Australian MigrationProgramme in 2016-17 – A Considerable Short-fall

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The results state that unlike the previous years, there was a considerable short-fall in the number of visas granted as the full program numbers were not delivered. The shortfall was observed in the following types:

  • General Skilled Migration
  • Parent Visas
  • Other Family Visas
  • Special Eligibility Program

This write-up gives a detailed statistical analysis of the results.

Consolidated Numbers

The summary of the overall migration program numbers versus the planning levels for 2016-17 are below:

Stream and Category 2016-17 2016-17 actuals Difference Percent
Skill stream        
Employer Sponsored 48,250 48,250
Skilled Independent 43,990 42,422 -1,568 -3.6%
State & Territory & Regional Sponsored 28,850 25,435 -3,415 -11.8%
Business Innovation & Investment Programme 7,260 7,260
Distinguished Talent 200 200
Skill Total 128,550 123,567 -4,983 -3.9%
Family Stream        
Partner 47,825 47,825
Parent 8,675 7,563 -1,112 -12.8%
Other Family 900 832 -68 -7.6%
Family Total 57,400 56,220 -1,180 -2.1%
Special Eligibility 565 421 -144 -25.5%
Child (outside the Migration Programme) 3,485 3,400 -85 -2.4%
Total 190,000 183,608 -6,392 -3.4%

As seen, there was a shortfall of 6,392 places as the overall planning level of 190,000 for 2016-17 was a not met. This given the fact that meeting the migration program number is one of the important functions of the Immigration Department and having a shortfall has definitely resulted into a considerable shift.

Streams that include Employer Sponsored, Business Skills, Partner and Distinguished talent streams were delivered at the planning level. Hence it become utmost important where planning level were not met.

Origin of a Country
There has a been a considerable change in the countries of origin of migrants to Australia in the last 10 years

Top 10 source countries were as follows (2016-17):

Country Number Percent
India 38,854 21.2%
China 28,293 15.4%
UK 17,038 9.3%
Philippines 12,209 6.6%
Pakistan 6,556 3.6%
Vietnam 5,493 3.0%
South Africa 4,589 2.5%
Nepal 4,290 2.3%
Malaysia 4,049 2.2%
Ireland 3,855 2.1%
Total Program 183,608  

Whereas in 2007-08, the previous composition looked like this:

Country Number Percent
UK 28,029 17.7%
India 22,146 14.0%
China 20,729 13.1%
South Africa 7,178 4.5%
Philippines 6,721 4.2%
Korea (South) 5,155 3.2%
Malaysia 4,842 3.1%
Sri Lanka 4,150 2.6%
Indonesia 3,034 1.9%
USA 2,917 1.8%

As observed, the number of Indians and Chinese has significantly increase whereas the UK nationals amount for a smaller share of the migration program. The list contains new entrant countries in the form of Vietnam, Pakistan, Nepal and Ireland.

Occupational Split
Drawing a comparison the previous 5 years, the top 5 occupations make a lower percentage of skilled program. There has been a decrease in the number of accountants and cooks qualifying for permanent residence. The following table depicts the same:

Occupation 2016-17 2011-12 Change Percent
Accountant 3,351 6,914 -3,563 -51.5%
Software Engineer 3,346 1,428 1,918 134.3%
Cook 2,186 4,836 -2,650 -54.8%
Registered Nurses 1,965 1,009 956 94.7%
Developer Programmer 1,535 1,350 185 13.7%
Top 5 Total 12,383 15,537 -3,154 -20.3%
Total Skilled Program 123,567 125,755 -2,188 -1.7%
Percent 10.0% 12.4%    

General Skilled Migration
Compared to the 2016-17 planning levels, there was a significant shortfall in visas granted.

The overall shortfall in the number of visas granted was almost 5000 places or 6.8%. Segregating this, the Skilled Independent stream shortfall was 1,568 places or 3.6% and for state/territory sponsored stream was 3,415 places or 11.8%

Given the fact that how competitive it is to get even a SkillSelect invitation, to be eligible to apply, this is a disappointing result. It seems that many people who receive SkillSelect invitation do not process into lodging of General Skilled Migration Application.

Following are the numbers for General Skilled Migrationoffshore versus onshore applications:

Stream Onshore Offshore Total % Offshore
State/Territory Nominated 8,383 15,382 23,765 64.7%
Skilled Independent 17,412 25,010 42,422 59.0%
Skilled Regional 585 1,085 1,670 65.0%
Total 26,380 41,477 67,857 61.1%

As seen, 2/3rd of the state/territory nominated program goes to offshore applicants, which is very surprising.For a nomination to be issued, many states and territories now require either a job offer or residence in the state or territory.

Parent Visas
The delivered parent visa stream was under the planning level by 1,112 places or 12.8%.

This section forms a case for contributory& the non-contributory parent category. In case of contributory parents, as of 30th June 2017, there were 38,508 applicants in the contributory parent pipeline for grant. Assuming the planning level of 7,175 places for contributory parents continues, the expected waiting time would be close to 5 years going forward for contributory parents.At the same time, the pipeline for non-contributory parent visas is 49,735. With an allocation of 1,500 places per year, expected waiting time may be over 33 years for this visa type which defeats its very purpose.

Other Family
This category too is The 68 places under its planning level (7.6%). With long waiting queues in this category, processing times are no longer published but estimates say that the waiting times could be 50 years or more for family sponsored visas.

Numbers are available for grants in each visa sub-class within this category. Following are the same:

Other Family Offshore
Remaining Relative 79
Career 402
Aged Dependent Relative 2
Orphan Relative 349
Total 832

Special Eligibility
Special Eligibility stream Grant Visas were 144 places under the planning level or 25%. This category relates to Ministerial intervention cases and the indication of results it is evident that the Minister is less inclined to intervene in favor of applicants.

Since the planning level are significantly low in 20016-17, and with no explanation being provided by the department of Immigration, it becomes imperative that get advice before your plan your migration move.