Australia increases skilled migration visa quota | VETASSESS Skip to main content

Australia increases skilled migration visa quota

The Australian Government has increased its permanent migration quota from 160,000 to 195,000 for the year to June 2023, with all of the extra 35,000 places allocated to skilled work visas. Australia has long relied on skilled migration for nation building, with many professional and trade workers migrating with a permanent resident visa and some temporary visa holders later applying for permanent residence once they have studied or worked in the country.

During the COVID pandemic, border closures meant that many migrants could not get into the country. That led to severe skills shortages in many industries, and the Government is now working to encourage skilled migration to support economic growth.

 Australia increases skilled migration visa quota

What is skilled migration?

The Australian Government’s migration program has a “Skilled stream”, with places allocated to migrants who can make a significant contribution to the Australian economy and fill positions where not enough Australian workers are available.

The Government says skilled migrants have very high participation rates in the workforce and they help stimulate economic growth, creating more jobs.

The Skilled stream also plays an important role in regional development. Migrant workers provide skills and labour that cannot be sourced locally, and this encourages investment in areas outside the major cities.

There are a wide range of jobs on the Skilled stream list, covering both trades and professions and a large number of industries. VETASSESS provides skills assessments for 28 trade occupations and 360 professional occupations that are on the skilled occupation list.

Australia has a shortage of workers and employers want to hire migrant workers with these skills. The latest Skills Priority List found 286 out of 914 occupations have a shortage.

They include Construction Project Manager, Hotel or Motel Manager, Auditor, Motor Mechanic, Chef and Cook.

Industries such as education, engineering, ICT and health care have many occupations on the list, which is used by government planners in determining the yearly skilled immigration quotas.

The Government is working to educate and train Australians for occupations that are in demand but recognises this will take time. Many business leaders see skilled migration as the only way to address their needs in the short term.

At the recent Jobs and Skills Summit, when Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil announced the increase in the migration quota to 195,000 places, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also said the government would fund 180,000 new free places in vocational education and training.

What is a VETASSESS skills assessment for migration purposes?

A VETASSESS skills assessment will assess both educational and employment experience of people who are applying to come to Australia as a skilled migrant. In trade occupations there will be a technical interview and for the licensed trades of electrician, plumber and air conditioning/refrigeration mechanic, there will also be a practical assessment.

The assessment process determines whether the applicant has the skills and knowledge required to work in their occupation in Australia.  

What are state-nominated visa categories?

Australia’s eight states and territories each receive an allocation of skilled work visas from the national quota set by the Federal Government in these categories:

  • Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190)
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491)
  • Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)

Applicants for a subclass 190 visa must have an occupation on the relevant skilled list, have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation, be invited to apply for the visa, and satisfy a points test. This visa allows nominated skilled workers to live and work in Australia as permanent residents.

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491) visa is for skilled people nominated by a state or territory government to work in regional Australia. They can stay for five years, living, working or studying in a regional area, and apply for permanent residence after three years from the time their visa is granted.

Regional areas are open and welcoming to skilled migrants and can offer a great lifestyle for both single people and families. Many have large migrant communities of people from all over the world.

The Business Innovation and Investment Program is a provisional visa for people with business skills. It lets them operate a new or existing business in Australia.

Skilled migration opportunities in Australia

Minister O’Neil told the recent Jobs and Skills Summit, 

“Immigration is one the biggest levers we have to drive our country forward, and it is fast, and it is powerful.”

Australia offers many opportunities for migrants and with all states and territories wanting to attract skilled workers to fill occupational shortages, experienced trades and professional people can choose where they want to live, knowing there will be a warm welcome when they start work.

They will be able to build on their skills and find new opportunities as they build a life in Australia.

Note, information is correct at November 2022.


For more than 25 years VETASSESS has provided tailored, independent assessment services to governments, education sectors and industries globally.
We have pioneered assessment services to recognise and verify individuals’ qualifications, skills and experience for migration purposes against the requirements of 360 professional and 27 trade occupations.

About us

We're here to help

icon logo

Contact us

Ask a question or find more information.

icon logo

Call our office

Speak to our friendly customer support team.

icon logo

Email us

Send us your question or ask for more information.