Australia Migration 2020-2021 forecast for Skilled Workers

Immigration is one of the critical issues in Australia’s economic development policy post-Covid-19 recovery period. On October 6, the government of Australia unveiled its budget for the year 2020-21. Since World War II, the budget is being called the “Economic Recovery Plan for Australia” and dubbed as the most important one.

The purpose of the budget is to strengthen the economy, generate more jobs, and create a secure future for Australians. The latest budget highlighted the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 and border closures and how it will influence the Australian immigration system’s shape and size. The release of the 2020-21 budget has cleared the air that this year Australia will focus on attracting the “best and the brightest talent from around the world” through the Global Talent Independent Program.

The budget also aims at increasing foreign investments via the Business Innovation and Investment Program. Let’s go through the key highlights of the program in this article:

Changes in Population Levels:

The 2020/21 migration policy claimed that the net overseas migration population would be 71,200, less than 154,000 in 2019. However, the government will gradually increase the level to up to 201,000 in 2023-24.

For 2020-21, the migration planning level will remain at 160,000:

The immigration intake for the upcoming year will remain at 1, 60,000 places. The visa programs can be broken into four main categories- Family, Skilled, Special Ability, and Child Visas. The distribution for family visa classes has been increased from 47,732 to 77,300.

Please refer to the following table to know more about the distribution of visas in Australia for the upcoming year:

Stream and Category 2020-2021
Skilled Stream

Employer Sponsored

Skilled Independent


State/Territory Nominated

Business Innovation/Investment Program

Global Talent

Distinguished Talent


Skilled Total


Family Stream



Other Family


Family Total


Special Eligibility




Total Visas Allotted










79, 600







77, 300






1, 60, 000


As you can see from the above table, the Global Talent visa category has grabbed the lion’s share of visa distribution for the upcoming year. The category is aimed at improving the production capacity of Australia’s economy and also addressing the labor shortage needs of the country.

For the 2020-21, Australia will also give priority to the Employer Sponsored, GTI, and Business Investment visa categories under the skilled stream.

The family stream consists mainly of partner visa, parent, and other family visas, which allows families of Australian citizens and permanent residents to reunite with their family members. For the next year, around 49.2% space is booked for the family visa.

As per the Australian government, “The focus this year will be on onshore applicants, partner visas and skilled migrants who support Australia’s economic recovery”.

Permanent Migration for New Zealanders

The Australian government plans to extend Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa, which will include the Special Category (Subclass 444) visa holders as well. To be eligible, these visa holders must demonstrate the taxable income for the last three years at or above the Temporary Skilled Migrant Income Threshold, which is currently $53,900.

The ministerial statement also cleared that the upcoming immigration plan will also benefit the regional communities of Australia and will give more importance to job creation and migrants who can benefit these communities through their skills and talents.

While the Migration Program planning ceiling of 160,000 visa spaces is to be retained, there will be an increased flexibility for shifting skilled places for adapting to the “changing labour market and economic needs”.

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