What are Migration Program Planning Levels?

These are the number of visas the Australian government plans to allocate annually. This year starts on July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year. Migration Program Planning Levels are determined by the Department of Home Affairs, which handles Australia’s immigration program.

The Planning Levels have different kinds of visas, such as skilled migration, family migration, and special visas. The department determines how many visas to issue in each type based on Australia’s economic needs, social plans, and population targets.

2024-25 Migration Program Planning Levels

On May 14, 2024, the Australian Government announced its 2024–25 Migration Program plan. They plan to set up 185,000 places for people who want to migrate to Australia.

This program helps fill job gaps in priority areas and prioritize processing visas for those moving to regional Australia. 

The Migration Program for 2024–25 also recognizes the valuable contributions migrants make to society. It concentrates on getting families together and creating stronger communities in Australia.

The main focus of this program is to boost participation rates and enlarge the human resources within a country.

Here’s how the 185,000 places are divided for the 2024–25 Migration Program:

  • 132,200 places (about 71% of the program) are reserved for skill streams. These distributions are not just for filling job gaps in the economy, but opportunities for skilled workers to contribute to the growth of Australia, mainly in regional areas.
  • 52,500 places (28% of the program) are for the family stream. This includes Partner visas, which allow Australians to reunite with their loved ones and help them become citizens. Around 40,500 places are for partners, and 3,000 are for children. The number may change depending on demand, but the focus remains on family reunification.
  • 300 places are included in the Special Eligibility stream, such as permanent residents returning to Australia after living abroad.

Migration Program planning levels as determined as part of the 2023–24 and 2024–25 Federal Budgets

Visa StreamVisa Category2023–24 Planning levels2024–25 Planning levels
SkillEmployer Sponsored36,82544,000
Skilled Independent30,37516,900
State/Territory Nominated30,40033,000
Business Innovation & Investment1,9001,000
Global Talent (Independent)5,0004,000
Distinguished Talent300300
Skill Total137,100132,200
Other Family500500
Family Total52,50052,500
Special ​​Eligibility400300
Total Migration Program190,000185,000

Levels for 2024–25 Permanent Migration Program planning

For the 2024–25 permanent Migration Program, the number of visas announced is 185,000, with about 70% going to skilled workers and 30% to family members.

Employer Sponsored visa category

The Government has increased the number of visas for Employer Sponsored from 36,825 in 2023–24 to 44,000 for the 2024–25 program. This increase follows the Government’s current modifications to make it easier for temporary migrants to secure permanent residency, mainly through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

Employer Sponsored visa category

The Government has determined to increase the number of visas available in two essential categories for the 2024–25 Migration Program. The State/Territory Nominated category will have 33,000 visas, and the Regional category will have 33,000 visas.

These categories are important because they include visas selected by state and territory governments. They make up 36% of the total planned visas and 50% of the skill stream.

Growing the number of visas in these classes enables states and territories to attract skilled migrants who can help with their specific economic and workforce requirements. This increase in the regional category will also help the Government’s responsibility to support regional areas and ensure priority processing for visas.

Skilled Independent visa category

For the 2024–25 Migration Program, the Government has announced 16,900 places for Skilled Independent visas. This is lower than the percentage for the 2023–24 program, which was 30,375 places. However, it’s worth mentioning that this percentage is still higher than the planning levels during the COVID-19 period, which were 7,500 places in 2020–21 and 6,500 places in 2021–22.

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) visa category

The Government has announced a reduction in the number of visas available in the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) from 1,900 visas in 2023–24 to 1,000 visas for the permanent Migration Program 2024–25.

As part of their Migration Strategy, the Government declared they would not allocate any new visas for the BIIP. Instead, they are introducing a new talent and innovation visa called the National Innovation visa, which will be available by the end of 2024.

Starting from July 2024, the BIIP will be closed permanently, and no Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa applications will be accepted. This decision was made based on findings from the Migration Review, which showed that the BIIP wasn’t delivering good economic outcomes for Australia.

However, existing subclass 188 BIIP visa applications will still be processed according to government priorities and the Migration Program planning levels. The Government will also ensure strict policy guidance to ensure that business migrants coming to Australia through this program have a successful business background and will benefit the country economically.

Those holding a subclass 188 visa and meeting the requirements for the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) (subclass 888) visa will still be able to continue this pathway after July 2024.

By decreasing the planning level for BIIP, the Government seeks to focus the 2024–25 permanent Migration Program on attracting highly skilled applicants who will build a stronger and more resilient economy.

Global Talent visa category

The Government has made a small decrease in the number of visas set for the Global Talent Visa Program to 4,000 visas for the 2024–25 Migration Program.

