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Australian Immigration changes 2020

Australian Immigration 2020 and 2021 – Updates

We have put together a summary of the main updates for the Australian Immigration Program for the 2020/21 Financial Year.

We have been operating as a Migration Agency for almost 12 years and we have seen everything, but nothing prepared us for the impact that a Global Pandemic would bring to the Australian Migration Program.

Border closures on the 20 March 2020 have already significantly impacted on the net overseas migration – the number of people that come to Australia in a year. In comparison to 2018-19, the financial year of 2019/20 is expected to show falls by 30% and it is expected that numbers decrease even further in the current financial year of 2020/21.

Even so, the Australian Government acknowledges and accepts that the Immigration will play an important part in Australia’s economic recovery, creating jobs and bringing investment to help Australia get to the other side of COVID-19.

What to expect going forward on Australia immigration?

According to a press release from Immigration to the Migration Institute of Australia, the 2020-21 visa ceiling will stay at the same levels that were set for the 2019/20 financial year, which in practice is a total of 160,000 places, including:

  • 108,682 places for the Skill stream.
  • 47,732 places for the Family stream.
  • 236 places for the Special Eligibility stream.
  • 3,350 places for Child visas.


State Nomination programs

Even though the numbers above have been announced, the number of visas available to grant for the State and Territory-nominated Skilled Visas and Business/Investment Visas, have not been allocated yet, which makes it impossible for the states and territories to approve nominations for the following visa Subclasses:

  • Skilled State/Territory Nominated Permanent Visa (subclass 190);
  • Skilled Temporary Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491);
  • Business Innovation and Investment Visa Subclass 188.

Targeted invitation rounds have continued each month during the pandemic to address critical sectors and help Australia recovery post COVID-19 but it looks like we will have to wait until October.

The annual allocations for these subclasses are normally released in May, during the Budget, but due to the Pandemics the Budget announcement has been postponed to October.

What changes will be made to the Australian Migration Program in 2020-21?

As reported by the Migration Institute of Australia, the existing 2019-20 Migration Program settings, including the program size and composition, will remain in place until otherwise advised, because the Government’s current focus is dealing with the immediate health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

We have also put out a video on our YouTube Channel about Australian Immigration predictions and trends for 2020 and 2021, please check it out if you want to know more.

Please contact us for more information or to book an assessment with one of our Registered Migration Agents.