Dropping! Immigration Planning Levels

The 2024/25 federal budget saw some big changes announced to immigration. One that probably didn’t come as a surprise was the reduction in immigration planning levels.

Over the last several months there has been considerable discussion about the impact of immigration on housing affordability and availability, with pressure largely having been attributed to the number of temporary residents in Australia. The Federal Government has made this point numerous times in recent months and as an initial step to reduce pressure on housing affordability, international student numbers were reduced, but the cuts didn’t stop there.


How much will overall migration planning levels be reduced by?

As part of the budget, the Labor Government announced it was reducing migration levels by half compared to the current financial year. The 2024/25 permanent Migration Program planning level is set at 185,000 with 132,200 (approx. 70 percent) of these places allocated to the skill stream.

Maintaining around 70 percent of places for the skill stream will help address Australia’s long-term skill needs. The planning horizon for the Permanent Migration Program will be extended in the 25/26 financial year from one year to four years to enable better cross-government planning in the future.

Retaining the permanent migration program at 185,000 with 70 percent allocated to skilled workers is a positive outcome given the Government is looking to drastically cut net overseas migration in response to growing housing shortages.

Of course, the downside to reducing migration planning levels is the impact on overall economic growth by way of population and productivity growth.


How will these migration numbers be broken down?

Of the 185,000 places, 132,200 places are set aside for the skill stream and the remainder allocated to the family stream. There are some notable changes to specific visa categories.

The planning level for Employer Sponsored visas will increase from 36,825 in 2023/24 to 44,000 for the 2024/25 permanent Migration Program. This planning level builds on the expanded pathway to permanent residence that was introduced to allow a greater proportion of temporary migrants to secure permanent residence in a timely manner through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

Planning levels for the State / Territory Nominated category and the regional category have increased to 33,000 respectively. Increasing these planning levels will enable jurisdictions to attract skilled workers to meet specific economic and labour force challenges.

Planning levels for the Skilled Independent visa category have decreased from 30,375 to 16,900 places.

The Government has maintained the size of the family stream emphasising the importance of family migration to Australia’s migration system. The family visa stream has a total of 52,500 places allocated with the Partner Visa category being the largest component of the family stream with 40,500 places allocated.

For more detailed information on migration planning levels visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you would like to learn more about migration to Australia, contact the experienced team of registered migration agents at Visa Solutions Australia. Book a consultation.