This decision is part of the Government’s broader measures to reform talent and innovation approaches. It also marks the last year of the Global Talent visa program before it transforms into a new system using the coming National Innovation visa.

The National Innovation visa will offer a permanent pathway for talented migrants, including high-performing businesses, significant investors, and leading researchers. Visas granted under the National Innovation visa in 2024-25 will be measured within the Global Talent Visa Program.

The Department of Home Affairs will supervise the change to the new National Innovation visa to ensure that applicants, including those already in the process for the Global Talent visa, receive help throughout the application process.

Family stream

The Government has retained the size of the family stream. Family migration is an integral part of Australia’s migration system. It enables Australians and permanent residents to live with family members and contribute to stronger social results. The Australian Government acknowledges that immigrant parents can make useful social benefits to their families and local communities.

The Partner visa is the largest element within the family stream. From 2022–23, the Partner visa program moved to a demand model, which:

  • identifies the social, economic, and demographic advantages of family reunification and the Partner visa program
  • provides the flexibility to change the program to meet expected demand and reduces the Partner visa channel and processing times for many applicants.

The Parent visa program has been held at 8,500 places, while the Other Family visa category has been maintained at 500 places.

The Child visa program allows Australian citizens to support their dependent or adopted child or an orphaned relative. The Child program is also based on demand and remains at 3,000 places for planning purposes only. The Australian Government prioritizes reunifying a child with a parent or family sponsor.

Permanent Migration Program consultation 2024–25

Each year, the size and arrangement of the Migration Program are determined as part of the Australian Government’s Budget procedure.

For the 2024–25 Migration Program, consultations took place with various groups to inform the planning levels and policy settings to:

  • state and territory governments
  • academia
  • industry
  • unions
  • community organizations.

When planning the Migration Program, the Australian Government evaluates different factors, including:

  • Public submissions
  • Economic and workforce predictions
  • International studies
  • Demand for permanent visa programs
  • Net migration trends
  • Economic and financial analyses.

The Department welcomes public submissions as part of the planning process for future Migration Programs. Submissions to inform the 2024–25 Migration Program have now closed. For more information, see Australia’s 2024–25 Migration Program.

State and territory nominated visa categories – nomination allocations

Under the Migration Program settings, states and territories receive nomination allocations for the following visa categories:

  • Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190)
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491)

States and territories each assess eligible applicants against criteria according to their jurisdiction.

More information on state and territory nomination requirements can be found at:

  • ACT – Migration
  • NSW – Visas and migration
  • VIC – Live in Melbourne
  • QLD – Business & Skilled Migration Queensland
  • NT – Migrate
  • WA – Business Migration Western Australia (BIIP) or Skilled Migration Western Australia (190 and 491 visas)
  • SA – Move to South Australia
  • TAS – Migration Tasmania

Rest assured; the Department manages all current and new applications nominated by a state or territory properly and systematically. This is appropriately done with the levels of permanent Migration Program planning and skilled visa processing priorities, providing a smooth and efficient procedure for all applicants.

2024–25 state and territory nomination allocations

Nomination allocations are the percentage of new applications each state or territory can nominate in a year. New applications are added to the current on-hand applications in these visa types. 

Nomination allocations do not change the total number of visa applicants in these types or limit the number of visas allocated in these classes.

In due course, the Department of Home Affairs will eventually issue the nomination allocations for each jurisdiction for the 2024–25 Migration Program. Nomination allocations for the 2023–24 Migration Program are included below: 

StateSkilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visaSkilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visaBusiness Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)

Net overseas migration – relationship with the permanent Migration Program

The permanent Migration Program is only one element of net overseas migration (NOM). NOM includes temporary migration, like working holiday makers and students, Australian citizens, New Zealanders, and humanitarian migrants.

Since 2022–23, the permanent Migration Program has decreased, but it’s not the cause for recent changes in NOM. About 60% of visas in the permanent Migration Program are given to individuals already in Australia, living in established homes when they get their visas. It means the program doesn’t significantly impact housing, infrastructure, or services.

Multi-year planning model for migration

Starting from 2025–26, the Migration Program will change to a multi-year planning model, extending the planning horizon to four years rather than the current one-year period.

This shift allows migration to plan to sync up better with longer-term infrastructure, housing, and benefits planning at all levels of government. This approach will also consider housing supply as a central element in managing the overall direction of long-term migration planning.

Public consultation on the size and composition of the first four years, covering 2025–26 to 2028–29, will start later this year.

Disclaimer: The above information is not tailored to personal circumstances. For information relevant to personal circumstances, please book an appointment with Oracle Immigration Consultant’s expert migration agents in Australia.
For any inquiries, please contact us at +61 430812158. We are premier Immigration agency and consultancy in Melbourne (Bundoora and Geelong).

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