From 1 July 2015, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service will become a single agency to be known as Australian Border Force.
The 2014-15 Migration programme will remain at 190,000 places and will comprise:
- 128,550 places for skilled migrants including employer sponsored migrants, general skilled migrants and business migrants;
- 60,885 places for family migrants who are sponsored by family members;
- 565 places for special eligibility migrants, who include former permanent residents and have maintained close business, cultural or personal ties with Australia.
The Skilled Stream comprises around 68 per cent of the programme, while the Family Stream comprises 32 per cent.
The Skilled Stream will continue to be the focus of Australia’s immigration policy with almost 70 per cent of the visas allocated to address Australia’s skills needs, including addressing skills shortages in regional Australia.
Within the Skilled Migration Streams, 1,000 places have been reallocated from the skilled independent stream to the employer sponsored categories. State and Territory nominated numbers remain unchanged. Business visa numbers also remain the same as for the previous year.
Additional partner and child places will be made available in the Family Stream. These places will be made available as a result of the cessation of new applications from the other family and parent (non-contributory) places. This cessation will also enable faster processing of existing applications.
The Government will provide $1.3 million over the next four years to extend the streamlined processing arrangements currently available to students enrolled in bachelor, masters or doctoral degrees at participating universities to students enrolled in Advanced Diploma level VET courses at eligible TAFEs and other education providers.
Refugees and Humanitarian
The Government will provide $27.8 million to fund the Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme and the Community Assistance Support Programme to provide eligible asylum seekers with support while their immigration status is being resolved.
20,000 extra places will be made available within the Special Humanitarian Program, 4,000 of these to be filled within the current financial year and the remaining 16,000 over the Budget and forward estimates period.
Of the 13,750 places to be provided in 2014-15, a minimum of 11,000 places will go to offshore applicants, with 4,000 of these allocated to families of offshore humanitarian entrants.