Immigration News: March 2022

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The biggest news in March is that the Australian Government has announced its Migration Program numbers for 2022-23!

Further to this, South Australia and Tasmania provided updates on their Skilled Migration Program. Both states are close to meeting their quotas for nomination. Unfortunately, Tasmania won’t make more places available in the 2021-22 Skilled Migration Program.

Australia’s 2022-23 Migration Program numbers confirmed

On 29 March, details for the 2022-23 Migration Program were announced during the Federal Budget Speech.

The 2022-23 Migration Program will focus on skilled migration, with a return to a pre-pandemic composition of roughly two-thirds/one-third across the Skill and Family streams.

The Skill stream

The Skill stream will increase to 109,900 places, more than 30,000 places above 2021-22 planning levels:

  • Within the Skill stream, the categories of Employer Sponsored (30,000 places), Skilled Independent (16,652 places), and State and Territory Nominated (20,000 places) have all been increased from 2021-22 planning levels.
  • Regional visas will more than double to 25,000 places to support growth in regional Australia.
  • Business Innovation and Investment (9,500 places), Global Talent (8,448 places), and Distinguished Talent (300 places) categories will ensure that Australia remains a favoured destination for the world’s best and brightest individuals and entrepreneurs.

Based on advice from the National Skills Commission, the government will review and update occupation lists early in the 2022-23 Program year to reflect labour market changes.

Migration Program Planning Levels 2022-23

  • Employer-Sponsored visas up from 22,000 to 30,000 places
  • Skilled Independent visas up from 6500 to 16,652 places
  • State & Territory Nominated visas up from 11,200 to 20,000 places
  • Regional visas from up 11,200 to 25,000 places
  • Business Innovation & Investment visas down from 13,500 to 9,500 places
  • Global Talent (Independent) visas are down from 15,000 to 8448 places
  • Distinguished Talent visa up from 200 to 300 places

The Family stream

As part of the Government’s migration program, the Family stream will provide an estimated 50,000 places to support family reunion.

The Partner and Child visa categories are estimated to deliver 40,500 and 3,000 visas, respectively (delivery of Partner and Child visas will be subject to demand and visa processing requirements), while 6,000 places will be available for Parent visas (up from 4500 places), and 500 places for Other Family visas.

From 2022-23, Partner visa processing will move to a demand-driven model.

Granting Partner visas on a demand-driven basis will provide the flexibility to meet the demand for Partner visas in a given program year and assist in mitigating future growth in the Partner visa pipeline while maintaining immigration integrity.

South Australia close to meeting its quota

South Australia is close to meeting its quota of Subclass 491 visas under its General Skilled Migration state nomination Skilled Migration Program for 2021-22.

While Skilled and Business Migration continues to assess applications, the demand for state nomination will exceed South Australia’s annual allocation of nomination places.

To ensure the nomination of highly skilled applicants who can best contribute to South Australia’s
economic prosperity and skills needs, Skilled and Business Migration is taking the following measures:

  • Prioritising the assessment of Subclass 190 applications
  • Prioritising the assessment of applications for candidates with a subclass 485 visa expiry date
    within this 2021-22 program year
  • Prioritising highly skilled onshore applicants with demonstrable work experience who are
    working full-time hours in their nominated occupation for a South Australian employer

Tasmania also nearing the limit of its nomation quota

Since our last update, Tasmania has used more of its nomination quota for the 2021-22 program year.

Tasmania has now used:

  • 1,415 of its available 2,200 places for the Subclass 491 visa, and
  • 871 of the 1,100 places for the Subclass 190 visa.

Unfortunately, Tasmania won’t get additional places in the 2021-22 program year.

Managing the remaining quota

Tasmania still has to decide more than 1,480 applications for nomination, including more than 610 for Subclass 190 and 860 for Subclass 491.

Migration Tasmania will continue to process applications from oldest to newest but will prioritise
candidates who are employed in a role directly related to their skills assessment.

All current applications which have not been processed by 30 June 2022 will be held over until the
2022-23 program year. Migration Tasmania will consider those applications against the requirements and the assessment standards that were in place when the application was lodged.

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