Australia's Department of Immigration & Citizenship has released details of its 2012-2013 Skilled Migration Program.
Skilled Migration levels have been announced as follows:
• The 2012-2013 Migration Program planning level is set at 190,000. This is an increase of 5,000 places from 2010-2011 planning levels.
• The majority of the increase is allocated to the Skill Stream to help meet the expected increase in demand for skilled migrants in the face of labour shortages.
• There are also additional places in the Family Stream to meet growing demand.
• The 2012-2013 Migration Program has up to 16,000 places reserved for the regional sponsored migration scheme (skilled).
• The Skill Stream has increased by 3,400 places on 2011-12 program planning levels.
• The Skill Stream ceiling is set at 129 250 places.
• The Family Stream planning levels are set at 60,185 family places - an increase of 1,585 places from 2011-12 planning levels.
1. Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme places
• The federal government will continue to specifically allocate permanent visas for regional areas.
• The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme is expected to deliver up to 16,000 skilled migrants to regional areas in 2012-13, filling vacancies that employers cannot fill from the local labour force.
2. Priority processing
• Applicants for permanent regional migration visas will be afforded the highest level of processing priority.
3. Regional Engagement Strategy
• The government will continue to develop and implement an enhanced Regional Engagement Strategy to ensure that employers in regional areas know which migration programs can assist them to fill skilled vacancies, where there are no local or Australian people to fill the job.
*SOURCE: Australian Government, Depart of Immigration and Citizenship