2023-2024 States and Territories Migration Program Planning Levels

StateSkilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visaSkilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa

See 2023–24 permanent Migration Program planning levels on the Department of Home Affairs website (updated 24 August 2023)

Update on visa processing times

Actions taken to improve processing times for visa applications: The Department of Home Affairs has provided the following information regarding the median visa processing times for key visa categories. Visa processing times vary between different visas within these categories, and in some cases it may take longer for those visas to be finalised.

Processing Times by visa category – 50 percent (median) (as at June 2023):

  • Skilled (permanent) visa application: 7 months
  • Partner (first stage) visa application: 5 months
  • Skilled (temporary) visa application: 11 days
  • Student visa application: 10 days
  • Visitor visa application: 1 day
  • Working Holiday Maker: Less than 1 Day

The information about visa processing times is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Update on Australia’s 2023 Federal Budget for immigration program, skilled migrants and international students

The Government released the 2023 – 2024 Budget on 9 May 2023 and here are some key highlights:

  • around 70% (equivalent to 137,100) of places in the 2023‑24 permanent Migration Program to skilled migrants, bringing long‑term fiscal and economic benefits and addressing persistent skill shortages
  • increasing the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold from $53,900 to $70,000 from 1 July 2023, to ensure skilled migration settings are better targeted
  • providing an extra 2 years of post‑study work rights to Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders with select degrees, to improve the pipeline of skilled labour in key sectors
  • reintroducing student visa work restrictions, capped at an increased rate of 48 hours per fortnight
  • exempting international students working in the aged care sector from the capped fortnightly work hour limit until 31 December 2023
  • providing additional training places for Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme workers in priority sectors for the Pacific and Timor‑Leste and where there are job shortages in Australia.
  • increasing visa application charges from 1 July 2023 for a range of visa types including the select visitor and temporary visa subclasses, such as the visitor, working holiday, work and holiday, training, temporary activity, and temporary work short stay specialist.

The Federal Budget 2023 – 2024 documents are available on the Budget 2023 website.

The Portfolio Budget Statements 2023-24 are available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

See Australian visa changes for 2023-24

Direct pathway to Australian citizenship for New Zealand citizens

New Zealand citizens living in Australia for four years or more are to be eligible for direct pathway to Australian citizenship from 1 July 2023. They will no longer need to first apply for and be granted a permanent visa. These changes apply to New Zealand citizens holding a Special Category (subclass 444) visa (SCV) who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001. Protected SCV holders will continue to be eligible to apply directly for Australian citizenship.

Expanded pathways to permanent residence for subclass 186 visa holders

The Department of Home Affairs has announced that by the end of 2023, the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa will be available​ for all Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa holders whose employers wish to sponsor them.

  • All Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa holders whose employers wish to sponsor them will be eligible for the ENS visa.
  • Applicants will need to continue to work in the occupation nominated for their TSS visa(s).
  • The eligibility for the TRT stream will be reduced from three years to two years employment with the sponsoring employer.
  • Applicants will need to meet all other nomination and visa requirements for the TRT stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme visa.

To facilitate these pathways, the Government is also removing limits on the number of Short-term stream TSS visa applications that visa holders can make in Australia. This is an interim measure to assist those currently onshore who would normally need to go offshore to make further visa applications.

Contact Us

The above information is not intended to be legal advice, but merely offers a brief summary of news and updates.

If you are concerned that you may be affected by the proposed changes to immigration announced by the government, contact us to discuss by email or booking a consultation.