The Australian Government has announced that the Migration Planning levels for the 2021/2022 year will remain unchanged from last year at 160,000 places but the breakdown of who will make up the migration places this year continues to look very different in a post-COVID climate.

The post COVID approach to Australian Immigration planning highlights a dual focus on partners of Australian Citizens and Residents with a boost in numbers for the Partner Visa program (72,300 visa places available) for the second year in a row, and an ongoing emphasis on attracting highly skilled migrants with the capacity to bring substantial benefit to Australia’s economic recovery through job creation and high-value investment via the Skilled Visas (33,800 visa places available) Global Talent Visa (11,000 visa places available), Business Investment and Innovation Program (11,000 visa places available) and Distinguished Talent Visa Program (350).

Planning levels also demonstrate continued support for Australian businesses that require highly skilled workers to fill positions that cannot be met from the Australian Labour Market through the Employer-Sponsored Visa Program (23,500 visa places available).

Australian Immigration program & International Travel Bans

Australian Government estimates of mid-2022 regarding continuing international bans relate only to excluding Temporary Visa holders from entry to Australia.  For example, Student Visa holders, Temporary Work Visa holders, Visitor Visa holders are subject to continuing travel bans on entering Australia.

Conversely, Australia’s permanent migration program continues to operate as usual based on Migration Planning levels of 160,000 places per annum.

International travel bans do not impact the Australian Immigration Program for 2021/2022 as the places available are in respect of Australian Permanent Residence visas – note that Temporary Migration Visas numbers are uncapped and demand-driven and are therefore not included in Australia’s capped Permanent Visa programming numbers.  Accordingly, where a highly-skilled applicant is approved under the Global Talent Visa program and is granted an Australian Permanent Residence visa, they will be permitted to enter Australia. Unlike Australian Temporary Visas holders, Australian Permanent Residents and Australian Citizens are not subject to travel bans to enter Australia.

Partners of Australian Permanent Residents and Australian Citizens can anticipate much faster processing times with nearly double the number of available places – welcomed news for Partner Visa applicants who have previously waited up to 2 years for processing.

Partners of Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents are also exempt from international travel bans even on Temporary partner visas.

Speak to an Accredited Specialist Immigration Lawyer to find out more about the Australian Migration Program for 2021/2022 today.