News and Articles

Immigration Limit At 10-year Low; New Regional Pathways To Permanent Residency

The Australian Department of Home Affairs have released the latest figures and reports on permanent residency visas granted under Australia’s skilled migration programme. All potential applicants to Australia should pay heed to the trends we summarise below:

The Australian immigration System

The Australian immigration system divides applicants into various ‘streams’- the ‘Skill’ Stream focuses on applicants with particular skills, but there is also the ‘Family’ stream and the ‘Child’ stream, which are more relevant to family immigration. The ‘Skill’ stream is the largest stream, accounting for 68.4 percent of the total Migration Programme outcome.

Most Frequently Granted Countries

People from India, China and the United Kingdom made up the top three nationalities granted permanent residency visas in the skill stream between 2017 and 2018. In this period, a total of 162,417 permanent residency visas were granted.

Most Frequently Granted Professions

The professions most frequently granted permanent residency visas in the period between 2017-2018 are as follows, in order of most numerous to least.

  • Accountants
  • Software Engineer
  • Registered Nurses
  • Developer Programmer
  • Cook

Immigration is getting tougher

However, the immigration environment in general is getting tougher, as new statistics for the 2018-2019 period reveal fewer permanent residencies were granted in the 2018-2019 period under the Permanent Migration Program (160,323 visas out of a ceiling of 190,000) than at any time in the last 10 years. In turn, migration for the 2019-2020 period has been capped at 160,000 places. Going forward permanent residency visa applications in the skill stream seem like they will be more more competitive than ever.

The Australian Government’s regional focus

Migration to regional Australia remains a priority for the Australian government. According to the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman,

“We’re also dedicating 23,000 places for regional skilled migrants and have announced two new regional visas to help fill some of the tens of thousands of job vacancies in regional Australia.

“We’re directing migration to those smaller cities and regional areas that are crying out for more people and those regional economies that simply cannot fill jobs with local workers.”

The Australian Government’s focus on regional migration is emphasised by the introduction of new visas focused on regional migration.

The Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa will be for skilled migrants sponsored by an a regional employer while the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will cover migrants nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member.

The visas will be for a period of five years, with the possibility to apply for Permanent Residency only after living in the region for three years.

Applicants for permanent residency in Australia would do well to consider whether regional migration is right for them, if they want to improve their chances of a successful immigration application.


Please contact our firm for advice specific to your circumstances.

Disclaimer: This publication is general information only and does not purport to provide legal advice. We do not accept responsibility for any losses for reliance upon this publication.

speak to us and put your mind at ease 1300 618 888