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What we do

Migration program planning levels

​​​​The Migration program is designed to achieve a range of economic and social outcomes. The program is set annually, with the total places available capped at a ceiling of 160,000 for 2020-21. The total program is broken down into the following streams:

  • Skill – designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia. The majority of the places in the program are in the Skill stream (79,600 places in 2020-21, 50.7 per cent of the program).
  • Family – is predominately made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas, and provide them with pathways to citizenship (77,300 places in 2020-21, 49.2 per cent of the program).
  • Special Eligibility – this covers visas for those in special circumstances. This can include permanent residents returning to Australia after a period away, and is the smallest stream (100 places in 2020-21).
  • At least 3,000 Child places will be available in 2020-21.
2020-21 Migration program planning levels
Stream and Category2020-21
Skill stream
Employer Sponsored22,000
Skilled Independent6,500
Regional 11,200
​State/Territory Nominated11,200
Business Innovation & Investment program13,500
Global Talent
Distinguished Talent
Skill Total 79,600
Family Stream
Other Family500
Family Total 77,300
Special Eligibility 100
Child (estimate; not subject to a ceiling)3,000
Total 160,000

Program size and composition

The size and composition of the Migration program is set each year through the Australian Government’s Budget process. It is informed following broad public consultations with state and territory governments, business and community groups and the wider public. Community views, economic and labour force forecasts, international research, net overseas migration and economic and fiscal modelling are all taken into account when planning the program.