In a bid to address vital skills disparities and strengthen its workforce, New South Wales (NSW) is extending invitations to skilled professionals in critical sectors, such as healthcare, education, information technology, infrastructure, and agriculture, as part of its 2023-24 migration program. This move comes as part of Australia’s ongoing efforts to maintain a competitive edge in attracting global talent.
The 2023-24 permanent Migration Program planning levels for Australia have been set at 190,000, marking a slight reduction of 5,000 places compared to the 2022-23 program. These changes are designed to ensure a more focused approach to addressing immediate workforce shortages.
Skilled Independent Visa Category
Within the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program, 30,375 places have been allocated for Skilled Independent visas, a number comparable to the previous year. This planning level reflects the closure of the New Zealand stream of the subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa as of July 1, 2023. This closure is a result of a new direct pathway to citizenship for Special Category Visa holders who meet citizenship eligibility requirements.
Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) Visa Category
The Government has significantly reduced the planning level for the BIIP visa category from 5,000 visas in the previous year to 1,900 visas for 2023-24. This shift aims to focus the program on addressing immediate workforce shortages, providing opportunities to business and investor migrants who can contribute to Australia’s economic growth and innovation.
Global Talent Visa Category
The Global Talent Visa Program is set to maintain its 5,000 places in the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program. This retention is aimed at ensuring Australia’s status as a competitive and preferred destination for internationally mobile exceptional talent.
The size of the family stream, which plays a crucial role in Australia’s migration system, will remain unchanged. It allows Australian citizens and permanent residents to reunite with their family members, strengthening social cohesion outcomes. The Partner visa category, the largest within the family stream, operates on a demand-driven model, which recognizes the social, economic, and demographic benefits of family reunification.
The Parent program’s size was increased from 4,500 to 8,500 places in 2022-23, while the Other Family (the Aged Dependent Relative, Remaining Relative, and Carer programs) visa category maintained its 500 places. These planning levels are retained for the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program.
The Child visa program, demand-driven since July 1, 2019, remains set at 3,000 places for planning purposes. The Australian Government prioritizes the reunification of a child with an Australian parent or family sponsor.
Delivery of the 2023-24 Migration Program
Efforts to manage the number of visas in the pipeline are ongoing, with funding extended for 500 visa processing officers. This extension will provide an additional $48.1 million over 12 months. Additional trained visa processing staff who began their roles in 2022 and early 2023 have significantly increased visa processing capacity.
In 2023-24, the government is also investing $27.8 million over two years to upgrade existing visa ICT systems, enhancing visa service delivery efficiency and Australia’s global attractiveness to talent, students, and tourists.
2023-24 Permanent Migration Program Consultation
The Australian Government collaborates with state and territory governments, academia, industry, unions, and community organizations when planning the Migration Program. Several factors are taken into consideration, including public submissions, economic and labor force forecasts, international research, demand for permanent visa programs, net overseas migration, and economic and fiscal modeling. Public submissions are invited as part of the planning process for future Migration Programs.
Strong stakeholder support from business, industry, and union groups encourages the government to maintain or increase the permanent Migration Program for 2023-24. The planning level for the program has been designed to optimize outcomes in a dynamic economic context and to ensure that no migrant remains “permanently temporary.”
State and Territory Nominated Visa Categories – Nomination Allocations
Under the Migration Program settings, states and territories have nomination allocations for several visa categories, including Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190), Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491), and the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP). States and territories evaluate eligible applicants based on criteria unique to their jurisdiction.
The extension of invitations to skilled professionals in essential sectors and the adjustments in the 2023-24 Migration Program demonstrate Australia’s commitment to managing its skilled migration intake efficiently and addressing immediate workforce needs while also maintaining a strong focus on family reunification. These measures reflect the government’s dedication to fostering economic growth and social cohesion within the nation.
Further information on state and territory nomination requirements can be found at: