Permanent migration falls to 15-year low

The Department of Home Affairs yesterday released permanent migration outcomes for 2019-20:

The permanent migration intake was 140,366 in 2019-20.

Seventy per cent of the visas were granted through the skilled stream (95,843 in total), including 4,109 places under the highly skilled Global Talent – Independent program, launched in November 2019.

There were 23,372 regional visas delivered, from the 25,000 places allocated. This compares to 18,308 regional visas granted in 2018-19 – an increase of 27 per cent.

There were 41,961 visas granted in the Family program, including 37,118 Partner visas.

Two-thirds of permanent visas were granted to individuals already in Australia who transitioned from a temporary visa to permanent residency.

There were also 13,171 visas granted in the Humanitarian Program in 2019-20, including 4,765 visas (45 per cent) for those who were referred for settlement in regional areas.

The size and composition of the 2020-21 Migration and Humanitarian programs will be considered in light of the developing COVID-19 situation and announced as part of the Budget process in October.

The cumulative permanent intake of 153,537 (including the humanitarian intake) was the lowest since 2005 when 133,248 migrants were granted permanent residency:

The decline in permanent migration was driven by NSW and VIC, which both recorded near 20% declines in 2019-20:

Nevertheless, despite the overall decline, the total permanent intake (including humanitarian) in 2019-20 was still 50% larger than the 20 year average to 2005 of 102,000.

Net Overseas Migration (NOM) – which also includes the flow of temporary residents – was also falling in the lead-up to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 210,600 net migrants recorded in the 2019 calendar year (latest available data):

Given border closures have sent net permanent and long-term arrivals plummeting to the lowest level in around 16 years, down 111,850 (36%) from February:

The official data will soon show both permanent migration and NOM falling in unison.

Leith van Onselen
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    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      Indeed. I’m really missing the constant churn of international ‘students’ from the adjoining townhouse. I gained so much from the vibrancy of 6 to 8 people living in a two bedroom townhouse, the constant stomping up and down the stairs 24/7, endless coming and going (and their ‘friends’ who thought banging on the door rather than texting or using the front gate buzzer was appropriate regardless of the time of day) and the huge piles of rubbish left around the place. Please open the borders ASAP! Thanks Scummo! Too much cultural enrichment is barely enough!

    • so sad, but I’ll bet you a tenner that once borders open the government will double the intake to 450,000 in 2021 to make up for lost ground in 2020.

      So happy then?

      • Tiliqua scincoidesMEMBER

        You can imagine how this will be part of the spin to turn the taps on to 15-year highs post-COVID. Record lows, so we need record highs to boost the economy…

        There is already a lot of noise from politicians about doing this but they are being constrained … for now.

      • Mr SquiggleMEMBER

        Yeah, this Covidian era is an unexpected example of how things might be without mass migration, but I can’t see it creating a permanent shift in thinking all by itself.

        Still, the longer Covid goes on, the more chance we have that people will realise there are alternatives to the current model.

        • Jumping jack flash


          Will require an entirely different set of leaders for that. Leaders who actually know how to do useful things other than talk useless words while they sell everyone out and set up their life after politics.

      • We need 450,009 for 3 years this will put the wind back in the sails get us back up to ramming speed start beating the drums bend your backs or we all sink together

  1. Mass immigration will resume ASAP:

    In the 2019-20 financial year, 204,817 people were conferred Australian citizenship – a 60 percent increase on the previous financial year and the highest number on record.

    I work in the IT industry and Australian citizenship is imperative for my career.

    And Aussies should pick fruit.

    • We should do what the USA does. Limit immigrants from any one country to 10% of the total.

      Once you have someone from the sub-continent making recruiting decisions in your company, they are like a cancer, and only employ their mates from the sub-continent.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      As Gunna said, “This is Bullsh!t”.

      We’re enduring 6 months of lockdown for this Bullsh!t to start up again and continue to destroy our children’s future.

      Every LNP and Labor parliamentarian can go to fkn h*ll.

    • Jumping jack flash

      “And Aussies should pick fruit.”

      And how can a Quiet Australian afford to maintain a 400k mortgage on the kind of money a fruit picker gets?

      On the other side of the equation, would you be able to afford a $10 apple or strawberry?

      Nope, slaves are definitely required for that job.

  2. Totes BeWokeMEMBER

    Morrison has demanded states provide isolation accommodate for 6000 people a week…”to bring 40k Australians home”.

    Once they’re all home, those rooms will be used to bring 6000 migrants in a week. About the number to create population growth of 400k a year as per prior to the virus.

    Employment? Migrants create jobs apparently. So it’s all good. Australians will watch it happen, and will watch Labor cheer it on.

    • “Employment? Migrants create jobs apparently.”

      When someone who isn’t employed starts working, their spending increases which flows through to additional demand for other businesses.

      The creating jobs argument can be made more effectively from the point of view of an Aus citizen, as it reduces the tax burden of the unemployment benefit to the (now employed) worker and means they are saving via super again.

    • Even so, these migrants will have to pay for their quarantine ($3k) on top of an expensive visa and (now) expensive flights. That means the financial wherewithal to come here just got a lot greater. And all in the midst of a global recession (soon to be depression). Good luck with that.

        • There is something in this comment. Religious ceremonies, weddings and cultural events are big topics in many of these communities. If the answer was you could come to Australia but not return for these events without some serious $ then people may choose to stay put.

          • It’s sad, but there is more of a commitment to meeting such cultural obligations, then serving out employment contracts as expected and not letting down a team by not completing a contract as expected.

            The claimed ‘sick relative’ is always in sync with cultural events.

    • Alan Tudge revealed the truth to Deb Knight on 2GB – lifting the cap is so we can also bring in more migrants, and that there is only about 18,000 Australians stuck overseas.

  3. Pre Rudd-Gillard, a permanent migration “ceiling” of 160K was not a thing. Over 100K was notable.

    Now, even under COVID, the bonkers 160K ceiling for 2020-21 is a cosy announcement from “Immigration to the Migration Institute”. Fine by the “Opposition”. No need for the Minister. Nothing to do with the great unwashed.

    Neatly illustrates the racial victory of Abul Rizvi, ethnic capture of his old Department. Ain’t democracy grand?

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      Remember Gillard’s “not a big Australia, a sustainable Australia” advertising?

      Just before she won government and then increased immigration.

      Democracy needs to be taken back from the duopoly. Destroy the Labor party, and replace them with Independents, and we get our democracy back.

  4. Still pretty close to the Permanent migration cap despite the border supposedly being closed since March. I guess Net overseas migration is down by a decent amount though. ScoMo is desperate to lift the cap on overseas arrivals so he can bring in more migrants, and the media are keeping it very quiet that around 50% of overseas arrivals in August were non-Australian citizens (per The ABS).

  5. The Immigration minister just revealed the truth on 2GB (something the media wouldn’t) – Lifting the cap is all about bringng in more wonderful immigrants (lol), and there’s only about 18,000 Australians still to come home.

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