Australia’s migration programme will be maintained at 190,000 places for the 2013-14 migration year, with the emphasis still on helping to fill skills shortages and reuniting Australian families, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Brendan O’Connor announced yesterday.
“The permanent migration programme is about getting the balance right between our economic and social objectives,” the Minister explained. “Our migration programme ensures skilled migrants will continue to fill critical gaps in regions and sectors with genuine skills shortages.”
The 2013-14 programme provides 128,550 places for skilled migrants, 60,885 places for family migration and 565 places for migration under special eligibility.
The government has made a small shift of 700 places, from the skill stream to the family stream, in response to the continuing high levels of demand for family stream places from Australians, particularly in the partner category.
“Skilled migration continues to make up more than two-thirds of the programme because of its obvious benefits to our economy and society,” Mr O’Connor continued.”Targeted skilled migration enables Australia’s economy to grow by addressing skills gaps and bottlenecks.”
Skilled migrants who are sponsored by employers to fill vacancies that cannot be met locally and regional skilled migrants will continue to be given the highest priority in recognition of the needs of employers and regional areas.
“Our regional and state and territory skilled migration program categories are unchanged – we remain committed to helping regional economies and communities grow,” Mr O’Connor said. “A regionally focussed skilled migration programme which targets the best and brightest combined with a family programme that enables Australians to live with their close relatives and partners will continue to deliver for Australia.”
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