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Alan Tudge, the Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, said to the multicultural media on Friday that the migration program for 2020-21 will see onshore applicants being prioritised, particularly for partner visas. 

Partner visas have been allocated 72,300 places, an increase from 37,118 last year.

According to Minister Tudge this will give more certainty to those wanting to settle in Australia with their partners and plan for their futures. It will address nearly all the present applicants awaiting finalisation of their visa.

It is expected that 75 per cent of partner visas will go to those already in Australia.  This is because “in part because we will have fewer people coming into the country, we are placing great priority on making permanent residents those who are already here”, Minister Tudge said.

“It is because we have spaces available and the reason why we have fewer people come into the country is of course because of the pandemic and the speed limit being the quarantine limit levels we have in place. 

“Consequently, what we call the net overseas migration figure, we will actually have, this financial year, the first time, in 75 years, more people leaving the country than coming into the country. So, we are trying to regularise more people in Australia,” Mr Tudge said.

Which visas will be prioritised?

– Onshore applicants of partner visas will be prioritised.

– Partner visa applicants where the relevant sponsor resides in a designated regional area will also be prioritised this year.

– Employer-Sponsored, Global Talent, Business Innovation and Investment Program visas will be prioritised within the Skilled Stream.

– Employer-Sponsored visas will be prioritised over non-sponsored visas with a focus on occupations on the Priority Migration Skills Occupation List.

The 17 occupations (ANZSCO code) on the Priority Migration Skills Occupation List are:

– Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
– Construction Project Manager (133111)
– Mechanical Engineer (233512)
– General Practitioner (253111)
– Resident Medical Officer (253112)
– Psychiatrist (253411)
– Medical Practitioner nec (253999)
– Midwife (254111)
– Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (254412)
– Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
– Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
– Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
– Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
– Registered Nurses nec (254499)
– Developer Programmer (261312)
– Software Engineer (261313)
– Maintenance Planner (312911)

Minister Tudge also said ‘Innovators, investors and job creators – those who are going to grow Australian businesses, create Australian jobs and supercharge our economic recovery – will be the target of our skilled visas’.

The Government expects Australia’s borders to remain closed until late 2021 with Net Overseas Migration (NOM) expected to fall to -72,000 persons by the end of 2020-21.

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