Fact Sheet: 2018-19 Migration Program planning levels

Migration Program planning ceilings

The Migration Program is designed to achieve a range of economic and social outcomes. The program is set annually, with the total places available capped at a ceiling of 190,000 for 2018-19, unchanged from 2017-18. The total program is broken down into the following streams:

  • Skill – designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia. This represents most places offered (128,550 places in 2018-19).
  • Family – is predominately made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas, and provide them with pathways to citizenship (57,400 places in 2018-19).
    Fact Sheet - Overview of family stream migration
    has more information.
  • Special Eligibility – this covers visas for those in special circumstances that do not fit into the other streams. This can include permanent residents returning to the country after a period away, and is the smallest stream (565 places in 2018-19).
    More information is available in Fact Sheet - Special Eligibility Stream.

At least 3,485 Child places will be available in 2018-19.

2018-19 Migration Program planning levels
Stream and Category2017-182018-19
Skill stream
Employer Sponsored48,25048,250
Skilled Independent43,99043,990
State & Territory & Regional Sponsored28,85028,850
Business Innovation & Investment Program7,2607,260
Distinguished Talent200200
Skill Total 128,550 128,550
Skill % of Program68.9%*68.9%*
Family Stream
Partner47,82547,825
Parent8,6758,675
Other Family900900
Family Total 57,400 57,400
Family % of Program30.8%*30.8%*
Special Eligibility 565 565
Total 186,515 186,515
Child (not subject to a ceiling)3,4853,485

* As a percentage of the Migration Program.

Program size and composition

The size and composition of the Migration Program is set each year through the Australian Government’s Budget process. It is informed following broad public consultations with stakeholders, including business and community groups from all states and territories. Community views, economic and labour force forecasts, international research, net overseas migration and economic and fiscal modelling are all taken into account when planning the program.

Humanitarian Program

The Humanitarian Program is managed outside of the permanent Migration Program and is for refugees and others in humanitarian need.

More information is available on Australia's Refugee and Humanitarian Program.