important part in Australia’s economic recovery. It will create jobs and bring investment to help Australia rebound from COVID-19. Migration will be a key component of Australia’s economic recovery. Carefully targeted migration for skilled workers who create jobs will help in Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19.


The size and the composition for the 2020-21 Migration Program

Until otherwise advised, the existing 2019-20 Migration Program settings will continue to remain in place. This means the 2020-21 planning ceiling will be retained at 160,000 places, the level set for the 2019-20 Migration Program. This includes:

  • 108,682 places for the Skill stream.
  • 47,732 places for the Family stream.
  • 236 places for the Special Eligibility stream.
  • 3,350 places for Child visas


State Nomination programs for Migration Year 2020-21

Places for the following categories will be made available to the state and territory nomination authorities for 2020-21 migration year:

  • Skilled Nominated (subclass 190).
  • Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491).
  • Business Innovation and Investment Program.


Invitation Rounds for 189 visa and 491 (family sponsored) visa

Government is closely monitoring migration program to ensure that it does not displace the job opportunities for Australians so Australians can deal with post recovery measures of COVID 19. Targeted invitation rounds have continued each month to address critical sectors and aid Australia’s recovery post-COVID 19.


Major changes in the Migration program 2020-21

Government is currently focused on dealing with COVID 19 crisis so the existing migration program 2019-20 settings will be retained for the year 2020-21.


Contribution of stakeholders in potential changes in Migration program 2020-21

Any decision made in relation to migration program 2020-21 will be advised to relevant stakeholders by the Department.


Migrants entering Australia

Only Australian citizens, a permanent resident, immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia can travel to Australia. For more information see: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/

Immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents who hold a temporary visa will need to provide evidence of their relationship. Applicants who do not hold a temporary visa will not be considered for travel exemption.


Source: MIA information release – https://www.mia.org.au/documents/item/1703

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