Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Media release

Government delivers largest Partner Program in over 25 years

The Government has delivered the 2020-21 Migration Program, including the largest Partner Program in over 25 years by processing in excess of 72,000 places for couples seeking to reunite. 

The 2020-21 Migration Program has delivered 160,052 places against the planning level of 160,000 places, with the majority going to applicants already onshore. This has increased from 140,366 places delivered in 2019-20.

Visa processing focused on onshore applicants and applicants in critical sectors and occupations. 71.2 per cent of applicants finalised in the Skill Stream and 64.8 per cent of Family places were delivered to applicants onshore.

For skilled visas, the focus was on supporting Australia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic b​y enabling Australian employers to hire the workers needed to maintain their businesses and drive Australia's recovery from the pandemic.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke said the program exceeded expectations, despite challenges posed by COVID-19. 

“Australia's well managed migration program delivers outcomes that support economic recovery, create jobs, and protect the safety and security of Australians," Minister Hawke said.

“Delivering a full program of 160,052 places meant drawing on the pool of onshore applicants due to global COVID-19 restrictions. This has been very successful given the difficult circumstances this year."

The focus of the Migration Program in 2021-22 will continue to be on visa categories that help Australia's economic rebound and stabilise net overseas migration.

“We will continue to give priority to skilled visas that drive economic growth, job creation and investment in Australia," Minister Hawke said.

“There will be ongoing flexibility within the migration program to respond to uncertain health, border and economic conditions arising from COVID-19," he said.

“The Government will continue to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances in global migration," Minister Hawke said.

The 2021-22 Migration Program​ will have an overall planning level of 160,000 places and carry over the 2020-21 Mig​ration Program​ composition and planning levels, including the flexibility to move places within the Skill stream to provide flexibility to support Australia's response to managing COVID-19.​​