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Reduced visa allocations impact states‘ nomination places

All states including NSW have suffered substantial reductions in their visa allocation for the financial year 2023-24.

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The Department of Home Affairs’ recent release of new allocated visa places for each state has sent shockwaves through the Australian migration landscape. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and NSW have suffered substantial reductions in their nomination places for the financial year 2023-24, with ACT’s allocation almost halved.

ACT, known for its strong demand for skilled migration, has been allotted a mere 1,200 places for the two subclasses (491 and 190), down from previous years. Notably, the Business Investment and Innovation (Provisional) visa category has been left without any allocated places. The reductions come amidst the Australian Government’s broader efforts to address skills shortages and enhance social cohesion through the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program, which is set to allocate a total of 190,000 places nationwide.

The essence of the 2023-24 permanent Migration Program lies in its meticulous composition tailored to specific needs. The Skill stream, making up around 72% of the program, seeks to augment the nation’s productive capacity while addressing skill gaps across industries, including in regional sectors. The department emphasized that categories within this stream, including Employer Sponsored, Skilled Independent, Regional, State/Territory Nominated, and Global Talent, have been customized to accommodate diverse skill sets and demands.

ACT Migration acting director Donny Pasaribu, conveyed the news to migration agents via email, acknowledging the reduction in ACT’s allocation and stating, “The Department of Home Affairs has reduced the allocations for ACT nomination back to pre-pandemic levels.” This adjustment is aimed at managing a surge in visa applications from the previous year and maintaining a smooth pipeline for visa processing without unnecessary delays.

NSW has also faced a decrease in its nomination places. The allocation includes 2,650 places for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa and 1,500 places for the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa. This contrasts starkly with the 8,800 places allotted to the state in the previous year (2022-23).

Migration SA expressed their commitment to supporting South Australia’s vital industries with the limited allocation available. In a statement, they underlined their focus on attracting skilled migrants from abroad, particularly in critical sectors such as Health and Defence.

As the allocation reductions reverberate across the states, stakeholders in various industries are assessing the potential impact on their workforce needs and recruitment strategies. The reshaping of nomination places underlines the dynamic nature of Australia’s migration policy, where economic and demographic considerations continually intertwine.

Summary of 2023-24 State and Territory Nomination Allocations

The table below presents the allocation of visas for the 2023-24 financial year across different Australian states and territories under the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) and Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa categories. Notably, no allocations have been made for the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) in this period.

State and Territory Breakdown:

ACT: The Australian Capital Territory is granted a total of 600 places each for both the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) and Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visas.

NSW: New South Wales has been allocated 2,650 places for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa and 1,500 places for the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa.

NT: The Northern Territory’s allocation includes 250 places for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa and 400 places for the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa.

QLD: Queensland’s allocation comprises 900 places for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa and 650 places for the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa.

SA: South Australia has been granted 1,100 places for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa and 1,200 places for the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa.

TAS: Tasmania’s allocation consists of 600 places each for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) and Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visas.

VIC: Victoria’s allocation encompasses 2,700 places for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa and 600 places for the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa.

WA: Western Australia’s allocation includes 1,500 places for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa and 850 places for the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa.

Overall Allocation:

The combined allocations across all states and territories for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa amount to 10,300 places, while the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa is allocated 6,400 places. Notably, no allocations have been made for the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) for the specified period.

2023–24 state and territory nomination allocations
State Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)*
ACT 600 600 0
NSW 2,650 1,500 0
NT 250 400 0
QLD 900 650 0
SA 1,100 1,200 0
TAS 600 600 0
VIC 2,700 600 0
WA 1,500 850 0
Total 10,300 6,400 0

 

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