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Australian 2020 – 21 Migration Program Report

The total permanent Migration Program outcome for 2020–21 was 160,052 places.


The breakdown for each of the streams within the Migration Program was as follows:

  • 79,620 places were delivered in the Skill stream;

  • 77,372 places were delivered in the Family stream; and

  • 54 places were delivered in the Special Eligibility stream.

  • 3,006 places were delivered in the Child stream.

For the 2020-21 program year, the Migration Program outcome departed from a two-thirds/one-third split between the Skill and Family streams seen over recent history and moved towards a fifty-fifty split between the streams.


Overall Migration Program lodgements dropped by 9.3 per cent from 174,170 in 2019-20 to 157,989 in 2020-21.


COVID-19 had a major influence on the delivery of the Migration Program in 2020-21. The global impact of COVID-19 saw disruptions to supporting services such as English Language testing, biometrics and health and character checking. The Department took COVID-19 disruptions into account in processing throughout the year, for example in providing extended time periods for applicants to complete requirements where appropriate. The Department focused on finalising grant ready application where possible and in line with priority processing directions. This approach has meant that refusal rates were lower than seen in previous years.


For the Skill stream:

  • The Employer Sponsored category had an outcome of 23,503 places. Employer Sponsored visas comprised 29.5 per cent of the Skill stream outcome in 2020–21;

  • The Skilled Independent category had an outcome of 7,213 places (9 per cent);

  • The Regional category had an outcome of 13,585 places (17 per cent of Skill outcome). Of this, 10,675 places were delivered in Skilled Work Regional and 2,910 places in Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional;

  • The State/Territory Nominated category had an outcome of 14,268 places (17.9 per cent);

  • The Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) had an outcome of 11,198 places (14 per cent);

  • The Global Talent category had an outcome of 9,584 places (12 per cent); and

  • The Distinguished Talent category had an outcome of 269 places (0.3 per cent).


Applicants were delivered places in the following priority growth sectors:

  • Digitech (34%)

  • Health Industries (23%)

  • Energy (17%)

  • Financial Services and FinTech (12%)

  • Resources (7%)

  • Defence, Advanced Manufacturing and Space (6%)

  • Agri-food and AgTech (0.9%)

  • Infrastructure and Tourism (0.4%)

  • Education (0.3%)

  • Circular Economy (0.1%)


For the Family stream:

  • The Partner category had an outcome of 72,376 places. It comprised 93.5 per cent of the 2020-21 Family stream outcome;

  • The outcome of the Contributory Parent and Non-Contributory Parent categories were 3,600 places and 900 places, respectively, a total of 4500 places; and

  • The outcome of the Other Family category was 496 places.


Source countries

The largest source citizenship countries of migrants in 2020-21 were:

  • China with 22,207 places

  • India with 21,791 places

  • United Kingdom with 12,703 places

  • Philippines with 11,058 places

  • Vietnam with 8,120 places

  • United States of America with 5,048 places

  • Nepal with 4,714 places

  • Hong Kong with 4,313 places

  • Pakistan with 4,121 places

  • Thailand with 4,002 places


State/Territory of Intended Residence

Where applicants have specified where they intended to reside, they have indicated (these are ordered from highest to lowest):

New South Wales (NSW) – 50,417 places

Victoria (VIC) – 39,170 places

Queensland (QLD) – 22,903 places

Western Australia (WA) – 15,994 places

South Australia (SA) – 9,769 places

Tasmania (TAS) – 4,169 places

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – 4,168 places

Northern Territory (NT) – 2,243 places


Diagrams showing the migration program outcome 2020-21


Migration Program Outcome by Stream


Skill Stream


Migration Program Outcome: Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) Category – by stream


Global Talent (Independent) Category – by priority growth sector


Top 10 ANZSCO Occupation Unit Groups (Skill stream - primary applicants)


Employer Sponsored Category – by Occupation


Source: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/research-and-stats/files/report-migration-program-2020-21.pdf

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