Update: 12 June 2015
Source : Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Australian Government
The Migration Programme is designed to meet Australia’s economic and social needs. The total programme places are broken down into planning levels for each stream of the programme and visa category.
There will be up to 190,000 permanent migration places available in 2015-16.
The 2015-16 managed Migration Programme comprises of up to:
128,550 Skill stream places
57,400 Family stream places
565 Special Eligibility stream places.
At least 3,485 Child places will be available outside the managed Migration Programme.
From 2015-16 Child visas (excluding Orphan Relative visas) will no longer be counted under the managed Migration Programme. Additional Child visa places will be available over the next four years as it transitions to a fully demand driven programme by 2019-20. Removing Child visas from the managed Migration Programme will ensure planning levels do not act as a barrier or delay to inter-country adoption (or uniting other children with their Australian families).
SkillSelect helps manage skilled migration visa processing by selecting skilled independent migrants at the levels in which they are needed by the economy.
Invitations are issued to the best available prospective migrants who have expressed an interest through SkillSelect.
Section 499 of the Act allows the minister to give written directions to consider and finalise visa applications in an order of priority that the minister considers appropriate.
This ensures that where there is very high demand for places under the Migration Programme, processing priority is given to applicants who have the most compelling claims in terms of the government’s policy priorities.
Higher priority is given to immediate family visa categories such as dependent children, fiancés, and partners of sponsors in Australia. Lower priority is accorded to all other family visa applicants such as parents, carers, aged dependent relatives and remaining relatives. Applications for parent, aged dependent relative and remaining relative visas are processed in application date order until the applicant is allocated a queue date.
For skilled migration, priority processing arrangements have been designed to ensure the Australian economy gets the skills it needs now. The highest priority is afforded to those seeking migration to a regional area, followed by applicants who are sponsored by an employer. The next priority is afforded to people who have been nominated by a state or territory government agency. Lower priority is afforded to applications from people who have not been sponsored by an employer or nominated by a state or territory government.