Advice for International Students and Their Agents: Navigating Australia’s Migration Program


The federal government recently announced Australia’s permanent migration program planning levels for the next financial year, setting it at 185,000 places. However, they also proposed a decrease in student visa grants to 260,000 per annum. Given these changes, it’s crucial for international students and their agents to understand how to make the most of the current migration plan.


How to Benefit from the Migration Plan?

  • Understand the Local Job Market: When choosing a study destination, consider the local job market. With ongoing accommodation problems in main cities, regional areas can be a good alternative.
  • Select Strategic Courses: Choose courses that align with state-specific industry demands and those of your home country, ensuring you have a backup plan.
  • Master Your English Language Skills: Prepare for your English test early to meet superior English language requirements. This will also help while looking for a job, as you will be competing with the local workforce.
  • Focus on Employment and Professional Development: Despite the Temporary Graduate 485 Visa will get you only up to 2 years of visa after July, you may still be eligible for the Temporary Skill Shortage 482 Visa with the new reduced work experience requirement. Prioritise employment, professional development, and language skills.
  • Stay Informed and Plan Ahead: Keep up-to-date with migration policies and plan accordingly to make the most of available opportunities.

Key Highlights of the Migration Program

    • Focus on Skilled Visas: 71% of allocated places will go to skilled visas, with the remaining 29% to the family stream.
  • Employer-Sponsored Visas:
      • Employer-Sponsored 186 Visa: Increased from 36,825 to 44,000 places.
      • Temporary Skill Shortage 482 Visa: Work experience requirement reduced from 2 years to 1 year starting from 23 November 2024.
  • Regional and State Nomination:
    • State/Territory Nominated: Increased to 33,000 places.
    • Regional Stream: Set at 33,000 places.
  • Independent Skilled Visas: Numbers halved and extended processing times indicate that the government may relinquish those visa in the near future.


Pathways for Students

While General Skilled Migration and state nominations are on the decline, there are still viable pathways for students:

  • 485 Graduate Visa to Sponsorships: This visa provides a temporary route to gain work experience in Australia, which can lead to employer sponsorship.
  • Family Visas: Students may also explore family visa options as a pathway to permanent residency.
  • Regional Migration: Consider regional areas as your migration destinations as many smaller cities offer great opportunities.


Stay proactive and informed to maximise your opportunities within Australia’s evolving migration landscape!


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