Update on Migration Program 2020-21

Summarizing here impact of COVID 19 on 2020-21 immigration program.

Australian Department of Home Affairs (Immigration Department) has recently released a document addressing the impacts of COVID 19 on the planning and distribution of migration plans for 2020-21.


Impact Due to border closure

The Australian border closure has had a significant impact on net foreign immigration. Compared to Net Migration (NOM) for 2018-19, NOM is expected to decline by 30 percent in 2019-20 and further in 2020-21.


Migration program and economic recovery

Protecting the Health of Australians During COVID 19 Epidemics is a Priority of Australian Governments. A carefully measured migration plan will play a key role in Australia’s economic recovery. This will create jobs and bring investment back to Australia from COVID-19. Migration will be a key component of Australia’s economic recovery. Carefully targeted migration of skilled workers to create jobs will help the Australian economy recover from COVID-19.


The size and the composition for the 2020-21 Migration Program

Until otherwise advised, the existing 2019-20 Migration Program settings will continue to remain in place. This means the 2020-21 planning ceiling will be retained at 160,000 places, the level set for the 2019-20 Migration Program. This includes:

  • 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 for Migration Year 2020-21

Following categories will be made available to the state and territory nomination authorities for migration year 2020-21 :

  • Skilled   Nominated (subclass 190).
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491).
  • Business Innovation and Investment Program.


Detail of Invitation Rounds regarding 189 visa and 491 visa

The government is closely monitoring the relocation program to ensure that jobs for Australians are not relocated so that Australians can cope with post-COVID 19 recovery efforts. Target invitation rounds continue each month to help address key areas and help Australia’s recovery post COVID 19.



Other Major changes in the Migration program 2020-21

Government is currently focused in dealing with COVID 19 crisis so the existing migration program 2019-20 settings will be retained for the next year.


Contribution of stake holders in potential changes in Migration program 2020-21

Any decision made in relation to migration program 2020-21 will be advised to relevant stake holders by the Department.


Entering Australia (Migrants)

Only citizens of Australia, a permanent resident, immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia can travel to Australia.

What are Immediate family members:  Immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents who hold a temporary visa will need to provide evidence of their relationship. Applicants who do not hold a temporary visa will not be considered for travel exemption.


Information Source: MIA information release – https://www.mia.org.au/documents/item/1703