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Australia’s 2014-15 Migration Programme

A total of 190 000 places make up Australia’s 2014-15 migration programme, as announced by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection on Budget Day.

Breaking down the numbers, next year’s programme planning levels comprise:

  • 128 550 places for skilled migrants, including employer sponsored, general skilled and business migrants
  • 60 885 places for family migrants sponsored by family members in Australia
  • 565 places for special eligibility migrants, who include former permanent residents who have maintained close business, cultural or personal ties with Australia.

Migration to Australia infographic

The migration programme is set by government annually and lists the planning levels for permanent migration to Australia.  The migration programme benefits Australia economically, through addressing immediate and long-term skill shortages in the workforce, and socially, through the reunification of families.

The size and composition of the programme is set after extensive stakeholder consultation around Australia, and takes into account other factors such as net overseas migration, economic, demographic and labour market trends.

It is managed separately to the humanitarian programme and you can learn more about it on our website

What’s changed?

While the overall size of the programme remains the same, there have been some changes within each stream:

Places have been moved into the employer sponsored category, which is designed to meet immediate to medium term skill shortages that remain in some industries and regions.  If not addressed, these shortages will reduce economic growth and productivity.

Skilled independent category has been reduced to ensure fewer migrants are competing directly with Australians for jobs as the labour market is slightly softening and unemployment is somewhat trending upwards.

Immediate family reunion has been supported by increases in the partner and child categories, as well as in contributory parent.  To maintain the relative proportions of the programme, reductions in the numbers of non-contributory parents and other family visas were necessary.

Comments (9)


It's great pleasure to have this blog.


Thanks for reading the Migration Blog, Jake.


The cuts to the Other Family program are unnaceptable. This includes reduced visa places for 2014-2015 and the cessation of visa applications in these, and non-contributory parent places, on 2 June 2014.

The Other Family program is a small but integral part of our system and cuts to this areapose (in the government parlance) severe "integrity concerns" for other areas. For example, it may enocurage inappropriate use of Protection visas, fake marriages in the Partner visa program and abuse of appeal processes to enable family to remain together. It will lead to an increase in fruitless Federal Court appeals and Ministerial Intervention requests - these family members have no other legitimate visa pathway.

The other negative externalities of cuts to such visas include increased reliance on social security benefits due to being denied a family member to act as a Carer, financial support of overseas family members causing economic flows out of the Australian economy and inability of family members to settle effectively.

Although not comparable to the Skilled visa program in terms of economic benefit to Australia, the Family visa program recognises important connections and improved settlement outcomes for migrants who are able to reside with family members.

I am aware that such decisions are not Departmental choices, rather executive policy, but this should not be a closed area for debate.


Thanks for your feedback, Melinda.


Please guide when is the latest information on the Occupation Lists coming up for 2014-15 Migration Programme.


Woukd it be possible to addrrss how many skilled independent visas will be granted in 2014-2015? Is there any new report or regolation outlining these changes in more details?


How does pro rata basis work? For example, the ceiling for Electrical Engineers is 1500, so there will be maximum 1500/24(two rounds each month)=roughly 60 invitations for Electrical Engineers each round?


Hi there,

Would you please refer to a detailed change in number of visas for each categories? Any new report that shows limitation on visa numbers, specifying number of each occupation?
I have applied for 189 but my employer is happy to apply for nomination, I would like to understand which one is more likely to be granted earlier.

Thanks and Regards,


There is no hope for subclass 489 - Skilled Regional (Provisional) (Sponsored) if there is a limit of 10 invitations each round.

I have submitted 261311 EOI on 27 Dec., 2013. But, no invitation received yet!