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Australian Migration Program for 2011-2012
The contents of this article are correct as at 19 May 2011.
The Federal Government has announced the Migration Program Planning Levels for 2011-2012, as part of its annual Federal budget. The 2011-12 Migration Program planning level is set at 185,000. This is an increase of 16,300 places from 2010-11 planning levels.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that Net Overseas Migration has fallen to 185,800 for the year ending September 2010. This is a fall by almost half from its peak in 2008-09.
The Migration Program can be used to redress the effects of Australia’s ageing population by maintaining a flow of workers into the labour force and contributing to participation and productivity rates. Australia’s permanent migration program complements its temporary work visas (eg 457 visa) by addressing the economy’s medium to long-term labour market needs.
The majority of the increase is allocated to the Skill Stream to help meet the anticipated increase in demand for skilled migrants given strong employment growth and a tightening labour market conditions.
The Program also seeks to allow Australians the opportunity to live with their partner of choice and children. In determining the size of the Family Stream, the government balances the demand for and benefits of family migration with the needs of the economy for skilled migration and for the Migration Program overall to support sustainable population growth.
There are also additional places in the socially important Family Stream to meet growing demand.
The 2011-12 Migration Program also has specific places allocated to regional areas and initiatives that will assist regional employers to attract and retain skilled workers. This aspect will be addressed in a separate article.
A table summarising the Migration Program is set out below.
It is evident that the Skill Stream has increased by 12,000 places on 2010-11 program planning levels and the Skill Stream ceiling is set at 125,850 places.
It should be noted that the final composition of the Skill Stream may vary as places between the categories can be readjusted by the Minister during the program year based on demand by employers.
Separately, the Family Stream planning levels are set at 58,600 places, which is an increase of 4,050 places from 2010-11 planning levels.
The majority of the increase in the Family Stream has been allocated to the Partner and Child categories which cannot be capped under existing legislation.
The Partner category will be set at 45,400 - an increase of 3,400
Allocations for parents have been redistributed with the Contributory Parent category being reduced by 1000 to 6500 and the (non-Contributory) Parent Category being increased by 1000 to 2000.
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