Australia Migrants to be Cut in New Plan

In a bid to reduce migration, Australia migrants will face a new cap. The nation will cut its current cap on migration by 15%. This cut will lower the annual number of migrants in Australia. Currently, the cap is 190,000 places.

Elements of the new plan’s cuts include:

  • Total migration number reduced from 190,000 to 160,000
  • 15% cut in total migration
  • 160,000 figure matches 2017-2018 migrant intake

Several Australia Migrants Must Live Outside Major Cities

A significant point in the new plan to cut migrants relates to their location. Up to 23,000 migrants under a new skilled visa will need to live and work in regional Australia for three years prior to gaining permanent residence. These migrants will not be able to live in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, or the Gold Coast. In these cities and locations, the nation’s infrastructure is seen as overused and at capacity limits.

Regional Australia are those parts and destinations of the nation that are not a traditional tourist destination like Sydney or Melbourne. Migrants entering under this new skilled visa will need to live in work in cities such as Alice Springs, Kalgoorlie, and Wagga Wagga. Previously, migrants would gravitate to the most desirable cities in the nation. Now, a significant number of migrants must disperse to outlying areas. There are several reasons behind this new requirement:

  • Providing employees for regional job openings
  • Managing stress on infrastructure
  • Reducing congestion in cities
  • Removing traffic chokepoints

Current System Assesses Potential Australia Migrants by Skills

The nation’s current points system assesses potential Australia migrants according to their skills. This assessment helps the nation determine if the migrants fill a need for specific workers. Also, migrants must pass a character test and health screening. Australia migrants who desire to become citizens must also pass an English-language test covering topics such as Australia’s history, the values of the people, and the nation’s constitution.

Australia Migrants Breakdown

Under the new 160,000 cap, Australia migrants represent two distinct categories:

  1. Migrants sponsored by family members, 30% of the cap or 48,000
  2. Skilled workers, 70% of the cap or 112,000

Additionally, refugees who are resettled to Australia represent 18,750 places in addition to the 160,000 cap.

What Does This Mean?

Australia migrants will face a reduction in places for entry into the nation. Some migrants may qualify for the new skilled visa that requires them to reside in regional Australia. Similar entry requirements will remain in place, including skills assessment, character test, and health screening.

What Should Employers do About the Cap Reduction on Australia Migrants?

Companies currently looking to hire foreign workers in Australia should be aware of the cap reduction on Australia migrants. They should examine their hiring plans to determine the impact the cut may have on their corporate objectives. Companies should work with a qualified Relocation Management Company (RMC) that can provide assistance with relocation and visa program requirements.


GMS’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients determine how to design their relocation and visa programs to meet country-specific requirements. As a result, our team can help your company understand how to mitigate the effects of the cap reduction on Australia migrants.

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Learn best practices from Global Mobility Solutions, the relocation industry and technology experts who are dedicated to keeping you informed and connected. Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s relocation and visa programs as they relate to Australia migrants, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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