What is the change? Australia’s budget, released 13 May, contains detailed planning figures for the 2014-15 Migration Program.

What does the change mean? The total number of visas will remain identical to last year. There are slight changes to the allocation of visas within the skilled migration category and within the family category.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work, Family, and Business Innovation and Investment Program visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals in the Skilled Migration stream, Family visa, and Business Innovation and Investment (formerly known as “Business Skills”) category.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Business impact: Employers can plan assignments with more certainty, and will not see any major changes to last year’s migration figures.

Background: The budget indicates that 190,000 visas are projected to be granted in 2014-15, the same number as last year. The proportion of skilled migration visas (67.7 percent) compared to family visas (32 percent) will also remain the same as last year. Within the skilled stream, there are slight adjustments. A total of 1,000 visas will be reallocated from the skilled independent subcategory to the employer-sponsored subcategory. All other skilled subcategories remain the same.

The number of visas in the Business Innovation and Investment program will also remain unchanged from last year at 7,260.

In the family visa category, the number of total visas is unchanged from last year at 60,885. However, the number of visas for parents has been reduced from 8,925 to 8,675, while the number of visas has been raised for children (from 3,850 to 3,885) and partners (from 47,525 to 47,825). Visas for other family members (aged dependant, caregiver and remaining relatives) are reduced from 585 to 500.

BAL Analysis: The budget numbers show little change from last year and businesses can plan accordingly.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact