Fact Sheet - Migration Programme planning levels

​​​Australia's permanent migration programme has two components:

  • The humanitarian component is for refugees and others in humanitarian need
  • The non-humanitarian component (the migration programme) is for those migrating under the Skill Stream, Family Stream and Special Eligibility stream.

Information about the Humanitarian Programme is available in Fact Sheet - Australia's Refugee and Humanitarian Programme​.

Migration Programme

The Migration Programme is designed to meet Australia's economic and social needs. The total programme places are broken down into planning levels for each stream of the programme and visa category.

There will be up to 190.000 permanent migration places available in 2015-16. The 2015-16 managed Migration Programme comprises of up to:

  • 128,550 Skill stream places
  • 57,400 Family stream places
  • 565 Special Eligibility stream places. 

At least 3,485 Child places will be available outside the managed Migration Programme.

From 2015-16 Child visas (excluding Orphan Relative visas) will no longer be counted under the managed Migration Programme. Additional Child visa places will be available over the next four years as it transitions to a fully demand driven programme by 2019-20.  Removing Child visas from the managed Migration Programme will ensure planning levels do not act as a barrier or delay to inter-country adoption (or uniting other children with their Australian families). 

Orphan relative visas will form part of the Other Family category within the managed Migration Programme.

See: Migration Programme Statistics

Programme range

The Migration Programme is set annually, following broad consultation across Australia, and taking into account community views, economic and labour force forecasts, international research, net overseas migration and is informed by economic and fiscal modelling.  The Migration Programme benefits Australia both socially, through the reunification of families, and economically, through addressing Australia's immediate and future skill shortages. 


SkillSelect helps manage skilled migration visa processing by selecting skilled independent migrants at the levels in which they are needed by the economy.

Invitations are issued to the best available prospective migrants who have expressed an interest through SkillSelect.


A number of visa classes can be capped. This means when the number of visas set by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection within a class has been reached for that programme year, no further visas can be granted.

More information is available on Fact Sheet – Managing the Migration Programme.