Australia’s permanent immigration program has two components. Migration, for Skilled and Family Stream migrants and those granted a Special Eligibility class visa and Humanitarian, for refugees and others in humanitarian need.
2012 Australian Migration Program
The 2011–12 Migration Program is set at 185 000 places. This comprises:
- 58 600 places for family migrants who are sponsored by family members already in Australia
- 125 850 places for skilled migrants who gain entry essentially because of their work or business skills
- 550 places for special eligibility migrants.
The skilled stream comprises 68 per cent of the program and the family stream comprises 32 per cent.
This maintains the Australian government’s apparent commitment to an immigration policy which seeks to balance social, economic, humanitarian and environmental objectives.
The program will be delivered close to the planning level depending on:
- Application rates in demand-driven categories such as partner, child and employer nominated and business categories
- The take up of state-specific and regional migration categories
- The extent of national skill shortages and the ability to attract migrants to fill these vacancies
- The availability of high standard applicants in the skilled categories.
A number of visa classes are subject to capping. This means the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship sets a limit on the number of visas that can be granted for that program year. Once this limit has been reached, no further visas can be granted in that class in that program year.